Anesthesia Technician Job Description
An anesthesia technician is one member of a team of anesthesia care experts, needing a full knowledge of all anesthesia supplies and equipment. The anesthesia technician works directly to assist the anesthesiologist, the anesthesiologist Asst, or the nurse anesthetist, in all areas of operating room care. Their duties include giving logistical as well as technical support to the team, maintaining equipment and supplies, collecting data from anesthesia related equipment, and any number of additional duties which differ from state to state, as to what they are authorized to do.
Anesthesia Technician Salary
The average annual income for an anesthesia technician is around $58,000, with salaries covering a wide range; from the lowest of $38,000 up to the highest of nearly $80,000.
Factors in deciding salaries are the usual; experience and certification, employment setting and geographic location. Starting salaries are estimated at between $25 and $35 an hour, rising after five years experience to more than $25 an hour.
Anesthesia Technician Career Outlook
All job opportunities in anesthesiology are expected to grow greatly over the next several years. The ASATT (American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians) reports a rapid growth in the need for all experts in this field.
With advancements in technology and growth in health care needs, the industry is one of the fastest-growing nationwide. Anesthesia technicians and technologists have different responsibilities according to state, but all are in great demand.
Anesthesia Technician Requirements
Some hospitals only require a high school diploma or GED, and offer on-the-job training to anyone interested in becoming an anesthesia technician. Most however, prefer candidates from a degree program. Anyone looking to this career should contact their local hospitals and inquire about requirements or possible on-the-job training. Anesthesia technicians with ASATT certification will have a more active role in the assisting of anesthesiologists, including the administration of anesthesia.
Anesthesia Technician Training
Certification as an anesthesia technician is required in almost every state; training programs can be found in most community colleges, culminating in an associate’s degree. Some four-year universities offer programs leading to a bachelor’s degree. Every state has its own requirements and different responsibilities which an anesthesia technician is allowed to undertake. The clearest path is to find a program which will give you a license to practice all skills in this field, no matter where you work. The best idea is to contact several hospitals and speak to as many anesthesia technicians or technologists as you can, to find out what is required in your area, or better still what requirements will cover you for any area. You can ask them about the opportunity to shadow them in their daily tasks in the operating room or elsewhere, which will be of enormous help to you during your schooling.
Research carefully the machines and equipment you may be responsible for, and make sure your training and certification cover all of these. You may find the anesthesia technicians’ program that you are training under does not cover everything and you may have to take a separate course in a certain instrument or machine.
Of course this extra training can be taken on the job, to further advance yourself, but if you want to have the full range of choices of jobs open to you, you are best to certify yourself in everything from the start. Registered nurses or those trained in the OR, ER or ICU can take a short course for certification into the anesthesia technician program. Anesthesia technicians can then take extra courses and on-the-job training for advancement to Anesthesiologist Asst, etc.