Surgical Technologists

risk level
Based on 130 votes
by year 2032
or $29.14 per hour
as of 2023

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Automation risk

40% (Moderate Risk)

Moderate Risk (41-60%): Occupations with a moderate risk of automation usually involve routine tasks but still require some human judgment and interaction.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some very important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Manual Dexterity

  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions

  • Finger Dexterity

  • Social Perceptiveness

User poll

47% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted they are unsure if this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 40% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Surgical Technologists will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Moderate growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Surgical Technologists' job openings is expected to rise 5.9% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Moderately paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Surgical Technologists' was $60,610, or $29 per hour

'Surgical Technologists' were paid 26.1% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 110,320 people employed as 'Surgical Technologists' within the United States.

This represents around 0.07% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 1 thousand people are employed as 'Surgical Technologists'.

Job description

Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeons' assistants, hold retractors, cut sutures, and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments.

SOC Code: 29-2055.00


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Cree (Highly likely) says
Surgical technologist have already been replaced. There is a new title, which is O.R. Aide, Surgical Care Assistant etc., The only difference is that both of these 'New' professions are not required to pass instruments to surgeons, at least, not yet. Robots will be able to do this (passing instruments to surgeons) in the very near future. Therefore, allowing O.R. techs, surgical care assistants to fully replace surgical technologist...and with lower pay.
Jul 15, 2023 at 09:08 PM
Tim Huff (No chance) says
Anyone who knows anything about robotic assistant surgery and the scrub tech role and duties while scrubbed in during a robotic surgery knows there is a zero percent chance of this happening.
Feb 09, 2022 at 01:09 AM
CT says
Feb 03, 2024 at 04:50 AM
Anon (Highly likely) says
Not only do I think this will be replaced but also the surgeon too. Think about it, they’re already making robots capable of precise manual dexterity movements in sewing and carpentry, then can be precise during surgery and programmed. The only real human needed in this circumstance is the anesthesiologist to keep the patient asleep during the procedure. Why would a hospital pay a 6 figure plus salary to a surgeon or 40-50,000 to the assistant when they can just have a robot do it for free? Have to remember most hospitals are “for-profit”
Sep 28, 2021 at 10:40 PM
Li (Low) says
The robots are controlled my surgeons so creating a whole robot that has accuracy reliability and validity in operating on a patient and process the information of a human body properly is very unlikely. Also I feel like people would want to have human surgeons from the start anyways since they are not going to appear as reliable when they get introduced
Dec 02, 2020 at 06:21 AM
Mitchelle (Moderate) says
Well, I think robots are likely to replace surgeons because as the time technology is getting better and better with time so robots can take our jobs and even do it better than us too.
Aug 11, 2020 at 12:31 AM
Dimitri (Low) says
Surgery sees a great deal of robotic devices these days, but those robotics are not AI, they are operated by surgeons.

In order for the job to become fully automated, robotics would need to reach a point where they could read situations and make decisions on their own, and the patients would need to trust those decisions with their lives.

That's something that I think is very far off.
Mar 08, 2020 at 12:22 PM
Grace (Uncertain) says
Well, Humans are really good at this stuff if you go to college. And they could code some robot to know how to preform surgeries.
Oct 05, 2019 at 01:46 PM
Rina (Moderate) says
Because robotics is being introduced into this profession very quickly now
Jul 11, 2019 at 08:22 PM
Lu says
Except the robotics are still being operated by surgeons so it’s gonna less likely to create a reliable AI robot to do surgeries completely coz that’s something that need accuracy, reliability and validity in processing information of the patient as well as operation with accuracy and reliability
Dec 02, 2020 at 06:19 AM

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