Surgical Tech Certification: The Road to a Prosperous Career

HealthcareMay 18, 2014

Surgical tech certification is a great way for you to get into the operating room without necessarily becoming a doctor. The surgical tech position is highly professional and highly sought after that inexplicably remains hidden from many students. Here are some of the benefits and opportunities that certification can earn you.


Despite their being many surgical tech schools that offer surgery tech programs, the average student may underestimate the potential of the position. Classes required for you to become a surgical tech do not greatly differ from other entry-level medical positions; however, there may be a waiting list or the program may be competitive. Remember that competitive programs only take a certain number of students each year, and volunteer hours, grades and other dimensions are considered when selecting students for the program.

Making the Grade

The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) administers the surgical tech certifications (CST). In order to take the test, you must have, at a minimum, graduated from a military program in surgical technology, a surgical first assisting program or a surgical technology program. Once you've graduated from the correct program, you can contact the NBSTSA and set up to take the test. There is a processing fee and an exam fee that must be paid.

Surgical Tech Duties

When you first enter into the surgical tech field, you can expect to immediately enter the operating room. However, most of your work will be pre- and post-op maintenance and procedures. As a surgical tech, you will sterilize all equipment in the operating room (including machines), order all the supplies and help with cleanup after an operation.

Once you possess the required experience, you will learn to help with patients and, eventually, help with operational procedures. The level of help allowed within the operating room is mandated by state laws and hospital policies. In some situations the surgical tech will be promoted to first assistant, which enables the tech to bandage and possibly suture patients.

A Great Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of surgical technologists is projected to grow by 30 percent over the next 10 years, which is much faster than average. As a surgical tech, you would enjoy a good pay grade with a median annual wage of $41,790.

A surgical tech certification is a great opportunity if you are looking to get into the medical field. Surgical technology is one of the most diversified fields available in the medical industry. With good pay and plenty of future opportunities available, the surgical tech is a great fit for anyone.

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