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Surgical Technology

Associate’s Degree

Surgical Technology

Fast Facts

Tuition and fees:
Program length:
88 weeks
Average salary:
$44,330 per year*

Train for a Career as a Surgical Technologist

Earn your associate’s degree in Surgical Technology in as little as two years.

Imagine working in an exciting, fast-paced environment where you could make a real difference. Surgical technologists are valuable members of an operating room team. They work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists and registered nurses to deliver specialized care before, during and after surgery. If you are interested in helping to save or improve lives, pursuing a career as a surgical tech could be right for you.

At Virginia College, you could train to become a surgical technologist in as little as two years. Our program offers career-focused training that can help prepare you for operating room technician and surgical technologist jobs. You will have the opportunity to work in labs that simulate real-world surgical environments and gain practical clinical experience in operating rooms, all before you graduate.

Jeremy wanted job stability, and a career in the medical field offered him that and more. He feels like his job is important.

Hands-On Surgical Technologist Training

Virginia College instructors are equipped with decades of experience in the field. We combine classroom instruction with surgical labs to provide a comprehensive surgical tech education. Hands-on training takes place in interactive classroom activities and lab simulations that are identical to the real-world operating room set-ups you’ll find working as a surgical technologist.

We strive to help you gain relevant expertise and knowledge so that you can provide quality surgical attention. You will have the opportunity to apply surgical theory in practical application exercises. These active learning experiences can help you develop the skills to perform sterile and aseptic surgical techniques. You can also learn how to respond to surgical complications using Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

General education courses help complement the skills-based training you receive. Our goal is to help prepare you for the technical aspects of surgical tech jobs as well as communicating professionally in operating rooms.

Possible Learning Outcomes of Surgical Technologist Courses

Our surgical tech courses are designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge surgical technicians use on the job. When you graduate with an associate’s degree in Surgical Technology, you should be able to:

  • Exhibit practical proficiency in the surgical arena
  • Describe the aspects of a successful surgical technologist
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet OSHA standards
  • Possess effective communication and decision-making skills that apply to surgery
  • Develop familiarity with commonly used surgical instruments
  • Establish and maintain high standards of aseptic technique
  • Adapt to changing operating room conditions
  • Provide clinical and administrative skills in a surgical setting
  • Gain understanding of medications commonly used in surgery
  • Scrub, gown, glove and achieve operating room sanitation

Learn to be a Surgical Tech in Real Operating Rooms

While you are in surgical tech school, you will complete an 11-week externship. An externship is a real job where you will work alongside surgical team members. It is a time for you to apply what you learn in class to real-world scenarios and grow through actual clinical experience.

You will assist in an operating room environment as a first scrub role for a minimum of 120 cases. This valuable surgical technician experience will help prepare you for the challenges you may face in the field.

Jeremy, Graduate

My instructors encouraged me and really cared about my success… My work schedule is great. At the end of the day it feels good to know that I helped someone.

Jeremy, Graduate

How to Become a Certified Surgical Technologist

Becoming a certified surgical technologist (CST) can demonstrate your competency in aseptic and surgical technique to employers. Our program is designed to prepare students for surgical tech certification.

Qualified graduates may be eligible to take the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) licensure exam.† The cost of the exam, plus your books, lab supplies, scrubs and immunizations, are all included in your tuition.

For more information about program accreditation, certifications and specific class requirements at the campus nearest you, please refer to the Academic Catalog.

What Does a Surgical Tech Do?

Surgical techs go by a number of titles including surgical technologist, surgical technician, operating room technician and scrub tech. These roles all encompass the same responsibilities. Surgical techs support medical operating teams during life-saving procedures but do not actually perform surgery. They typically work in the first scrub role, which entails setting up the sterile field and passing surgeons instruments during surgery.

As a surgical technologist, your duties may include:

  • Preparing the operating room and instruments
  • Preparing the patient for surgery
  • Passing instruments, sponges and sutures to the surgeon
  • Maintaining the integrity of the sterile field in the operating room

Helping You Find Surgical Tech Jobs

Virginia College’s Career Development Department can help you prepare for success. We review resumes, assist with interview techniques and help you begin your job search. As a graduate of our Surgical Technology degree program, you may seek entry-level surgical tech positions in a number of clinical settings that could include the following:

  • Hospital operating rooms
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Ambulatory surgical centers
  • Medical equipment sales companies
  • Central service supply
  • Cardiac catheterization centers

How Much Do Surgical Techs Make?

The surgical tech pay scale will depend on education level, experience and location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, surgical technologists make an average salary of $44,330 per year or $21.31 per hour.*

Employment for surgical technologists is projected to grow at a faster rate than the average for all occupations.* Pursuing a career as a surgical tech has the potential to transform your future in a positive way.

Start today.

The start of a new career could be closer than you think. Fill out our Request Information form or give us a call to learn more about surgical assisting and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Available at the following locations:

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016–2017 Edition, Surgical Technologists, (accessed August 2016). Expected growth rate through the year 2024. National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth or any particular salary.

The following accreditation applies to Surgical Technology programs in Austin, TX; Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Columbia, SC; Columbus, GA; Greenville, SC; Jackson, MS; Knoxville, TN; Mobile, AL; Pensacola, FL

The Surgical Technology associate’s degree program is accredited upon recommendation by the Accreditation Review Committee/Surgical Technology, Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Graduates are eligible to take the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) examination administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), the successful completion of which is required for employment as a Surgical Technologist in the states of Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

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Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
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Clearwater, FL 33763

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