July 7, 2017 – Washington, DC – The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 7 million Americans were unemployed in June, while at the same time 6 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This jobs gap exists because millions of prospective employees lack appropriate career education, training and skills.
The field of surgical technology is one profession that is expected to experience significant growth in the next 10 years, requiring skilled workers to fill those new jobs. By 2024, a total of 14,700 surgical technologists will be needed, according to BLS. This reflects a 15% growth rate over the next decade, which is much faster that then average 7% growth rate for all occupations. According to data from BLS and the U.S. Department of Education, private sector career colleges and universities had a 39% share of completions of surgical technology programs in 2015, a total of 3,279 in that year. Most surgical technologists have postsecondary education, with 41% holding an associate’s degree and 31% holding a post-secondary certificate.
“The right degree program prepares students to operate successfully under stressful, but rewarding conditions,” said Michael Perry, president & CEO of San Joaquin Valley College. “With appropriate training from experienced instructors, students can learn the skills they need to become a valued member of the healthcare team at their place of work.”
Surgical technologists are involved in all facets of the surgical process. In advance of surgeries, surgical technologists sterilize equipment, ready the supplies needed, and prepare both the patient and the operating room. They assist surgeons throughout the surgery, and afterwards help care for patients’ needs such as bandaging and transferring them to recovery. Their ability and training in handling stress and maintaining attention to detail is valued in their teams, as are traits like integrity and stamina.
In 2016, the median annual wage of surgical technologists surpassed that of healthcare technologists and the median of all occupations at $45,160.
“Our sector’s schools are charged with the responsibility of producing a large share of the nation’s surgical technologists,” said Steve Gunderson, president & CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities. “We take this responsibility seriously. Training new surgical technologists for success in their field is important both to the patients under their care, as well as the students who are looking for a pathway to a sustainable career and a bright future in a growing and necessary profession.”
About Shortage of Skills
Each month CECU will profile America’s “Shortage of Skills” (SOS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America’s economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues. See previous SOS releases here.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU)
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. CECU’s work supports thousands of campuses that education millions of students.