Can a Medical Assistant Work as a Surgical Tech?

There are many similarities between medical assistants and surgical techs, but there are also some key differences. Can a medical assistant work as a surgical tech?

Checkout this video:

Job Description

A medical assistant can work as a surgical tech in some cases. The main difference between the two positions is that a medical assistant is more likely to work in an office setting while a surgical tech is more likely to work in a hospital setting. Both positions require basic knowledge of human anatomy and medical terminology.

Medical Assistant

A medical assistant is a professional who works as a part of the healthcare team in a hospital or a clinic. They perform various administrative and clinical duties to support the work of doctors and other medical staff. As a medical assistant, you may be asked to perform tasks such as taking patient medical histories, scheduling appointments,Preparing patients for examinations, documenting vital signs, and assisting with minor medical procedures. You may also be responsible for maintaining medical records and handling billing and insurance paperwork.

In some states, medical assistants may also be allowed to work as surgical technicians. Surgical techs are responsible for preparing the operating room prior to surgery, sterilizing instruments, and passing items to the surgeon during surgery. They must also have knowledge of how to operate various types of equipment in the operating room. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a surgical tech, you will need to complete an accredited surgical technology program.

Surgical Tech

A surgical technologist, also called a scrub tech or a surgical technician, is an allied health professional who works alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other surgical personnel during surgeries. He or she is responsible for ensuring that the operating room is clean and ready for surgery, as well as sterile instruments and supplies. The surgical technologist also assists with patient transfers and positioning, draping and prepping the skin for surgery.

The job of a surgical technologist generally requires an associate’s degree from an accredited surgical technology program. Some states have certification requirements for surgical technologists.


A medical assistant can work as a surgical tech after completing a certification program and passing the Certified surgical technologist exam, as well as meeting any state requirements.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are unlicensed professionals who perform many routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep doctors’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities running smoothly. They are sometimes referred to as the doctor’s right-hand person. The duties of a medical assistant vary from office to office and may include such tasks as greeting patients, scheduling appointments, taking and recording medical histories and vital signs, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, handling laboratory specimens, and giving vaccinations. Some medical assistants also perform basic office duties such as answering telephones, handling correspondence, billing patients, and ordering supplies.

Surgical Tech

A surgical technologist, also called a scrub, scrub tech, surgical technician or operating room attendant, is an allied health professional working as a part of the team delivering surgical care. Surgical technologists work under the clinical supervision of a licensed physician, usually a surgeon. They prepare the operating room for surgery and ensure that it is ready for the procedure.

To work as a surgical technologist, you will need to complete an accredited certificate or diploma program in surgical technology. You will also need to pass the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Once you have passed the CST exam, you will be able to use the title of Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).


A typical Medical Assistant earns an average wage of around $15 per hour. A Surgical Tech can earn an average wage of $19-$22 per hour.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are health care professionals who perform a variety of clinical and administrative tasks to support the work of physicians and other health care providers. Medical assistants can work in a variety of settings, including medical offices, clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.

A medical assistant salary can vary depending on the type of position, the location, the size of the facility, and the specific responsibilities of the position. The average medical assistant salary in the United States is $33,610 per year.

Surgical Tech

Surgical techs are in high demand and the salary for this career is very competitive. Medical assistants can expect to earn a starting salary of around $30,000 per year. Surgical techs can earn a starting salary of around $40,000 per year.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for medical assistants is very good. They are expecting the employment of medical assistants to grow by 29% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. So, if you’re thinking about a career in medical assisting, you’re in luck! But what about surgical techs? Can a medical assistant work as a surgical tech?

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are multipurpose health care professionals specifically trained to work in ambulatory (outpatient) settings such as physician offices, clinics, and group medical practices. Depending on the size of the facility and its patient volume, a medical assistant may be assigned to specific duties or may rotate among a number of different tasks. Many medical assisting programs include both classroom and clinical instruction in a wide variety of topics, preparing students to take on any number of roles within a medical office.

The job outlook for medical assistants is positive, with employment projected to grow much faster than average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026. The increasing demand for health care services from an aging Baby Boomer population will spur demand for all health care workers, including medical assistants. In addition, as physicians increasingly group together in large practices or health care systems—a trend known as physician practice consolidation—they will need more support staff, such as medical assistants, to perform routine administrative and clinical duties.

Surgical Tech

There are many different types of medical assistants, and each has a different set of duties and responsibilities. Surgical techs, also known as surgical technologists, are a type of medical assistant that works in the operating room.

Surgical techs are an essential part of the surgical team. They prepare the operating room for surgery, assist the surgeon during the procedure, and help care for the patient after surgery.

If you’re thinking about becoming a surgical tech, you’re probably wondering if you can work as a surgical tech if you’re already a certified medical assistant. The answer is yes! Many medical assistants choose to specialize in surgical technology, and many surgical tech programs will accept students who already have certification as a medical assistant.

If you’re interested in becoming a surgical tech, contact your local community college or technical school to find out about training programs in your area.

Scroll to Top