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Surgical Technologist Schools and Programs

Surgical Technologists (also called scrubs or operating room technicians) help before, during, and after surgical procedures, working under direct supervision of Registered Nurses or physicians. Your duties may include prepping the patient, adjusting the patient and handing instruments to doctors or nurses, handling or disposing specimens, and operating equipment used in medical procedures. With additional career training or by completing additional degrees, you can advance to the role of surgical first assistant.

Surgical Technologist Career Overview

Certified Surgical Technologists receive formal training at colleges, universities, or medical trade schools. Programs combine technical and medical courses with hands-on experience in medical facilities or training hospitals. By graduating from a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, students can sit for the national certification examination. You can maintain your certifications by continuing your education or re-taking the examination every five years.

Surgical Technologist's Compensation and Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for surgical technicians in 2008 was $39,400, with employers paying $55,620 at the top of the scale. By comparison, the rate is lower than the $62,450 median annual wage for Registered Nurses for the same year. The BLS predicts a 25 percent growth in jobs for surgical technologists between 2008 and 2018. Hospitals will offer the greatest number of new jobs; however, a faster growth rate in jobs is predicted for outpatient clinics and physicians' offices.

Surgical Technologist Education Options

Schools and colleges currently offer programs running from nine to twenty-four months in surgical technology, leading to a certificate, diploma, or an associate's degree.