Surgical techs salaries averaged $46,310 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but travel certified surgical techs have the potential to earn more because of the pay flexibility that comes with travel contracts.
One of the key elements to earning more money as a travel certified surgical tech is finding the locations around the U.S. where you can earn more and spend less. Minimizing the amount you spend on rent, travel and other living expenses can have a great impact on maintaining healthy financials.
To help you determine the best locations to work, we’ve narrowed down the five states where you can get the most out of your earnings, based on data from our Travel Certified Surgical Tech Pay Package Rankings and Cost of Living By State list.
Just like our travel nursing analysis, the five best states were selected using the following criteria:
- Each state had to rank among the top 20 highest pay packages offered.
- Each state had to be at least 5 points or more below the 100.00 baseline of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis regional price parity index (PPI).
States with ratings below 100.00 have lower average prices for gas, rent, and other consumer goods, which means money-conscious travelers can expect to bank more than they spend.
We found it interesting that for travel certified surgical techs, almost all of the best value states also ranked as the top five highest-paying states. In comparison, many of the highest paying states for travel nurses had PPI ratings that matched their high wages.
Another key takeaway from our analysis was the job distribution among the list. The states on this list had a combined total of 20 jobs listed when we sourced our data in July. California, while paying less per contract on average than the top five states, had significantly more opportunity with 72 available jobs.
We’ll start from the bottom of the list and work our way to No. 1.
Best Value States Travel Certified Surgical Techs
5. North Dakota
The Peace Garden State is a great potential choice for travel certified surgical techs, as it offers the sixth highest average pay packages in the U.S. and a decent amount of job opportunities.
North Dakota’s PPI rating comes in at 91.5, almost 10 points below the national average. Across the three factors that make up the total PPI rating—rents, consumer goods and other non-specific goods—rent was the lowest at 82.8.
Tennessee made the fourth spot on both our Pay Ranking and Best Value lists, thanks to higher than average pay package offerings from facilities and low cost of living.
With a PPI rating of 90.2, living in Tennessee can be even more affordable than North Dakota, which is good news for surgical techs who want to check out the home state of many country music and rock-and-roll legends.
Opportunities in the state are sparse (as of July 31, there was only 1 job posted on the StaffDNA boards), so travelers should plan to apply early and aggressively if they want a Tennessee position.
More than just the home of the world’s first parking meter, Oklahoma can be a great location for travel surgical tech to earn cash.
Continuing the trend of lower rents and higher pay, Oklahoma ranks third for highest average pay packages across the nation and has the second lowest PPI ratings of our best value states at 89.
Like Tennessee, travelers will need to apply early because of the low amount of surgical tech needs.
Out of the five best value states, Arkansas has the lowest cost-of-living with an 86.2 PPI rating. In fact, Arkansas is almost the most affordable state in the country, surpassed only by Alabama and Mississippi.
Nicknamed The Natural State, Arkansas also ranks at No. 2 on our highest paying states list for surgical techs with pay packages that average around $1,700.
Travelers should expect heavy competition if they want to work in Arkansas as the state doesn’t have many surgical tech needs year-round.
A fantastic state for travelers seeking outdoor adventures, Montana took top honors for offering the best pay packages on average than any other location in the country, based on StaffDNA job board data.
The cost-of-living is higher than the other states on this list, but with a PPI rating of 94.1, Montana is still well below the national average. Billings, the largest city in the state, has a median gross rental price of $829, according to the independent research site Department of Numbers.
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