How To Become A Surgical Tech

how to become a surgical tech: Are you interested in a rewarding career in healthcare that doesn’t require years of medical school? Becoming a surgical technologist, also known as a surgical tech, might be the perfect path for you. Surgical technologists play a crucial role in the operating room, assisting surgeons and ensuring surgeries run smoothly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to become a surgical tech.

What is a Surgical Tech?

Before diving into the steps to become a surgical tech, let’s first understand the role and responsibilities of a surgical technologist. A surgical tech is a vital member of the surgical team, responsible for preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, and assisting surgeons during surgeries. They ensure that all instruments are ready for use and that the operating room remains sterile throughout the procedure.

Steps to Become a Surgical Tech

Education: The first step to becoming a surgical tech is to complete a formal education program. Most surgical tech programs require a high school diploma or GED for admission. These programs are typically offered community colleges, technical schools, and universities and can range from 9 months to 2 years in length. During the program, students learn about anatomy, medical terminology, and surgical procedures.

Certification: While certification is not always required, most employers prefer to hire certified surgical technologists. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, which is the most widely recognized certification in the field. To become certified, you must graduate from an accredited surgical tech program and pass the CST exam.

Clinical Experience: After completing their education and obtaining certification, aspiring surgical techs must gain hands-on clinical experience. Many programs include a clinical rotation as part of their curriculum, allowing students to gain experience in a real-world healthcare setting. This experience is crucial for developing the skills necessary to succeed as a surgical tech.

Continuing Education: Once certified, surgical techs must maintain their certification through continuing education. This ensures that they stay up-to-date with the latest advances in surgical technology and maintain their skills.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for surgical technologists is promising, how to become a surgical tech with a projected growth rate of 9% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage for surgical technologists was $49,710 in May 2020, with the highest 10% earning more than $71,400.

Advancement Opportunities

As a surgical tech gains experience and expertise, there are opportunities for advancement in the field. Some surgical techs choose to specialize in a specific area of surgery, such as cardiovascular or orthopedic surgery, which can lead to higher-paying positions. Others may pursue additional education and training to become surgical assistants or even advance to roles such as surgical first assistants, which involve more responsibilities in the operating room.

Skills and Qualities

To succeed as a surgical tech, certain skills and qualities are essential. These include attention to detail, as surgical techs must ensure that all instruments and equipment are sterile and ready for use. They must also be able to work well under pressure, as surgeries can be fast-paced and intense. Additionally, strong communication skills are crucial, as surgical techs must effectively communicate with surgeons, nurses, and other members of the surgical team.

Work Environment

Surgical techs primarily work in hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, and physician offices. They typically work full time and may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays, depending on the facility’s operating hours. The work environment can be challenging, as surgical techs are often on their feet for long periods and may be exposed to infectious diseases. However, many find the work rewarding, knowing that they are playing a vital role in patient care.

Job Satisfaction

Surgical techs report high levels of job satisfaction how to become a surgical tech due to the meaningful nature of their work. They have the opportunity to make a difference in patients’ lives assisting in life-saving surgeries. Additionally, the demand for surgical techs is expected to grow, providing job security and stability. Overall, a career as a surgical tech offers a rewarding and fulfilling career path for those interested in healthcare and surgery.


In conclusion, becoming a surgical tech is a fulfilling career choice for those passionate about healthcare and surgery. With the right education, certification, and clinical experience, you can embark on a rewarding career as a surgical technologist. The job outlook is promising, and advancement opportunities abound for those willing to further their education and expertise. If you’re interested in a fast-paced and meaningful career in healthcare, consider becoming a surgical tech.

Becoming a surgical tech is a rewarding career choice for those interested in healthcare and surgery. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can start your journey towards becoming a certified surgical technologist. If you have a passion for helping others and enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, a career as a surgical tech may be the perfect fit for you.



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