Surgical Technologist Schools

Being a life-saving member of a surgical team is a noble goal, but completing the years of training that a surgeon must complete is a commitment that not many can stomach. Luckily, becoming a surgical technologist allows for those who are passionate about healthcare to participate in surgical procedures without becoming surgeons. Not only is this an exciting and rewarding job, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2017) projects that it is also one that’s growing quite quickly. Between 2016 and 2026, need in this area is expected to rise by 12 percent, which is nearly double that of all other fields (7 percent).

Still, even though becoming a surgical technologist does not require as much education as becoming a doctor or surgeon, it does require completion of a rigorous program that can take between one and a half and two years to complete. Students will learn basic anatomy and medical terminology, understand the differences between various surgical procedures, and learn how to best assist both doctors and patients in preparing for surgeries.

One of the main components of a surgical technology program is the practicum. The practicum is a hands-on clinical rotation that allows students to apply their academic learning in a real-world setting and is one of the vital requirements to become certified to practice as a surgical technologist.

Although there are many surgical technologist schools from which to choose, matriculation alone may not qualify graduates to enter the workforce, since some states require surgical techs to be board-certified through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). For this reason, it is safest and generally best to seek out appropriately accredited programs that help prepare students for board certification.

Surgical Technologist fast facts
Projected Jobs Created12,600
Projected Job Growth12%
Low Salary$32,470
Average Salary (Median)$48,060
High Salary$67,000
Entry-Level EDU Certification
Sourced from BLS, June 2018

Degree & certification Programs

Most surgical technologist schools culminate in an associate’s in science (AS) or associate in applied science (AAS) degree. There are, however, a handful of schools that offer a certificate program or a bachelor’s 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.

Students pursuing a BS in surgical technology can expect to spend between four and five years completing their degree, although they may be in a better position to continue health education or take on administrative responsibilities upon graduation.

  • Northern Michigan University (AAS) – Of the most well-known associate’s degree programs for surgical technology, one of the finest is offered at Northern Michigan University (NMU), located in Marquette, Michigan. This program can be completed in approximately a year and a half, and allows students to sit for the national board exam offered through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Students in the NMU program must take core college courses such as composition in addition to surgical technology-specific courses such as clinical assisting, general surgical procedures, and human anatomy and physiology. In order to graduate, students must also take a 500-hour, 21-week supervised practicum at an NMU affiliated hospital.
  • South Plains College (Certificate, AAS) – A very versatile program, South Plains College in Levelland, Texas provides options for both new healthcare students and seasoned healthcare professionals to study surgical technology with an AAS and a certificate of proficiency track. While both options allow the student to sit for the national board exam, only the AAS option includes a practicum as a part of the coursework. The certificate program, which includes a capstone experience in lieu of a practicum, is available to students who are already working as surgical technologists and want to qualify for board certification.
  • New England Institute of Technology (AS) – Students who graduate from the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), located in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, have a reputation for finding jobs quickly, often in the New England area where they do their practicum experiences. Prior to completing the practicum, students at NEIT will complete 160 hours of intensive, surgical simulation. Graduates of this 18-month program finish their AS degree with the opportunity to be board certified.
  • Virginia College (AS) – Although this is a residential Surgical Technologist program, the Virginia College has a range of campuses across the south, including Mobile, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida and Greenville, South Carolina. The 88-week program includes simulated surgical experiences in addition to an 11-week externship experience where students will assist in at least 120 patient cases.
  • Carrington College (Certificate, AS) – With campuses in both CItrus Heights and San Jose, California, Carrington College offers both a certificate and associate’s degree program for surgical technologists. Students graduating from this school have the option to become board certified. The Carrington program requires students to complete 120 surgical cases before they graduate, to ensure its graduates are properly prepared to join the workforce right away.
  • Southeast Community College (AAS) – Southeast Community College (SCC), with three campuses in Nebraska, offers a surgical technology program that is one of the most flexible as well, providing an excellent online cohort in conjunction with a local clinical practicum. In 2017, 88 percent of surgical technology graduates from SCC were employed locally upon graduation, which is certainly an encouraging statistic.
  • Kingsborough Community College (AAS) – Located in the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn, New York, 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 for every subsequent semester in order to gain the necessary clinical experience. But that experience pays off, with 100 percent of 2017 graduates passing the certified surgical technologist (CST) exam.

List of Surgical Technologist Schools

Filter by state :
School City State Website Total grads (2013)
Instituto de Banca y Comercio Inc Guaynabo Puerto Rico 308
Dover Business College Clifton New Jersey 167
Wayne County Community College District Detroit Michigan 156
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis Indiana 112
Star Career Academy-Clifton Clifton New Jersey 99
Ponce Paramedical College Inc Ponce Puerto Rico 94
San Jacinto Community College Pasadena Texas 92
Star Career Academy-Philadelphia Philadelphia Pennsylvania 83
CBD College Los Angeles California 81
McCann School of Business & Technology Pottsville Pennsylvania 74
Madisonville Community College Madisonville Kentucky 69
Star Career Academy??rick Brick New Jersey 67
EDIC College Caguas Puerto Rico 64
American Career College-Anaheim Anaheim California 62
Southeastern College-Greenacres Greenacres Florida 61
Mandl School-The College of Allied Health New York New York 57
Premiere Career College Irwindale California 57
Antilles School of Technical Careers San Juan Puerto Rico 56
Concorde Career College-Grand Prairie Grand Prairie Texas 56
Star Career Academy-New York New York New York 56
Star Career Academy-Newark Newark New Jersey 55
Career Networks Institute Orange California 53
Glendale Career College Glendale California 51
Central Ohio Technical College Newark Ohio 50
Omega Institute Pennsauken New Jersey 48
New England Institute of Technology East Greenwich Rhode Island 47
Renton Technical College Renton Washington 47
Massachusetts Bay Community College Wellesley Hills Massachusetts 43
Anthem College-Sacramento Sacramento California 42
Lincoln Technical Institute-Fern Park Fern Park Florida 42
American College of Healthcare Riverside California 41
Pittsburgh Technical Institute Oakdale Pennsylvania 41
American Career College-Los Angeles Los Angeles California 40
Career Technical College-Monroe Monroe Louisiana 40
Baker College of Flint Flint Michigan 39
Brown Mackie College-St Louis Fenton Missouri 38
ECPI University Virginia Beach Virginia 38
Hinds Community College Raymond Mississippi 38
American Career College-Ontario Ontario California 37
Baker College of Muskegon Muskegon Michigan 37
Columbus State Community College Columbus Ohio 37
Concorde Career College-Memphis Memphis Tennessee 37
Concorde Career College-San Bernardino San Bernardino California 37
Concorde Career Institute-Miramar Miramar Florida 37
Concorde Career College-Portland Portland Oregon 36
Concorde Career Institute-Orlando Orlando Florida 36
Concorde Career Institute-San Antonio San Antonio Texas 36
Macomb Community College Warren Michigan 36
Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City Kansas City Missouri 36
Niagara County Community College Sanborn New York 36
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay Wisconsin 36
Brown Mackie College-Merrillville Merrillville Indiana 35
City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College Chicago Illinois 35
Harrison College-Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana 35
Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin Georgia 35
Miller-Motte Technical College-Chattanooga Chattanooga Tennessee 34
Savannah Technical College Savannah Georgia 34
Atenas College Manati Puerto Rico 33
Columbus Technical College Columbus Georgia 33
Southwest Florida College Fort Myers Florida 33
Concorde Career College-North Hollywood North Hollywood California 32
Concorde Career College-San Diego San Diego California 32
Everest College-Reseda Reseda California 32
Star Career Academy-Egg Harbor Egg Harbor Township New Jersey 32
Austin Community College District Austin Texas 31
Concorde Career Institute-Tampa Tampa Florida 31
James H Faulkner State Community College Bay Minette Alabama 31
Carrington College California-Citrus Heights Citrus Heights California 30
Eastern Iowa Community College District Davenport Iowa 30
Brookline College-Tempe Tempe Arizona 29
D G Erwin Technical Center Tampa Florida 29
Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown North Carolina 29
Rasmussen College-Minnesota St. Cloud Minnesota 29
Baker College of Jackson Jackson Michigan 28
Delgado Community College New Orleans Louisiana http://WWW.DCC.EDU 28
Eastwick College-Ramsey Ramsey New Jersey 28
Frederick Community College Frederick Maryland 28
Houston Community College Houston Texas 28
Nevada Career Institute Las Vegas Nevada 28
Wichita Area Technical College Wichita Kansas 28
Bunker Hill Community College Boston Massachusetts 27
Concorde Career Institute-Dallas Dallas Texas 27
Daytona State College Daytona Beach Florida 27
The Bryman School of Arizona Phoenix Arizona 27
Anthem Institute-Las Vegas Las Vegas Nevada 26
Brown Mackie College-Akron Akron Ohio 26
Brown Mackie College-Tucson Tucson Arizona 26
Fortis College-Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana 26
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston Mississippi 26
Nashville State Community College Nashville Tennessee 26
Star Career Academy-Audubon Audubon Pennsylvania 26
Columbia Basin College Pasco Washington 26
Concorde Career Institute-Jacksonville Jacksonville Florida 26
Anthem College-Kansas City Kansas City Missouri 25
Concorde Career College-Aurora Aurora Colorado 25
Gwinnett Technical College Lawrenceville Georgia 25
Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Florida 25
Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City Utah 25
Skyline College San Bruno California 25
Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health Manchester New Hampshire 24
Tulsa Technology Center-Lemley Campus Tulsa Oklahoma 24
Virginia College-Austin Austin Texas 24
Clover Park Technical College Lakewood Washington 24
Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome Georgia 24
Miller-Motte College-Cary Cary North Carolina 24
Miller-Motte Technical College-North Charleston Charleston South Carolina 24
Brown Mackie College-Fort Wayne Fort Wayne Indiana 23
Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins Georgia 23
Nassau Community College Garden City New York 23
Northern Michigan University Marquette Michigan 23
Northland Community and Technical College Thief River Falls Minnesota 23
Ozarks Technical Community College Springfield Missouri 23
Tarrant County College District Fort Worth Texas 23
Anthem College-Brookfield Brookfield Wisconsin 22
Anthem College-Maryland Heights Maryland Heights Missouri 22
Brown Mackie College-Albuquerque Albuquerque New Mexico 22
Carrington College California-San Jose San Jose California 22
Herzing University-Kenner Kenner Louisiana 22
Rochester Community and Technical College Rochester Minnesota 22
Saint Louis Community College Saint Louis Missouri 22
St Cloud Technical and Community College Saint Cloud Minnesota 22
York Technical College Rock Hill South Carolina 22
Albany Technical College Albany Georgia 21
Amarillo College Amarillo Texas 21
Bevill State Community College Jasper Alabama 21
GateWay Community College Phoenix Arizona 21
Greenville Technical College Greenville South Carolina 21
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee Wisconsin 21
Mt Hood Community College Gresham Oregon 21
North Central Texas College Gainesville Texas 21
San Joaquin Valley College-Bakersfield Bakersfield California 21
Southeast Technical Institute Sioux Falls South Dakota 21
Star Career Academy-Syosset Syosset New York 21
West Georgia Technical College Waco Georgia 21
Anthem College-Denver Aurora Colorado 20
Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock Little Rock Arkansas 20
Brown Mackie College-Findlay Findlay Ohio 20
Central Florida Institute Palm Harbor Florida 20
Columbia Area Career Center Columbia Missouri 20
Davis Applied Technology College Kaysville Utah 20
Eli Whitney Technical High School Hamden Connecticut 20
Everest Institute-Marietta Marietta Georgia 20
Gadsden State Community College Gadsden Alabama 20
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Florida 20
Lansing Community College Lansing Michigan 20
Owens Community College Perrysburg Ohio 20
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona Minnesota 20
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Knoxville Knoxville Tennessee 20
Triton College River Grove Illinois 20
Brown Mackie College-Greenville Greenville South Carolina 19
Brown Mackie College-Tulsa Tulsa Oklahoma 19
College of DuPage Glen Ellyn Illinois 19
College of Western Idaho Nampa Idaho 19
Illinois Central College East Peoria Illinois 19
Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids Iowa 19
Lanier Technical College Oakwood Georgia 19
National College-Lexington Lexington Kentucky 19
University of Cincinnati-Clermont College Batavia Ohio 19
Bergen Community College Paramus New Jersey 18
Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing Bridgeport Connecticut 18
Collin County Community College District McKinney Texas 18
East Valley Institute of Technology Mesa Arizona 18
Lorain County Community College Elyria Ohio 18
Miller-Motte College-Wilmington Wilmington North Carolina 18
Piedmont Technical College Greenwood South Carolina 18
Tyler Junior College Tyler Texas http://WWW.TJC.EDU 18
University of Akron Main Campus Akron Ohio 18
Virginia College-Jacksonville Jacksonville Florida 18
Western Dakota Technical Institute Rapid City South Dakota 18
Colegio Mayor de Tecnologia Inc Arroyo Puerto Rico 17
Colorado Technical University-Greenwood Village Aurora Colorado 17
East Central Community College Decatur Mississippi 17
El Paso Community College El Paso Texas 17
Elgin Community College Elgin Illinois 17
Florence-Darlington Technical College Florence South Carolina http://WWW.FDTC.EDU 17
Itawamba Community College Fulton Mississippi 17
John C Calhoun State Community College Tanner Alabama 17
Lake Superior College Duluth Minnesota 17
Madison Area Technical College Madison Wisconsin 17
Manchester Community College Manchester Connecticut 17
Mohawk Valley Community College Utica New York 17
Piedmont Virginia Community College Charlottesville Virginia 17
Richmond School of Health and Technology CHESTER Virginia 17
Sanford-Brown College-Houston Houston Texas 17
Seattle Central College Seattle Washington 17
Tri-County Technical College Pendleton South Carolina 17
Career Technical College-Shreveport Shreveport Louisiana 16
Carolinas College of Health Sciences Charlotte North Carolina 16
College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls Idaho 16
Delaware County Community College Media Pennsylvania 16
Fortis College-Orange Park Orange Park Florida 16
Fortis Institute-Fort Lauderdale Lauderdale Lakes Florida 16
Iowa Western Community College Council Bluffs Iowa 16
Miller-Motte Technical College-Lynchburg Lynchburg Virginia 16
MiraCosta College Oceanside California 16
Moore Norman Technology Center Norman Oklahoma 16
Rasmussen College-North Dakota Fargo North Dakota 16
Santa Fe College Gainesville Florida 16
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Murfreesboro Murfreesboro Tennessee 16
The University of Montana Missoula Montana 16
Vincennes University Vincennes Indiana 16
Aiken Technical College Graniteville South Carolina 16
Anoka Technical College Anoka Minnesota 16
Anthem College-Atlanta Atlanta Georgia 16
Baker College of Clinton Township Clinton Township Michigan 16
Brown Mackie College-North Canton Canton Ohio 16
Anthem Institute-North Brunswick North Brunswick New Jersey 15
Brown Mackie College-Atlanta Atlanta Georgia 15
Brown Mackie College-San Antonio San Antonio Texas 15
Chattahoochee Technical College Marietta Georgia 15
Choffin Career and Technical Center Youngstown Ohio 15
College of Central Florida Ocala Florida 15
Eastern Florida State College Cocoa Florida 15
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville Florida 15
Fortis College-Columbus Westerville Ohio 15
Fortis Institute-Grand Prairie Grand Prairie Texas 15
Great Plains Technology Center Lawton Oklahoma 15
Harris School of Business-Voorhees Campus Voorhees New Jersey 15
Henry Ford Community College Dearborn Michigan 15
Horry-Georgetown Technical College Conway South Carolina 15
Miami-Jacobs Career College-Dayton Dayton Ohio 15
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport Pennsylvania 15
Platt College-Central OKC Oklahoma City Oklahoma 15
Rock Valley College Rockford Illinois 15
Sanford-Brown College-St Peters Saint Peters Missouri 15
Southern Union State Community College Wadley Alabama 15
Spencerian College-Louisville Louisville Kentucky 15
Temple College Temple Texas 15
Virginia College-Greenville Greenville South Carolina 15
Western Iowa Tech Community College Sioux City Iowa 15
AmeriTech College-Provo Provo Utah 14
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Asheville North Carolina 14
Brown Mackie College-Louisville Louisville Kentucky 14
Coastal Carolina Community College Jacksonville North Carolina 14
Everest Institute-Kendall Miami Florida 14
Fresno City College Fresno California 14
Great Lakes Institute of Technology Erie Pennsylvania 14
Iowa Lakes Community College Estherville Iowa 14
Jefferson Community and Technical College Louisville Kentucky 14
Kilgore College Kilgore Texas 14
Kirtland Community College Roscommon Michigan 14
Northwest Technical Institute Springdale Arkansas 14
O C Collins Career Center Chesapeake Ohio 14
Sanford-Brown College-Dallas Dallas Texas 14
Spartanburg Community College Spartanburg South Carolina 14
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Fort Smith Arkansas 14
Virginia College-Augusta Augusta Georgia 14
Athens Technical College Athens Georgia 13
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque New Mexico 13
College of the Albemarle Elizabeth City North Carolina 13
Fortis Institute-Baltimore Baltimore Maryland 13
Franklin Technology-MSSU Joplin Missouri http:// 13
Hillyard Technical Center Saint Joseph Missouri 13
Luzerne County Community College Nanticoke Pennsylvania 13
Maysville Community and Technical College Maysville Kentucky 13
Meridian Community College Meridian Mississippi 13
Miami-Jacobs Career College-Columbus Columbus Ohio 13
Midwestern Career College Chicago Illinois 13
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills Michigan 13
Onondaga Community College Syracuse New York 13
Rolla Technical Institute Rolla Missouri 13
Sheridan Technical Center Hollywood Florida 13
Sinclair Community College Dayton Ohio 13
Southeast Arkansas College Pine Bluff Arkansas 13
Swedish Institute a College of Health Sciences New York New York 13
Technical College of the Lowcountry Beaufort South Carolina 13
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Crossville Crossville Tennessee 13
University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne Fort Wayne Indiana 13
Washington County Career Center-Adult Technical Training Marietta Ohio 13
Aims Community College Greeley Colorado 12
Bossier Parish Community College Bossier City Louisiana 12
Central Carolina Technical College Sumter South Carolina 12
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Cincinnati Ohio 12
Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs Colorado Springs Colorado 12
Del Mar College Corpus Christi Texas 12
Delta College University Center Michigan 12
Durham Technical Community College Durham North Carolina 12
Eastern Idaho Technical College Idaho Falls Idaho 12
Eastern Virginia Medical School Norfolk Virginia 12
Everest College-Merrillville Merrillville Indiana 12
Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville North Carolina 12
Harris School of Business-Dover Campus Dover Delaware 12
Herzing University-Toledo Toledo Ohio 12
Lurleen B Wallace Community College Andalusia Alabama 12
Mid-State Technical College Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin 12
Monongalia County Technical Education Center Morgantown West Virginia 12
Montgomery College Rockville Maryland 12
Mt Diablo Adult Education Concord California 12
Neosho County Community College Chanute Kansas 12
North Arkansas College Harrison Arkansas 12
Northcentral Technical College Wausau Wisconsin 12
Our Lady of the Lake College Baton Rouge Louisiana 12
San Juan College Farmington New Mexico 12
Sandhills Community College Pinehurst North Carolina 12
Sanford-Brown College-Houston North Loop Houston Texas 12
Texas State Technical College-Harlingen Harlingen Texas 12
Virginia College-Mobile Mobile Alabama 12
Virginia College-Pensacola Pensacola Florida 12
Western Suffolk BOCES Northport New York 12
Western Technical College La Crosse Wisconsin 12
Allied Health Careers Austin Texas 11
Anthem College-Minnesota Saint Louis Park Minnesota 11
Bellingham Technical College Bellingham Washington 11
Brown Mackie College-Cincinnati Cincinnati Ohio 11
Brown Mackie College-Northern Kentucky Fort Mitchell Kentucky 11
Brown Mackie College-Phoenix Phoenix Arizona 11
Cape Coral Institute of Technology Cape Coral Florida 11
Carver Career Center Charleston West Virginia 11
College of Health Care Professions-Northwest Houston Texas 11
CUNY Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn New York 11
Fortis College-Richmond Richmond Virginia 11
Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson Kansas 11
Las Positas College Livermore California 11
Mercy College of Health Sciences Des Moines Iowa 11
Metro Technology Centers Oklahoma City Oklahoma 11
Midlands Technical College West Columbia South Carolina 11
Mount Aloysius College Cresson Pennsylvania 11
North Shore Community College Danvers Massachusetts 11
North-West College-West Covina West Covina California 11
Oklahoma City Community College Oklahoma City Oklahoma 11
Parkland College Champaign Illinois 11
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster Pennsylvania 11
Pensacola State College Pensacola Florida 11
Rockingham Community College Wentworth North Carolina 11
San Joaquin Valley College-Fresno Fresno California 11
South Central Career Center West Plains Missouri 11
Springfield Technical Community College Springfield Massachusetts 11
Stevens-Henager College-Ogden West Haven Utah 11
Trinity Valley Community College Athens Texas 11
Virginia College-Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana 11
Washburn Institute of Technology Topeka Kansas 11
Anne Arundel Community College Arnold Maryland 10
Baker College of Allen Park Allen Park Michigan 10
Camden County College Blackwood New Jersey 10
College of Lake County Grayslake Illinois http://WWW.CLCILLINOIS.EDU 10
Cuyahoga Community College District Cleveland Ohio 10
Eastern Maine Community College Bangor Maine 10
James Rumsey Technical Institute Martinsburg West Virginia 10
Manatee Technical Institute Bradenton Florida 10
Medvance Institute-West Palm Palm Springs Florida 10
Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls Minnesota 10
Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell Pennsylvania 10
Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac Wisconsin 10
Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia Mississippi 10
Ogeechee Technical College Statesboro Georgia 10
Paris Junior College Paris Texas 10
Pearl River Community College Poplarville Mississippi 10
Prairie State College Chicago Heights Illinois 10
Quincy College Quincy Massachusetts 10
South Arkansas Community College El Dorado Arkansas 10
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College Bowling Green Kentucky 10
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Cumberland Kentucky 10
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Hohenwald Hohenwald Tennessee 10
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock Arkansas 10
Vernon College Vernon Texas 10
Virginia College-Charleston North Charleston South Carolina 10
Acadiana Technical College-Lafayette Campus Lafayette Louisiana 9
Albert I Prince Technical High School Hartford Connecticut 9
American National University Salem Virginia 9
Bluegrass Community and Technical College Lexington Kentucky 9
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte North Carolina 9
Central Technology Center Drumright Oklahoma 9
Fortis College-Houston Houston Texas 9
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg Harrisburg Pennsylvania 9
Indian River State College Fort Pierce Florida 9
Lenoir Community College Kinston North Carolina 9
Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center Miami Florida 9
Okefenokee Technical College Waycross Georgia 9
Orlando Tech Orlando Florida 9
Richland Community College Decatur Illinois 9
Riverside School of Health Careers Newport News Virginia 9
Virginia College-Biloxi Biloxi Mississippi 9
Wes Watkins Technology Center Wetumka Oklahoma 9
Angelina College Lufkin Texas 8
Ashland Community and Technical College Ashland Kentucky 8
Baker College of Port Huron Port Huron Michigan 8
Brown Mackie College-Michigan City Michigan City Indiana 8
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Concord North Carolina 8
Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire Wisconsin 8
Fortis Institute-Houston Houston Texas 8
Fortis Institute-Nashville Nashville Tennessee 8
Gateway Technical College Kenosha Wisconsin 8
Great Falls College Montana State University Great Falls Montana 8
Indian Capital Technology Center-Stilwell Stilwell Oklahoma 8
John Wood Community College Quincy Illinois 8
Lackawanna College Scranton Pennsylvania 8
Laramie County Community College Cheyenne Wyoming 8
McLennan Community College Waco Texas 8
Miami-Jacobs Career College-Sharonville Sharonville Ohio 8
National College-Stow Stow Ohio 8
Northampton County Area Community College Bethlehem Pennsylvania 8
Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences Reading Pennsylvania 8
Robert Morris University Illinois Chicago Illinois 8
Sanford-Brown College-Skokie Skokie Illinois 8
Southwest Georgia Technical College Thomasville Georgia 8
Southwestern College Chula Vista California 8
Spokane Community College Spokane Washington 8
St Philip's College San Antonio Texas 8
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Jackson Jackson Tennessee 8
Traviss Career Center Lakeland Florida 8
Trocaire College Buffalo New York 8
Waubonsee Community College Sugar Grove Illinois 8
West Virginia Northern Community College Wheeling West Virginia 8
Wharton County Junior College Wharton Texas 8
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Valdosta Georgia 8
Yakima Valley Community College Yakima Washington 8
Blue Ridge Community College Flat Rock North Carolina 7
Buckeye Hills Career Center Rio Grande Ohio 7
Catawba Valley Community College Hickory North Carolina 7
Chesapeake College Wye Mills Maryland 7
Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 7
Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital Johnstown Pennsylvania 7
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny Iowa 7
Holmes Community College Goodman Mississippi 7
Howard College Big Spring Texas 7
Lakeland Community College Kirtland Ohio 7
Lamar State College-Port Arthur Port Arthur Texas 7
Lincoln University Jefferson City Missouri 7
McDowell Technical Community College Marion North Carolina 7
National College-Dayton Kettering Ohio 7
Quinsigamond Community College Worcester Massachusetts 7
Somerset Community College Somerset Kentucky 7
South College-Asheville Asheville North Carolina 7
South Plains College Levelland Texas 7
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Mount Gay West Virginia 7
Waukesha County Technical College Pewaukee Wisconsin 7
West Virginia University at Parkersburg Parkersburg West Virginia 7
Autry Technology Center Enid Oklahoma 6
Baker College of Cadillac Cadillac Michigan 6
Delaware Technical Community College-Terry Dover Delaware 6
Dixie State University Saint George Utah 6
Edgecombe Community College Tarboro North Carolina 6
El Centro College Dallas Texas 6
Herzing University-Winter Park Winter Park Florida 6
Lincoln Land Community College Springfield Illinois 6
Miller-Motte Technical College-Clarksville Clarksville Tennessee 6
Moultrie Technical College Moultrie Georgia 6
National College-Nashville Nashville Tennessee 6
Pinellas Technical Education Center-St Petersburg Saint Petersburg Florida 6
Scioto County Career Technical Center Lucasville Ohio 6
Southeastern Technical College Vidalia Georgia 6
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown Johnstown Pennsylvania 6
Virginia College-Jackson Jackson Mississippi 6
Anthem College-Orlando Orlando Florida 5
Canadian Valley Technology Center El Reno Oklahoma 5
Cape Fear Community College Wilmington North Carolina 5
EHOVE Career Center Milan Ohio 5
Great Bay Community College Portsmouth New Hampshire 5
Hazard Community and Technical College Hazard Kentucky 5
Mohave Community College Kingman Arizona 5
National College-Cincinnati Cincinnati Ohio 5
National College-Youngstown Youngstown Ohio 5
South Central Louisiana Technical College-Young Memorial Campus Morgan City Louisiana 5
South Piedmont Community College Polkton North Carolina 5
Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences Cape Girardeau Missouri 5
Southeastern College-Jacksonville Jacksonville Florida 5
Southern University at Shreveport Shreveport Louisiana 5
Wake Technical Community College Raleigh North Carolina 5
West Kentucky Community and Technical College Paducah Kentucky 5
Wilson Community College Wilson North Carolina 5
Bismarck State College Bismarck North Dakota 4
Brown Mackie College-Birmingham Birmingham Alabama 4
Colorado Technical University-Kansas City North Kansas City Missouri 4
Everest College-Thornton Thornton Colorado 4
Medical Career Institute Ocean New Jersey 4
North-West College-Riverside Riverside California 4
Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa Oklahoma 4
Rend Lake College Ina Illinois 4
Augusta Technical College Augusta Georgia 3
Baltimore City Community College Baltimore Maryland 3
Charles H McCann Technical School North Adams Massachusetts 3
John A Logan College Carterville Illinois 3
Owensboro Community and Technical College Owensboro Kentucky 3
Robeson Community College Lumberton North Carolina 3
Sanford-Brown Institute-New York New York New York 3
Shawnee Community College Ullin Illinois 3
Southern Maine Community College South Portland Maine 3
Cleveland Community College Shelby North Carolina 2
Flathead Valley Community College Kalispell Montana 2
North Central Michigan College Petoskey Michigan 2
Siena Heights University Adrian Michigan 2
Southeastern Illinois College Harrisburg Illinois 2
Suwannee-Hamilton Technical Center Live Oak Florida 2
Virginia College-Savannah Savannah Georgia 2
American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education Piscataway New Jersey 1
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Martinsburg West Virginia 1
Brown Mackie College-Boise Boise Idaho 1
City College-Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Florida 1
City College-Miami Miami Florida 1
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas Nevada 1
Drury University Springfield Missouri 1
Fortis Institute-Cookeville Cookeville Tennessee 1
Isothermal Community College Spindale North Carolina 1
Kaskaskia College Centralia Illinois 1
Northeast Community College Norfolk Nebraska 1
Tulsa Community College Tulsa Oklahoma 1
Virginia College-Macon Macon Georgia 1
2013 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in January, 2015)

Hybrid & online programs

Because surgical technology is such a hands-on profession, there are very few online and hybrid options from which to choose. The extensive practicum requirements (typically between 300-1200 hours of hands-on practice) make it virtually impossible to complete a program entirely online. This has led to a very limited number of hybrid schools (both distance learning and online learning), and even fewer fully online surgical tech schools, including the following:

  • Baptist Health System School of Health Professionals (AAS) – At one time, the Baptist Health System School of Health Professionals was the only fully online surgical technology CAAHEP-accredited university program. The 100 percent online option is an accelerated program, and students must already be employed as a surgical technologist in order to qualify to complete the program. Fortunately, this college also offers a residential and online blended option, making it one of the most flexible colleges for surgical technology training.

  • Great Falls College – Montana State University (AS) – Located in Great Falls, Montana, Great Falls College – Montana State University offers a CAAHEP-accredited surgical technologist program in a hybrid format. Although classroom work can be completed online, students are required to rotate through clinical sites in Montana and therefore must be local to the area.
School City State Website Total grads (2013)
Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting Nashville Tennessee 261
Virginia College-Birmingham Birmingham Alabama 41
Baptist Health System School of Health Professions San Antonio Texas 34
Community Care College Tulsa Oklahoma 29
Everest University-Brandon Tampa Florida 26
Sentara College of Health Sciences Chesapeake Virginia 22
Gulf Coast State College Panama City Florida 17
Southeast Community College Area Lincoln Nebraska 17
Virginia College-Columbia Columbia South Carolina 16
Virginia College-Montgomery Montgomery Alabama 13
Seward County Community College and Area Technical School Liberal Kansas 8
Everest College-Salt Lake City West Valley City Utah 7
Presentation College Aberdeen South Dakota 7
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health Omaha Nebraska 6
2013 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in January, 2015)

Core & Elective Courses

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

  • Medical terminology – This is a vital course for many health care 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, in addition to the most common illnesses and physical impairments.
  • Surgical procedures – The purpose of this course is to teach students the theory and practices that should be used with various types of surgeries. Typical surgeries covered include gynecological, orthopedic, genitourinary, and many others. The course emphasizes procedures, technology, and tools that should be used in each independent surgery.
  • Pharmacology for surgical technology – In this course, students are introduced to different types of pharmaceuticals that may be used during the course of a surgical procedure. In addition, students learn specific drug interactions, systems and regulations for administration, and calculation of dosages. Drugs that might be used before and after a procedure are also introduced.
  • Clinical practicum or externship – This is a vital course for all surgical technologists. In this course, students complete rotations in a working hospital or medical facility where surgeries are regularly performed. Under the tutelage of a senior surgical technologist, they are able to use the knowledge they have learned in hands-on practice to assist during surgical procedures.


In order to practice as a surgical technologist, students need to complete a surgical technology program at a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). CAAHEP, in tandem with the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA), evaluates surgical technologist programs to ensure that the coursework and health education practices are in compliance with national standards. The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) is also qualified to accredit appropriate surgical tech schools.

During the ARC/STSA accreditation process, professional surgical technologists and healthcare educators look carefully at the program objectives and outcomes to determine whether a program is eligible for CAAHEP accreditation. Each clinical cohort is also evaluated to make sure that the technology and healthcare procedures used are at the current healthcare standard. Finally, the ARC/STSA does thorough investigations on all of the professors to ensure their professional abilities and background.

Additionally, colleges should be accredited by one of the regional or national accrediting bodies approved by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Typical regional accrediting bodies include the Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS-WASC), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC), and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Career Outlook

The aging baby boomer generation will lead to an increase in need for many health care operations and surgical technologists are no exception. General health care jobs are expected to increase by 14 percent by the year 2026 with surgical technology positions expected to increase by a similar 12 percent. The expected growth rate for surgical technology jobs is nearly double the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS (2017) reports that this increased need for surgical technologists is driven by two main factors. 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 is that they are a cost-effective investment for hospitals. Surgical technologists are much less expensive to hire than registered nurses, but often can assist in the same types of procedures.

According to the BLS (2017), a majority of surgical technologists work in hospitals and surgical centers. Still, the most highly-paid workers in this field work for medical and diagnostic laboratories. The state with the most surgical technologists is California, and the average wage in this state is over $61,000 – more than $10,000 over than the national average of $48,060. Other top-paying states include Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, DC, and Alaska.

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, June 2018

Licensing & Certification

Surgical technologists who desire to be board certified must complete CAAHEP accredited program, with review by the ARC/STSA . 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, students seeking board certification must have completed the appropriate coursework and clinical hours. Depending on the degree program, a student may complete between 300 and 1200 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 field of study.