Surgical Technologist Schools & Certification

Being a member of a life-saving surgical team is a noble goal, but not everyone can commit to multiple years of education and training to become a surgeon. However, becoming a surgical technologist is a great career option for those who want to work in an operating room without investing the time and education required to become a surgeon.

Careers in healthcare are poised for growth in the coming years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2022), a surge of 1.8 million healthcare careers will be needed in the coming decade between 2022 and 2032. In addition, the BLS projects surgical technologist careers to grow by 5 percent in the same period (BLS 2023). This rate is slightly faster than the national average (3 percent) and equates to 7,000 new jobs.

Even though becoming a surgical technologist does not require as much education as becoming a doctor or surgeon, it requires a rigorous education program that can take one and a half and two years to complete. In surgical technologist schools, students learn basic anatomy and medical terminology, sterilize and prepare an operating room, and learn techniques to assist doctors and patients before, during, and after surgery.

One of the most critical components of a surgical technology program is the practical hands-on experience. A practicum is an in-person clinical rotation that requires students to apply their academic learning in a real-world setting. Having real-world training in an operating room is vital to becoming certified to practice as a surgical technologist.

Read on to learn more about surgical technologist schools, certifications, salary, and detailed career outlook data for this growing profession.

Surgical Technologist fast facts
Projected Jobs Created7,000
Projected Job Growth5 percent
Average Salary$57,500
Low Salary$38,860
High Salary$78,560
Entry-Level EDU Certification
Sourced From BLS May 2022

Surgical Tech Degree & Certification Programs

Most surgical technologist schools confer two degrees: an associate’s in science (AS) or an associate’s in applied science (AAS). However, a handful of schools offer a certificate program or a bachelor of science (BS) degree in health sciences with a surgical specialty. Associate degree programs usually take between one and two years, while an accelerated certificate program can be completed in nine months.


Although there are many surgical technologist schools, choosing accredited programs is crucial for employment after graduation. Many states require surgical techs to be board-certified through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

To qualify to take the surgical technologist exams offered by the NBSTSA, students must graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). All of the surgical technologist programs featured here are accredited by CAAHEP, meaning their curriculum and high academic standards will prepare students for national surgical tech certification.

Below are accredited surgical technology degree and certification programs.

Carrington College (Certificate, AS)

With campuses throughout Phoenix, AZ, and San Jose, CA, Carrington College offers an associate’s degree program to become a surgical technologist. Required courses in this program include microbiology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and surgical procedures.

Students graduating from this school have the option to become board certified. The Carrington program requires students to complete 120 surgical cases before graduation, to ensure its graduates are adequately prepared to join the workforce immediately.

This 60-credit program includes courses such as introduction to surgical technology; surgical case management; basic surgical procedures; advanced surgical procedures; anatomy & physiology with medical terminology; principles of mathematics; and introduction to psychology.

  • Location: Phoenix, AZ; San Jose, CA
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: 15 months
  • Estimated Tuition: Arizona: $41,938 (total); California: $44,210 (total)

College of Southern Idaho (AAS)

Located in Twin Falls, ID, the College of Southern Idaho offers a two-year degree program in surgical technology. The program instructs students in several aspects of surgery including instrumentation, aseptic technique, anatomy, microbiology, and procedures. In addition, this curriculum enables graduates to sit for national certification testing in surgical technology.

This 60-credit program includes courses such as central sterile processing; surgical concepts; surgical practice and procedures; human anatomy and disease; surgical pharmacology; anesthesia; advanced surgical procedures; and wound closure techniques.

  • Location: Twin Falls, ID
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: Six semesters
  • Estimated Tuition: In-district ($140 per credit); out-of-district ($285 per credit)

Kingsborough Community College (AAS)

Located in the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn, NY, Kingsborough Community College (KCC) offers a surgical technology program that requires 64 credits to complete.

After the initial semester, students must register for practicum hours every subsequent semester to gain the necessary clinical experience. After the first semester, students are enrolled in practical experiences in operating rooms in various clinics for the remaining five semesters.

  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: 2.5 years
  • Estimated Tuition: $4,800 per year

Mt. Hood Community College (AAS)

Offering the only regionally-accredited associate of applied science in surgical technology in Oregon, graduates from the MHCC program can complete their degree in six quarters. The courses in this program follow the Association of Surgical Technologists Core Curriculum and include clinical experiences with local area hospitals.

Students in this program are admitted into a cohort of 20 every fall term and must have a minimum 2.5 GPA. In addition, graduates from this program who want to pursue a bachelor of science can transfer credits to the Oregon Institute of Technology’s allied health management online degree program.

This 92-credit program includes courses such as surgical technology – ophthalmologic and neurosurgery; surgical technology – thoracic, cardiovascular, and vascular surgery; surgical technology – orthopedic surgery; surgical technology – general and pediatric surgery; surgical technology – obstetric, gynecologic, and genitourinary surgery; and surgical technology – otorhino- laryngologic, oromaxillofacial, plastic and burn surgery, among others.

  • Location: Gresham, OR
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $15,514 total

New England Institute of Technology (AS)

The New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), located in East Greenwich, RI, offers an AS degree in surgical technology. Graduates from this program have a reputation for finding surgical jobs in the New England area, where they do their practicum experiences.

Before the practicum, students at NEIT will complete 160 hours of intensive surgical simulations, including endovascular and laparoscopic equipment. The program also includes a 20-week clinical externship in the field. Graduates of this 18-month program finish their AS degrees with the opportunity to be board certified.

Made up of 101 credits, the program includes courses such as introduction to surgical technology; surgical instrumentation; surgical procedures; pathophysiology; advanced topics in surgical technology; introduction to medical ethics and bioethics; advanced applications of surgical technology; and operating room laboratory.

  • Location: East Greenwich, RI
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $33,225 per year

South Plains College (AAS)

A very versatile program, South Plains College in Lubbock, TX, provides options for new healthcare students and seasoned healthcare professionals to study surgical technology with an associate of applied science degree program. This AAS program includes a practicum as a part of the coursework.

In addition, the last two semesters of the program have hands-on clinical experiences in six area hospitals to prepare graduates for the national and Texas state certification exams.

As part of the program, students will delve into topics such as introduction to surgical technology; fundamentals of perioperative concepts and techniques; surgical procedures; pharmacology for health professions; technological sciences for the surgical technologist; general psychology; and special topics in surgical/operating room technician.

  • Location: Lubbock, TX
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: 15 months
  • Estimated Tuition: In-district resident ($209 per credit); non-resident ($397 per credit)

NYU Langone Health

NYU Langone Health, an academic medical center in New York City, NY, offers a surgical technology program that prepares qualified students to be surgical technologists. This one-year program is divided into two 6-month semesters, with courses starting in September and March. The first semester includes study in basic surgical procedures and aseptic technique fundamentals of operating room technology, while the second semester is spent in the clinical area.

The curriculum includes courses such as introduction and orientation to surgical technology; anatomy and physiology; patient care and safety; principles of operating room technique; surgical procedures; microbiology and pharmacology; and two clinical practices. Students also participate in clinical rotations.

Upon successful completion, graduates are awarded a certificate of completion. This qualifies them to sit for the national certifying examination administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $16,500

SELECT * FROM `mts_online_offline_data` WHERE `page_url` = '/surgical-technologist' AND ( `table_type` = 'Offline' OR `table_type` = 'BOTH (Online + Offline)' ) ORDER BY `grads` DESC

List of Surgical Technologist Schools

Filter by state :
School City State Website grads
Madisonville Community College Madisonville Kentucky 125
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis Indiana 112
San Jacinto Community College Pasadena Texas 87
Elgin Community College Elgin Illinois 76
John C Calhoun State Community College Tanner Alabama 55
Mandl School-The College of Allied Health New York New York 55
Wichita State University-Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology Wichita Kansas 55
Tulsa Technology Center Tulsa Oklahoma 53
Gulf Coast State College Panama City Florida 52
Community Care College Tulsa Oklahoma 51
Southeast Community College Area Lincoln Nebraska 50
Glendale Career College Glendale California 48
Jefferson Community and Technical College Louisville Kentucky 48
Collin County Community College District McKinney Texas 45
Nashville State Community College Nashville Tennessee 45
Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin Georgia 44
Wayne County Community College District Detroit Michigan 44
Nevada Career Institute Las Vegas Nevada 43
Brookline College-Tempe Tempe Arizona 42
Eastwick College-Ramsey Ramsey New Jersey 42
Southeastern College-West Palm Beach West Palm Beach Florida 42
College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls Idaho 41
American Career College-Anaheim Anaheim California 40
Concorde Career College-Grand Prairie Grand Prairie Texas 39
Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City Utah 39
Southern Technical College Fort Myers Florida 38
Central Ohio Technical College Newark Ohio 37
Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome Georgia 37
Macomb Community College Warren Michigan 37
St Cloud Technical and Community College Saint Cloud Minnesota 37
Arkansas State University-Newport Newport Arkansas 35
San Juan College Farmington New Mexico 35
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay Wisconsin 34
Pima Medical Institute-Phoenix Phoenix Arizona 34
Renton Technical College Renton Washington 34
American Career College-Ontario Ontario California 33
GateWay Community College Phoenix Arizona 33
Amarillo College Amarillo Texas 32
Austin Community College District Austin Texas 32
Tyler Junior College Tyler Texas 32
American Career College-Los Angeles Los Angeles California 31
Atlanta Technical College Atlanta Georgia 31
College of DuPage Glen Ellyn Illinois 31
Pima Medical Institute-Denver Denver Colorado 31
Baptist Health College Little Rock Little Rock Arkansas 30
Chattahoochee Technical College Marietta Georgia 30
Columbia Basin College Pasco Washington 30
Concorde Career College-San Antonio San Antonio Texas 30
Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Cupey Campus San Juan Puerto Rico 30
Baker College Owosso Michigan 29
Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City Kansas City Missouri 29
New England Institute of Technology East Greenwich Rhode Island 29
Seattle Central College Seattle Washington 29
Southeast Technical College Sioux Falls South Dakota 29
City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College Chicago Illinois 28
College of Western Idaho Nampa Idaho 28
Houston Community College Houston Texas 28
Lansing Community College Lansing Michigan 28
Texas State Technical College Waco Texas 28
University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College North Little Rock Arkansas 28
Gwinnett Technical College Lawrenceville Georgia 27
Quincy College Quincy Massachusetts 27
Saint Paul College Saint Paul Minnesota 27
Contra Costa Medical Career College Antioch California 26
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee Wisconsin 26
Neosho County Community College Chanute Kansas 26
Aims Community College Greeley Colorado 25
Bellingham Technical College Bellingham Washington 25
Bunker Hill Community College Boston Massachusetts 25
Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown North Carolina 25
Pittsburgh Technical College Oakdale Pennsylvania 25
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Knoxville Knoxville Tennessee 25
Coastal Alabama Community College Bay Minette Alabama 24
Concorde Career Institute-Tampa Tampa Florida 24
Paris Junior College Paris Texas 24
San Joaquin Valley College-Fresno Fresno California 24
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Valdosta Georgia 24
Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins Georgia 23
Concorde Career College-Aurora Aurora Colorado 23
Concorde Career Institute-Orlando Orlando Florida 23
ECPI University Virginia Beach Virginia 23
Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids Iowa 23
Lone Star College System The Woodlands Texas 23
Nassau Community College Garden City New York 23
Rasmussen University-Illinois Rockford Illinois 23
San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield Bakersfield California 23
San Joaquin Valley College-Rancho Cordova Rancho Cordova California 23
Stautzenberger College-Brecksville Brecksville Ohio 23
Suncoast Technical College Sarasota Florida 23
Concorde Career College-Portland Portland Oregon 22
Gadsden State Community College Gadsden Alabama 22
Hudson Valley Community College Troy New York 22
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Florida 22
Metro Technology Centers Oklahoma City Oklahoma 22
Mount Aloysius College Cresson Pennsylvania 22
Niagara County Community College Sanborn New York 22
Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia Mississippi 22
Rasmussen University-Minnesota St. Cloud Minnesota 22
Southeast Arkansas College Pine Bluff Arkansas 22
CBD College Los Angeles California 21
City College-Altamonte Springs Altamonte Springs Florida 21
Frederick Community College Frederick Maryland 21
Indian River State College Fort Pierce Florida 21
Owens Community College Perrysburg Ohio 21
Augusta Technical College Augusta Georgia 20
Bluegrass Community and Technical College Lexington Kentucky 20
Central Oklahoma College Oklahoma City Oklahoma 20
Great Falls College Montana State University Great Falls Montana 20
Lorain County Community College Elyria Ohio 20
Northland Community and Technical College Thief River Falls Minnesota 20
Orange Technical College-Orlando Campus Orlando Florida 20
Pearl River Community College Poplarville Mississippi 20
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster Pennsylvania 20
Sinclair Community College Dayton Ohio 20
Tarrant County College District Fort Worth Texas 20
Delgado Community College New Orleans Louisiana 19
Greenville Technical College Greenville South Carolina 19
Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson Kansas 19
Medical Career Institute Ocean New Jersey 19
Moore Norman Technology Center Norman Oklahoma 19
North-West College-Long Beach Long Beach California 19
O C Collins Career Center Chesapeake Ohio 19
Savannah Technical College Savannah Georgia 19
Southern Regional Technical College Thomasville Georgia 19
Spartanburg Community College Spartanburg South Carolina 19
Stark State College North Canton Ohio 19
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Murfreesboro Murfreesboro Tennessee 19
Ulster BOCES-School of Practical Nursing Port Ewen New York 19
American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education Piscataway New Jersey 18
Pittsburgh Career Institute Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 18
Saint Louis Community College Bridgeton Missouri 18
Scioto County Career Technical Center Lucasville Ohio 18
Sheridan Technical College Hollywood Florida 18
South Plains College Levelland Texas 18
Spokane Community College Spokane Washington 18
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte North Carolina 17
Clover Park Technical College Lakewood Washington 17
Davis Technical College Kaysville Utah 17
EHOVE Career Center Milan Ohio 17
Front Range Community College Westminster Colorado 17
Illinois Central College East Peoria Illinois 17
Kirtland Community College Grayling Michigan 17
Lamar State College-Port Arthur Port Arthur Texas 17
Laurel Ridge Community College Middletown Virginia 17
Luzerne County Community College Nanticoke Pennsylvania 17
Mid-State Technical College Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin 17
Midwest Institute Fenton Missouri 17
Miller-Motte College-Charleston Charleston South Carolina 17
Miller-Motte College-Chattanooga Chattanooga Tennessee 17
Mountainland Technical College Lehi Utah 17
Rochester Community and Technical College Rochester Minnesota 17
Rockingham Community College Wentworth North Carolina 17
Trocaire College Buffalo New York 17
Housatonic Community College Bridgeport Connecticut 16
Linn-Benton Community College Albany Oregon 16
Madison Area Technical College Madison Wisconsin 16
Miller-Motte College-McCann-Monroe Monroe Louisiana 16
Northwest Technical Institute Springdale Arkansas 16
Piedmont Technical College Greenwood South Carolina 16
Pueblo Community College Pueblo Colorado 16
Southern Union State Community College Wadley Alabama 16
Springfield Technical Community College Springfield Massachusetts 16
University of Cincinnati-Clermont College Batavia Ohio 16
West Virginia University at Parkersburg Parkersburg West Virginia 16
Baton Rouge Community College Baton Rouge Louisiana 15
Buckeye Hills Career Center Rio Grande Ohio 15
Center for Allied Health Education Brooklyn New York 15
Concorde Career Institute-Miramar Miramar Florida 15
Delta College University Center Michigan 15
Fortis Institute-Nashville Nashville Tennessee 15
Lenoir Community College Kinston North Carolina 15
Monroe Community College Rochester New York 15
North Central Texas College Gainesville Texas 15
Pinellas Technical College-St. Petersburg Saint Petersburg Florida 15
Riveroak Technical College Live Oak Florida 15
Tallahassee Community College Tallahassee Florida 15
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Hohenwald Hohenwald Tennessee 15
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Fort Smith Arkansas 15
Walters State Community College Morristown Tennessee 15
Career Networks Institute Santa Ana California 14
Catawba Valley Community College Hickory North Carolina 14
Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 14
Concorde Career College-San Bernardino San Bernardino California 14
Concorde Career Institute-Jacksonville Jacksonville Florida 14
Cuyahoga Community College District Cleveland Ohio 14
East Mississippi Community College Scooba Mississippi 14
El Paso Community College El Paso Texas 14
Great Lakes Institute of Technology Erie Pennsylvania 14
Great Plains Technology Center Lawton Oklahoma 14
Itawamba Community College Fulton Mississippi 14
Lorenzo Walker Technical College Naples Florida 14
Manchester Community College Manchester Connecticut 14
North Arkansas College Harrison Arkansas 14
Northeast State Community College Blountville Tennessee 14
Parkland College Champaign Illinois 14
St Philip's College San Antonio Texas 14
The College of Health Care Professions-Northwest Houston Texas 14
The College of Health Care Professions-San Antonio San Antonio Texas 14
Triton College River Grove Illinois 14
University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne Fort Wayne Indiana 14
Choffin Career and Technical Center Youngstown Ohio 13
Cleveland Community College Shelby North Carolina 13
Delaware County Community College Media Pennsylvania 13
Eastern Iowa Community College District Davenport Iowa 13
Gateway Community College New Haven Connecticut 13
Herzing University-New Orleans Metairie Louisiana 13
Horry-Georgetown Technical College Conway South Carolina 13
Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Florida 13
Premiere Career College Irwindale California 13
South College Knoxville Tennessee 13
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Jackson Jackson Tennessee 13
Vincennes University Vincennes Indiana 13
Yakima Valley College Yakima Washington 13
Anoka Technical College Anoka Minnesota 12
Bergen Community College Paramus New Jersey 12
Bevill State Community College Jasper Alabama 12
Concorde Career College-Dallas Dallas Texas 12
CUNY Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn New York 12
Durham Technical Community College Durham North Carolina 12
East Central Community College Decatur Mississippi 12
Fortis College-Orange Park Orange Park Florida 12
Harrisburg Area Community College Harrisburg Pennsylvania 12
Hinds Community College Raymond Mississippi 12
Miller-Motte College-McCann-Lewisburg Lewisburg Pennsylvania 12
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston Mississippi 12
Monongalia County Technical Education Center Morgantown West Virginia 12
Mt. Diablo Adult Education-Mt. Diablo USD Concord California 12
Onondaga Community College Syracuse New York 12
Pensacola State College Pensacola Florida 12
Pima Medical Institute-Chula Vista Chula Vista California 12
Robeson Community College Lumberton North Carolina 12
Temple College Temple Texas 12
Vernon College Vernon Texas 12
Washington County Career Center-Adult Technical Training Marietta Ohio 12
West Virginia Northern Community College Wheeling West Virginia 12
Western Dakota Technical College Rapid City South Dakota 12
Angelina College Lufkin Texas 11
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Cincinnati Ohio 11
College of Lake County Grayslake Illinois 11
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas Nevada 11
Columbus State Community College Columbus Ohio 11
Columbus Technical College Columbus Georgia 11
Concorde Career College-Memphis Memphis Tennessee 11
Davidson-Davie Community College Thomasville North Carolina 11
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny Iowa 11
Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville North Carolina 11
McLennan Community College Waco Texas 11
Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls Minnesota 11
Northern Michigan University Marquette Michigan 11
Pikes Peak Community College Colorado Springs Colorado 11
Quinsigamond Community College Worcester Massachusetts 11
Rolla Technical Institute/Center Rolla Missouri 11
Sandhills Community College Pinehurst North Carolina 11
Seward County Community College Liberal Kansas 11
Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College Cumberland Kentucky 11
Sullivan University Louisville Kentucky 11
The University of Montana Missoula Montana 11
Trinity Valley Community College Athens Texas 11
Waubonsee Community College Sugar Grove Illinois 11
American College of Healthcare and Technology Riverside California 10
Atenas College Manati Puerto Rico 10
Black Hawk College Moline Illinois 10
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Concord North Carolina 10
Central Carolina Technical College Sumter South Carolina 10
Chesapeake College Wye Mills Maryland 10
College of Central Florida Ocala Florida 10
Del Mar College Corpus Christi Texas 10
Dixie State University Saint George Utah 10
Fletcher Technical Community College Schriever Louisiana 10
Fortis College-Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana 10
Iowa Western Community College Council Bluffs Iowa 10
Massachusetts Bay Community College Wellesley Hills Massachusetts 10
North Shore Community College Danvers Massachusetts 10
North-West College-Riverside Riverside California 10
North-West College-West Covina West Covina California 10
Pima Community College Tucson Arizona 10
Roosevelt University Chicago Illinois 10
Sentara College of Health Sciences Chesapeake Virginia 10
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College Bowling Green Kentucky 10
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Mount Gay West Virginia 10
Traviss Technical College Lakeland Florida 10
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown Johnstown Pennsylvania 10
Washtenaw Community College Ann Arbor Michigan 10
Western Iowa Tech Community College Sioux City Iowa 10
William Rainey Harper College Palatine Illinois 10
York Technical College Rock Hill South Carolina 10
Anne Arundel Community College Arnold Maryland 9
Athens Technical College Athens Georgia 9
Blackhawk Technical College Janesville Wisconsin 9
Blue Ridge Community College Flat Rock North Carolina 9
Canadian Valley Technology Center El Reno Oklahoma 9
Coastal Carolina Community College Jacksonville North Carolina 9
Eastern Maine Community College Bangor Maine 9
Florence-Darlington Technical College Florence South Carolina 9
Fortis College-Richmond Richmond Virginia 9
Gateway Technical College Kenosha Wisconsin 9
Indian Capital Technology Center-Muskogee Muskogee Oklahoma 9
Midlands Technical College West Columbia South Carolina 9
Milwaukee Career College Milwaukee Wisconsin 9
Mohawk Valley Community College Utica New York 9
Northcentral Technical College Wausau Wisconsin 9
South Central Career Center West Plains Missouri 9
Southeast New Mexico College Carlsbad New Mexico 9
Stautzenberger College-Rockford Career College Rockford Illinois 9
Swedish Institute a College of Health Sciences New York New York 9
Washburn Institute of Technology Topeka Kansas 9
West Kentucky Community and Technical College Paducah Kentucky 9
Western Technical College La Crosse Wisconsin 9
Aiken Technical College Graniteville South Carolina 8
Altierus Career College-Norcross Norcross Georgia 8
Ashland Community and Technical College Ashland Kentucky 8
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque New Mexico 8
Central Technology Center Drumright Oklahoma 8
Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire Wisconsin 8
Cisco College Cisco Texas 8
Coastal Pines Technical College Waycross Georgia 8
College of the Albemarle Elizabeth City North Carolina 8
Colorado Mesa University Grand Junction Colorado 8
Erwin Technical College Tampa Florida 8
Fortis College-Columbus Westerville Ohio 8
Howard College Big Spring Texas 8
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo Arecibo Puerto Rico 8
James Rumsey Technical Institute Martinsburg West Virginia 8
John Wood Community College Quincy Illinois 8
Lincoln Land Community College Springfield Illinois 8
Meridian Community College Meridian Mississippi 8
Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac Wisconsin 8
North Idaho College Coeur d'Alene Idaho 8
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills Michigan 8
Odessa College Odessa Texas 8
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport Pennsylvania 8
Prince George's Community College Largo Maryland 8
Radford University Radford Virginia 8
Rock Valley College Rockford Illinois 8
San Joaquin Valley College-Temecula Temecula California 8
Somerset Community College Somerset Kentucky 8
Stautzenberger College-Maumee Maumee Ohio 8
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Crossville Crossville Tennessee 8
Valley College of Medical Careers West Hills California 8
Western Suffolk BOCES Northport New York 8
Albany Technical College Albany Georgia 7
College of Eastern Idaho Idaho Falls Idaho 7
Community College of Denver Denver Colorado 7
Concorde Career College-San Diego San Diego California 7
Dallas College Dallas Texas 7
East Valley Institute of Technology Mesa Arizona 7
Edgecombe Community College Tarboro North Carolina 7
Fortis College Houston Texas 7
Iowa Lakes Community College Estherville Iowa 7
Mohave Community College Kingman Arizona 7
Ogeechee Technical College Statesboro Georgia 7
Pasco-Hernando State College New Port Richey Florida 7
Piedmont Virginia Community College Charlottesville Virginia 7
Rasmussen University-North Dakota Fargo North Dakota 7
Riverside College of Health Careers Newport News Virginia 7
Skyline College San Bruno California 7
South Arkansas Community College El Dorado Arkansas 7
Uintah Basin Technical College Roosevelt Utah 7
Waukesha County Technical College Pewaukee Wisconsin 7
West Georgia Technical College Waco Georgia 7
Abcott Institute Southfield Michigan 6
Carrington College-San Jose San Jose California 6
Delaware Technical Community College-Terry Dover Delaware 6
Fortis Institute-Cookeville Cookeville Tennessee 6
Hazard Community and Technical College Hazard Kentucky 6
Lackawanna College Scranton Pennsylvania 6
Laramie County Community College Cheyenne Wyoming 6
Lurleen B Wallace Community College Andalusia Alabama 6
Mercy College of Health Sciences Des Moines Iowa 6
Miller-Motte College-Platt College-OKC-Memorial Oklahoma City Oklahoma 6
North-West College-Anaheim Anaheim California 6
Northwestern Michigan College Traverse City Michigan 6
Ozarks Technical Community College Springfield Missouri 6
Tri-County Technical College Pendleton South Carolina 6
Wilson Community College Wilson North Carolina 6
Bismarck State College Bismarck North Dakota 5
Camden County College Blackwood New Jersey 5
Cape Fear Community College Wilmington North Carolina 5
Flathead Valley Community College Kalispell Montana 5
Great Bay Community College Portsmouth New Hampshire 5
Lakeland Community College Kirtland Ohio 5
Manatee Technical College Bradenton Florida 5
Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell Pennsylvania 5
Owensboro Community and Technical College Owensboro Kentucky 5
Prairie State College Chicago Heights Illinois 5
Richland Community College Decatur Illinois 5
Washburn University Topeka Kansas 5
Western Nebraska Community College Scottsbluff Nebraska 5
Alvernia University Reading Pennsylvania 4
Autry Technology Center Enid Oklahoma 4
Blinn College Brenham Texas 4
Chester Career College CHESTER Virginia 4
George C Wallace Community College-Dothan Dothan Alabama 4
Lanier Technical College Gainesville Georgia 4
Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls Minnesota 4
Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences Reading Pennsylvania 4
Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences Cape Girardeau Missouri 4
Southern Maine Community College South Portland Maine 4
Southwestern College Chula Vista California 4
Trine University Angola Indiana 4
Wes Watkins Technology Center Wetumka Oklahoma 4
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Asheville North Carolina 3
Baltimore City Community College Baltimore Maryland 3
California Healing Arts College Carson California 3
Charles H McCann Technical School North Adams Massachusetts 3
Drury University-College of Continuing Professional Studies Springfield Missouri 3
Marion Technical College Marion Ohio 3
Technical College of the Lowcountry Beaufort South Carolina 3
The College of Health Care Professions-Austin Austin Texas 3
Ben Franklin Career Center Dunbar West Virginia 2
Carrington College-Citrus Heights Citrus Heights California 2
City College-Miami Miami Florida 2
Eastern Florida State College Cocoa Florida 2
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville Florida 2
Lindsey Hopkins Technical College Miami Florida 2
MiraCosta College Oceanside California 2
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health Omaha Nebraska 2
North Central Missouri College Trenton Missouri 2
Shawnee Community College Ullin Illinois 2
Southern University at Shreveport Shreveport Louisiana 2
Utah State University Logan Utah 2
City College-Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Florida 1
Fortis Institute Houston Texas 1
Lake Superior College Duluth Minnesota 1
Northeast Community College Norfolk Nebraska 1
School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Surgical Tech Hybrid & Online Programs

Because surgical technology is such a hands-on profession, there are very few fully online and hybrid options from which to choose. In addition, surgical technology programs require an extensive practicum (typically between 300 and 1,200 hours of hands-on practice) even when the coursework is delivered entirely online.


That said, there are several hybrids (a combination of in-person and distance learning) and online surgical technologist programs, including the following:

Baptist Health System School of Health Professionals (AS)

Located in San Antonio, TX, Baptist Health System School of Health Professionals offers an associate’s degree in surgical technology. Upon completing this program, students can take the national surgical technologist certification exam required for employment in Texas.

Courses are offered in person and online. The program’s 63-credit curriculum includes technological sciences; surgical procedures; fundamentals of perioperative technique; surgical pathophysiology; microbiology for the surgical technologist; surgical pharmacology and anesthesia; and introduction to surgical technology.

In addition, several pre-operative topics from specimen care to the application of wound dressings are included in the curriculum. Graduates find work in hospital operating rooms, central sterile processing departments, and outpatient surgical units.

  • Location: San Antonio, TX
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $30,100

OneMSU, Great Falls College – Montana State University (AAS)

Located in Great Falls, MT, Great Falls College – Montana State University offers a CAAHEP-accredited surgical technologist program in a hybrid format as part of its three-campus “OneMSU” distance learning network. Although students can complete classroom work online, students are required to rotate through clinical sites in Montana to complete a minimum of 120 surgical cases.

Additionally, students are required to attend lecture classes in real time via WebEx. Upon completing this 70-credit program, graduates can take national certification exams in surgical technology. The curriculum includes courses such as introduction to surgical technology; surgical pharmacology; introduction to philosophy and biomedical ethics; operating room techniques; surgical procedures; and introduction to interpersonal communication.

  • Location: Great Falls, MT
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $8,829

Central Piedmont Community College (AAS)

Located in Charlotte, NC, Central Piedmont Community College offers a 71-credit associate of applied science degree program in surgical technology. Students can take didactic courses on campus in a classroom/lab/clinical combination or in a hybrid format.

Students in this program can join the Surgical Technology Club to develop their professional networks and participate in the Scrub Bowl, an annual event hosted by the North Carolina Association of Surgical Technologies that helps prepare students for the national certification exam.

The curriculum includes courses such as perioperative patient care; introduction to surgical technology; surgical procedures; advanced theoretical concepts; surgical clinical supplement; and anatomy and physiology.

  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: Resident ($9,418 total); non-resident ($23,050 total)

Rasmussen University (AS)

Rasmussen University offers an associate’s degree in surgical technology with campuses in Florida, Illinois, and Minnesota. On-campus and online classes are available in addition to field experience.

Students in this program can prove existing knowledge in specific courses with self-directed assessments for $149. In addition, graduates from this program pay no additional costs to take the national surgical tech certification exam. Consisting of 92 credits, the program includes courses such as medical terminology; pathophysiology; fundamentals of surgical technology; surgical procedures; surgical pharmacology; surgical microbiology; and human anatomy and physiology.

  • Location: Cities in FL, IL, MN
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: 21 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $279 per credit

Southeast Community College (Certificate, AAS)

Southeast Community College (SCC), with three campuses in Nebraska, offers a surgical technology program that is one of the most flexible and provides an excellent online cohort in conjunction with a local clinical practicum. Three campus visits are required at the beginning and end of this program, including the last week to take the national board exam.

In 2021, 96 percent of surgical technology graduates from SCC were employed locally upon graduation, and 86 percent of graduates continued their education in Nebraska. SCC also offers a surgical first assist certificate for currently certified surgical technologists.

  • Location: Lincoln, NE
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: Five semesters
  • Estimated Tuition: $10,763.50

Berkeley College (AAS)

Berkeley College’s online surgical technology associate in applied science degree program prepares students to work as valuable members of surgical teams, which most commonly include anesthesiologists, circulating nurses, and surgeons. This surgical technology program is only offered at the Woodland Park campus; however, individuals who already possess the CST credential and who are interested in obtaining an associate degree may take this program through Berkeley College Online.

The program comprises 60 credits and includes courses such as fundamentals of surgical technology; surgical techniques; surgical specialty intervention procedures; pharmacology and anesthesiology; operating room clinical practicum; surgical technology capstone; and microbiology.

  • Location: Woodland Park, NJ
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $890 per credit
School City State Website grads
Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting Nashville Tennessee 486
Madisonville Community College Madisonville Kentucky 125
Glendale Career College Glendale California 48
Berkeley College-Woodland Park Woodland Park New Jersey 38
Houston Community College Houston Texas 28
Holmes Community College Goodman Mississippi 23
Baptist Health System School of Health Professions San Antonio Texas 22
North Arkansas College Harrison Arkansas 14
Santa Fe College Gainesville Florida 14
Siena Heights University Adrian Michigan 14
Henry Ford College Dearborn Michigan 11
Bossier Parish Community College Bossier City Louisiana 10
Roane State Community College Harriman Tennessee 6
Oklahoma City Community College Oklahoma City Oklahoma 4
Concorde Career College-Kansas City Kansas City Missouri 3
School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Surgical Tech Core & Elective Courses

To complete most surgical tech programs, students must get a B or higher letter grade in both core classes and specialty surgical tech courses. Many of these courses are shared with other healthcare degrees – like medical ethics and anatomy and physiology. Still, a few classes specific to surgical tech schools are integral to those programs.

  • Medical terminology – This course is required for many healthcare professionals and is particularly important for surgical technologists. In this course, students will learn the root words, suffixes, and prefixes by which all other medical terms are created. In addition, they will learn the names of each part of the human body and the most common illnesses and physical impairments.
  • Surgical procedures – This course aims to teach students the theory and practices they should use with various surgeries. Typical surgeries covered include gynecological, orthopedic, genitourinary, and many others. The course emphasizes procedures, technology, and tools for each independent surgery.
  • Pharmacology for surgical technology – In this course, students are introduced to different pharmaceuticals that may be used during a surgical procedure. In addition, students learn specific drug interactions, systems and regulations for administration, and the calculation of dosages. Drugs that might be used before and after a procedure are also introduced.
  • Clinical practicum or externship – This course is required for all surgical technologists. Students complete rotations in a working hospital or medical facility where surgeries are regularly performed in this course. Under the tutelage of a senior surgical technologist, they can use the knowledge they have learned in hands-on practice to assist during surgical procedures.

Surgical Tech Accreditation

To practice as a surgical technologist, students need to complete a surgical technology program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

These two accrediting organizations, in tandem with the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA), evaluate surgical technologist programs to ensure that the coursework and health education practices comply with national standards.

During the ARC/STSA accreditation process, professional surgical technologists and healthcare educators carefully examine the program objectives and outcomes to determine whether a program is eligible for CAAHEP or ABHES accreditation. Each clinical cohort is also evaluated to ensure that the technology and healthcare procedures used are at the current healthcare standard. Finally, the ARC/STSA thoroughly investigates all professors to ensure their professional abilities and background.

Additionally, colleges should be accredited by a regional or national accrediting body approved by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Typical regional accrediting bodies include:

  • Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS-WASC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Career Outlook

The field of healthcare is growing and not just for nurses and physicians. General healthcare jobs are expected to increase, adding 1.8 million new positions, with surgical technology positions expected to increase by 5 percent (BLS 2022). The growth rate for surgical techs is slightly faster than the national average for all occupations (3 percent).

Two main factors drive the increased need for surgical technologists. Firstly, as the baby boomer generation ages, they will require more surgeries to maintain their standard of living. Secondly, access to better healthcare will make day-to-day surgeries (like sports-related surgeries) more feasible for the general population.

Another reason surgical technologists will likely remain in such high demand because they are a cost-effective investment for hospitals. Surgical technologists are less expensive to hire than registered nurses but can often assist in the same procedures. This enables nurses to practice in more advanced areas that suit their skill sets and helps healthcare facilities provide better care to their patients and support their staff.

Career Facts Surgical Technologist
Related CareersRadiation Therapist, Endoscopy Technician, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Common Job TitlesSurgical Technologist, Certified Surgical Technologist
Technology & EquipmentElectrocautery Equipment, Surgical Saws And Drills, Surgical Vacuums, Ultrasonic Surgical Aspirators
Sourced from BLS, May 2022

Surgical Tech Work Environments

In May 2022, 110,700 surgical techs were employed in the following work environments (BLS May 2022):

  • Hospitals: state, local, and private: 71 percent
  • Offices of physicians: 12 percent
  • Outpatient care centers: 12 percent
  • Offices of dentists: 2 percent
  • Administrative and support services: 1 percent

Surgical Tech Salaries

The BLS (May 2022) shows the average annual salary for surgical technologists is $57,500, slightly less than the national average for all occupations ($61,900).

The salary percentiles for the 107,400 working surgical techs in the United States are:

  • 10th percentile: $38,860
  • 25th percentile: $47,860
  • 50th percentile (median): $55,960
  • 75th percentile: $64,360
  • 90th percentile: $78,560

The highest-paid surgical techs work for medical and diagnostic laboratories with annual average salaries of $71,430.

The state with the highest average salary for surgical technologists is Alaska, at $73,960 per year. Other top-paying states include California ($72,860), Connecticut ($71,430), Nevada ($69,300), and Washington ($66,590).

Licensing & Certification for Surgical Technologists

Surgical technologists who desire to be board-certified must complete a CAAHEP-accredited program. A list of accredited surgical tech schools is available on the CAAHEP website.

In addition to completing a program at one of the accredited surgical tech schools, certified students must also complete a certification exam. This exam is provided through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

Finally, board certification candidates must have completed the appropriate coursework and clinical hours. Depending on the degree program, a student may complete between 300 and 1,200 clinical hours to complete the university’s requirements. These clinical hours are necessary to be licensed as a surgical technologist.

Although it is not legally required for surgical technologists to be board certified at this time, it may be a better career decision. Completing a surgical tech degree from a CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited school is the only way to earn this designation and sit for the national test. This makes students who earn this designation much more employable and more likely to find positions in the highest-earning bracket for this allied health career.

Rachel Drummond, MEd
Rachel Drummond, MEd Writer

Rachel Drummond has contributed insightful articles to since 2019, where she offers valuable advice and guidance for those pursuing careers in the healthcare field, combining her passion for education with her understanding of the critical role that healthcare professionals play in promoting physical and mental well-being.

Rachel is a writer, educator, and coach from Oregon. She has a master’s degree in education (MEd) and has over 15 years of experience teaching English, public speaking, and mindfulness to international audiences in the United States, Japan, and Spain. She writes about the mind-body benefits of contemplative movement practices like yoga on her blog, inviting people to prioritize their unique version of well-being and empowering everyone to live healthier and more balanced lives.