According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree is required for work as an operating room technician or surgical technologist. In some states, certification is required; in others, it can improve job prospects.
10 Schools with Surgical Technologist / Operating Room Technician Programs
These 10 schools offer training for aspiring surgical technologists and operating room technicians:
|College||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Eastern Florida State College||Cocoa, FL||4-year, Public|| Associate
| $2,496 in-state
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public|| Associate
| $1,632 in-district
|Baton Rouge Community College||Baton Rouge, LA||2-year, Public||Associate|| $3,872 in-state
|Robert Morris University Illinois||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Associate||$25,200|
|Wayne County Community College District||Detroit, MI||2-year, Public||Associate|| $2,813 in-district
|Great Bay Community College||Portsmouth, NH||2-year, Public||Associate|| $7,104 in-state
|Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College||Asheville, NC||2-year, Public||Associate|| $2,419 in-state
|Central Piedmont Community College||Charlotte, NC||2-year, Public||Associate|| $2,664 in-state
|Pennsylvania College of Technology||Williamsport, PA||4-year, Public||Associate|| $15,810 in-state
|Onondaga College||Syracuse, NY||2-year, Public||Certificate|| $5,014 in-state
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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School Selection Criteria
Here are some things to consider when seeking a program in this field:
- Students should choose a program that has been accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
- It may be valuable to find out what the pass rate is for graduates on the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), which confers certification.
- Prospective students may want to look into the school's lab and clinical training facilities to make sure that students can get experience with the latest surgical technologies.
- Students who hope to advance to higher degree programs in the future should check that a school offers easily transferable courses.
Associate Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs for surgical technologists introduce students to essential biomedical principles and surgical procedures. Topics of study include pharmacology, physiology, anatomy and medical terminology. Coursework also includes clinical experiences and general education requirements. At some schools, credits from these programs, which are designed to be completed in two years, can transfer into bachelor's degree programs.
Certificate and Diploma Programs
Some community colleges and vocational schools offer non-degree programs for aspiring surgical technologists and operating room technicians. Students in these programs take the same introductory courses as those in associate's degree programs, but they do not have to fulfill general education requirements. As a result, certificate programs typically take less than two years to complete.
Aspiring surgical technologists and operating room technicians can find undergraduate programs at colleges and universities around the country. Prospective students should look for accredited schools with high certification exam pass rates and excellent hands-on training facilities.