One of the benefits of being a travel certified surgical tech is having the flexibility to work anywhere. However, in some locations, travelers may end up spending more money than they earn.
Using the exact opposite criteria as our Five Best Value States for Travel Certified Surgical Techs, we looked at the 30 lowest paying states and singled out the locations that were at least 5 points above the 100.00 baseline of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ regional price parity index (PPI). In locations above baseline, you can expect to pay more for rent and other basic consumer goods like food and gas.
We pulled this data from our Travel Certified Surgical Tech Pay Rankings and Cost of Living By State guide. There are some important details to consider when looking at this list:
- Pay package information is pulled directly from the StaffDNA job board, so only 37 states were available for comparison as of Aug. 8, 2018.
- Only three states met both criteria, so the selection range was expanded to include the bottom 30 states instead of just 20.
It’s important to remember this list doesn’t represent every possible pay package from every agency in every state. Travelers should always talk with their recruiter to get the most current picture of career options available to them.
All that said, let’s take a look at our list.
Most Expensive States Travel Certified Surgical Techs
Washington is the first of two exceptions to make our ‘Most Expensive’ list. The state ranks at No. 15 on our pay package list, but also has a 105.5 PPI rating.
Despite being the largest city in the state, Seattle is not even in the top 10 most expensive places to live, according to data analytics site HomeSnacks. However, most of Washington’s expensive cities are located in or around the same northwest region.
4. New York
The home of The Big Apple is the second exception on our ‘Most Expensive’ list, even with its relatively high pay package offerings for travel certified surgical techs.
The state made our list because of its sky-high PPI rating of 115.6. The only state with a higher average cost-of-living rating is Hawaii.
Despite those high costs, New York is always a popular travel destination, so don’t wait to apply if you find an assignment opportunity that fits your schedule.
Alaska’s less-than-stellar average pay packages—No. 27 on our list—and PPI rating of 105.4 solidified its spot on our third most-expensive state for travel certified surgical techs.
Rent and food costs are among the other main factors for Alaska’s expensive price tag. The average price for a studio apartment is $1,190, which is $128 higher than the national average, according to SmartAsset.com.
The state may be expensive, but job needs are often very low year-round. Travel CSTs who want to experience Alaska’s natural beauty need to be aggressive when looking for a new assignment, especially during the more temperate summer months.
With low average pay and a high cost-of-living, Maryland may not be the best place to earn money as a travel certified surgical tech. The state ranked at No. 34 on our pay package list and has a PPI rating of 109.5, which put it in second place on our ‘most expensive’ list.
Travelers may be able to avoid high rents by staying away from Washington D.C. and the surrounding suburbs, which have some of the highest average rents in the nation.
If travelers do decide to visit Maryland, planning a weekend trip to D.C. can provide some low-cost fun, as many of our nation’s most iconic monuments and museums are available to visit, free of charge.
Similar to some of the states on our travel nurse list, the most expensive state for travel certified surgical techs suffers from pricy East Coast living and very low pay packages.
Massachusetts isn’t the most costly state with a PPI rating of 107.8, but the average pay for a travel CST hovers around $1,265. The only states who pay less on average based on StaffDNA data are Texas and North Carolina, but both of those states have much lower living expenses.
It may not be the best state to earn money as a travel CST, but that doesn’t stop Massachusetts from being a fantastic tourist destination for history buffs, baseball fans and more.
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