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How to Become an Anesthesia Technician

Learn how to become an anesthesia technician. Research the education requirements, training, certification information, and experience you will need to start this career in health care. View article »

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Video Transcript

Should I Become an Anesthesia Technician?

Anesthesia technicians help to ensure the current functioning of anesthesia equipment before, during, and after surgical procedures. They contribute to safe and efficient anesthesia care by assessing dosages of medications given to patients and supporting the anesthesia provider during the insertion of medical devices. Many work hours might be spent standing; technicians may need to lift or turn patients. In January 2016, PayScale.com reported a median annual salary of $36,631 for anesthesia technicians.

Career Requirements

Education Level High school diploma is the minimum education level requirement; anesthesia technician degree programs available
Certifications Certification is voluntary; must pass the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) national certification exam and have basic life support certification
Experience At least one year of experience in a related setting; internships and apprenticeships available
Key Skills Problem solving, communication, and basic computer skills; be detail-oriented; able to operate, maintain, and repair biomedical equipment and anesthetic devices, such as ventilators and catheters

Sources: American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT), job postings from employers (August, 2012), Westchester County Government, Michigan Jobs and Career Portal

Steps to Become an Anesthesia Technician

Let's learn more about the steps you'll need to take to become an anesthesia technican.

Step 1: Meet the Education Requirements

The minimum education requirement for entry-level anesthesia technicians is a high school diploma. Courses in math, science, and technology may be beneficial in preparing for this career. Some employers prefer to hire technicians who have completed degree programs specifically designed for anesthesia technicians that cover related topics like medical terminology, pharmacology, and anesthesia equipment functions.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Opportunities to gain experience and entry into the field include mentorships, job shadowing, and internships. Students can use these opportunities to learn more about a technician's duties and gain hands-on experience in a health care setting.

Step 3: Earn Certification for Career Advancement

Some employers prefer to hire technicians who have passed the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) national certification exam. Currently, this is the only nationally recognized certification for anesthesia technicians. Individuals who pass this examination are referred to as Certified Anesthesia Technicians. In order to take the exam, candidates must have a high school diploma, at least two years of experience, and have graduated from an ASATT-approved 2-year program or an approved program that offers a clinical component. The certification exam covers topics such as infection control techniques, operating room tasks, and types of anesthesia.

Success Tip:

Maintain certification. Certification is valid for two years. In order to remain certified, anesthesia technicians must complete a minimum amount of continuing education credits.

To become an anesthesia technician, you'll need at least a high school diploma and some experience in the field.

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