How Long Does It Take to Become a Surgical Tech?


    Becoming a surgical technologist can lead to an exciting career as a crucial member of the surgical team. In this article, we will explore the steps to becoming a surgical tech, the required time, and potential career opportunities.

    Completing a Surgical Technology Program

    To embark on a surgical technologist journey, the first step is enrolling in a surgical technology program at a university, college, or technical school. This program typically takes 12 to 24 months to earn a diploma or certificate. During the program, students learn essential skills like sterilization techniques, surgical equipment handling, and assisting surgeons. It is vital to choose a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) for career credibility.

    Gaining Work Experience

    Many institutions offer practical training as part of the surgical technology program. In addition to theoretical learning, students have the option to engage in clinical externships or internships to acquire practical experience. These opportunities allow them to participate in various tasks such as preparing operating rooms, sterilizing equipment, and providing assistance during surgical procedures. This hands-on experience enhances their understanding and proficiency in the field.. Specializing in various surgical fields through these experiences can enhance career prospects.

    Obtaining Certification

    Though not mandatory in all states, getting certified as a surgical technologist demonstrates competence and dedication. Employers often look for certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, and basic life support (BLS). Organizations like the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) and the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offer certification exams.

    Exploring Career Advancement

    Once established as a surgical technologist, professionals can pursue career advancement by specializing in specific surgical fields like neuro, orthopedic, or cardiovascular surgery. Additionally, they can take on more responsibilities in the operating room, becoming a first assistant or central supply supervisor.

    Benefits of Joining Professional Organizations

    Joining professional organizations, such as the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons or the Canadian Association of General Surgeons, offers networking opportunities and access to the latest advancements in surgical technology.

    Duties and Skills of a Surgical Technologist

    Surgical technologists play a vital role in preparing for surgeries, ensuring sterile environments, passing instruments to surgeons, and assisting during procedures. Key skills include teamwork, effective communication, and attention to detail.

    Where Do Surgical Technologists Work?

    Surgical technologists can find employment in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, ambulatory care centers, clinics, dental offices, and surgical centers.

    How Much Does Surgical Tech Makes

    As of 2023, the salary for Surgical Technologists in the United States varies based on factors such as experience, location, and employer. Surgical Technologists play a vital role in the operating room, assisting surgeons and ensuring the smooth execution of surgical procedures.

    The average annual salary for Surgical Technologists in the US is approximately $50,000 to $60,000 per year. However, it’s important to note that this figure may vary based on the geographical region, level of experience, and the type of healthcare facility.


    In conclusion, becoming a Surgical Technologist typically takes around 24 months, which is one of the fastest courses to complete in the healthcare field. Surgical Technologists, also known as surgical techs, play a crucial role in the operating room, preparing the surgical environment, assisting the healthcare team during procedures, and ensuring patient safety and care.

    Latest articles

    Related articles