What Is An Operating Theatre Technician? (Plus Skills And Salary)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 17 March 2023

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Operating theatre technicians usually assist specialised doctors such as surgeons during surgeries. In addition, they typically prepare and maintain operating theatres and equipment and assist surgical and anaesthetic teams. Learning what an operating theatre technician is can help you decide if this is the right career for you. In this article, we discuss what is an operating theatre technician, explore their skills and responsibilities, review their salary and learn the steps to become one.

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What Is An Operating Theatre Technician?

If you are considering a career in healthcare, you may wonder, "What is an operating theatre technician?". An operating theatre technician is a professional responsible for the preparation and maintenance of operating theatres and equipment before, during and after surgery. They also assist surgical and anaesthetic teams during surgical procedures and help to provide support to recovering patients. An operating theatre technician (OTT) usually performs the following tasks:

  • Keeping operational tools and equipment clean and organised

  • Checking for inaccuracies in the patient's medical charts and records prior to surgery

  • Monitoring equipment and transferring operating instruments to the surgeon during the surgery

  • Cleaning the patient and the operating table post-surgery

  • Disposing of any residual materials properly

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How Much Does An Operating Theatre Technician Make?

The national average salary for an operating theatre technician is ₹20,000 per month. Their average salaries often vary according to geographical region, degree of education and experience. For example, an operating theatre technician can earn ₹70,474 - ₹74,878 per month in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

How To Become An Operating Theatre Technician?

If you are interested in becoming an operating theatre technician, you may consider taking the following steps:

Complete your education

To become an operating theatre technician, it is essential to complete your 10+2 with physics, chemistry and biology as core subjects from a recognised board and attain a minimum of 50 per cent marks. Next, you may be required to pass entrance exams to pursue a bachelor's degree in operation theatre technology and start your career. Finally, you may opt for a master's degree in operation theatre technology to gain more knowledge and skills and increase your chances of being hired.

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Get certified

Certain hospitals may require additional certificates from OTT candidates. These certificates often provide theoretical and practical knowledge to students and enhance their ability to function as expert medical professionals. You can enroll in the two-year diploma in operation theatre technology. The course typically trains the students to operate surgical and treatment equipment used by doctors and specialists in labs and hospitals. The diploma usually focuses on understanding the importance, functioning, uses and applications of various medical equipment and assisting surgeons through medical procedures.

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Apply for jobs

After you complete your education and gain the required certifications, you can apply for jobs in the private and government sectors. Multispeciality hospitals often hire professionals with two to seven years of experience. Freshers can also find operating theatre technicians' jobs online depending on their skills and performance in the interview. Many government hospitals, like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, recruit freshers on a deputation or absorption basis.

Skills Of An Operating Theatre Technician

The following are some of the skills that can benefit OTT candidates:

Teamwork skills

Teamwork skills are the characteristics and talents that enable you to collaborate well with others in discussions, tasks, meetings and other circumstances. Teamwork abilities depend on your capacity to communicate effectively, actively listen and behave responsibly and honestly. It is vital for operating theatre technicians to be capable of effectively collaborating with the rest of the team. I

t is essential to complete their tasks in accordance with team members in an operation theatre as everyone is usually fulfilling a unique and critical task. Operating theatre technicians often take the initiative in assisting their teammates and contributing to the operation's success.

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Communication skills

Effective communication in the workplace may alleviate stress and encourage individuals to work together as a team, which is critical in the healthcare and medical field. It is essential to have open communication among team members during surgeries in an operation theatre. Operating theatre technicians often communicate with everyone in the operating theatre, from the patient to the lead surgeon, in a clear and effective manner. Being a good listener and also being capable of providing accurate and timely information is vital. Communication skills typically help OTTs deliver critical updates on the patient's vital signs during the surgical procedure.

Ability to work under pressure

If you learn how to control your emotions during situations of pressure, it may be easier to refocus your attention on your task rather than on anxious thoughts. As a result, you may become a more productive technician. Developing ways to help you remain optimistic during difficult situations can help you become a more optimistic person. Employers may require operating theatre technicians to concentrate and perform rapidly in stressful situations.

Emergency surgeries frequently necessitate a rapid response by operating personnel to unanticipated circumstances. The ability to do tasks with little or no warning is a critical ability for OTTs. Successfully completing a surgery usually requires them to maintain their concentration and engagement, even when tired.

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Empathy is a critical trait for operating theatre technicians, as you may encounter individuals of diverse backgrounds and with a range of medical problems. If you can empathise with the patients' conditions and demonstrate concern, you can be a more successful technician. Empathy may also be beneficial while communicating with your team, as you may find yourself more receptive to assisting them if you consider their circumstances.


It is important for an operating theatre technician to be proficient in handling surgical instruments without damaging them. Additionally, they are required to assist the surgical team without making errors. Being an OTT requires you to perform operations and responsibilities in an operation theatre properly and confidently.

Work Environment Of An Operating Theatre Technician

Most operating theatre technicians often work exclusively in hospital operation theatres throughout their careers. Some of them may work in outpatient care centres or in the private offices of outpatient surgical physicians. They may aid in the execution of a broad range of procedures.

Whenever they are in the operating room, operating theatre technicians wear specialised sterile attire called scrubs. Scrubs often comprise long, slender robes, rubber gloves and surgical masks. While helping in operations, OTTs typically stand and maintain attention for extended periods of time. They are typically the first member of the surgical team to enter the operating room and the last to exit. Operating theatre technicians frequently contact critically sick or wounded patients.

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Operating Theatre Technician Vs. Surgical Assistant

Typically the most significant difference between an operating theatre technician and a surgical assistant is the scope of each job's responsibilities. While both assist a surgeon in a busy operating room by doing basic tasks, each focuses on a unique location within the room.

An operating theatre technician often watches the operating room and the equipment around the surgeon and the patient to ensure that the surgical environment is safe and sanitised. Additionally, they anticipate the surgeon's demands by ensuring that they adequately set the operating room up and ready for operation. A surgical assistant usually acts as an additional team member during surgery. They assist the surgeon by doing minor duties and conducting minor medical procedures, enabling the surgeon to concentrate on the major tasks.

Operating Theatre Technician Job Description Example

The Rajiv Gandhi Neuro Center is seeking an operating theatre technician to fill a job at its headquarters. We are seeking an experienced technician who is capable of working swiftly and precisely in a high-pressure workplace and providing great care and assistance to our patients prior to, during and following surgery. The operating theatre technician can report directly to the principal surgeon and nurse practitioner in charge. Specifically, the following responsibilities apply:

  • Keeping all surgical materials are secured and prepared

  • Ensuring the OR is sterile and completely functional

  • Conducting an inventory of instruments before and after each procedure

  • Preparing the patient's skin for surgery

  • Placing and moving the patient during operations

  • Assisting with patient monitoring during the length of the procedure

The ideal applicant is certified and has at least four years of experience. CPR trained applicants with a comprehensive understanding of medical equipment and the ability to lift 50-70 kg are important. We are willing to give competitive compensation and perks to the individual who matches our requirements.

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Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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