Anesthesia Tech: Required Education & Career Profile

Anesthesia technicians require some formal education. Learn about the degree, job duties, and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

View popular schools

A certificate or associate's degree is typically required to be an anesthesia technician. Anesthesia technicians usually work in hospital operating rooms. High demand for anesthesia technicians is expected through 2024.

Essential Information

Most anesthesia technicians work under the supervision of licensed anesthesiologists. While technicians usually work in operating rooms, many may also work in intensive care units, emergency ambulatory vehicles and emergency rooms. Most anesthesia technicians obtain their education through undergraduate certificate and associate's degree programs.

Required Education Postsecondary certificate or degree
Other Requirements Certification available but not required
Mean Annual Wage (2015) $44,330 for surgical technologists*
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 15% for surgical technologists*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Anesthesiologist Assistant
  • Chiropractic Technician
  • Clinical Laboratory Assistant
  • EMT Ambulance
  • Health Aide
  • Home Health Aide
  • Medical or Clinical Assistant
  • Medication Aide
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant
  • Pathology Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician
  • Veterinary Technician

Anesthesia Technician Required Education

Degree and Certificate Programs

Since most anesthesia technicians work in operating rooms, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies these workers as surgical technologists and shows that entry-level workers in this field often require certificates or associate's degrees related to their field of specialty (www.bls.gov). To become an anesthesia technician, students can enroll in either anesthesia technology or anesthesia technician degree or certificate programs.

Coursework often includes anatomy and physiology, anesthesia pharmacology, medical terminology and anesthesia instrumentation. Students usually start learning by practicing on mannequins, including learning how to set-up intubation tubes and monitor anesthesia equipment. During required clinical rotations, students work under the supervision of a team of surgical professionals where they can practice their skills on real patients in need.

Certification Programs

Although certification is not required, it may help job seekers find employment in competitive markets. Among other nationally recognized certifying boards, the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) offers the anesthesia technician certification program.

Basic eligibility requirements to sit for the ASATT anesthesia technician certification exam include a high school diploma and the ability to use computers since the exam is completely online. Other requirements include either two years of work experience in the anesthesia technician field or completion of an approved associate degree program related to anesthesia technology.

The exam covers questions on anesthesia methodologies, equipment monitoring, operating room duties, infectious disease control and airway management. Applicants who pass the exam must renew their certification every two years by completing a minimum of 20 ASATT approved continued education credits.

Anesthesia Technician Career Profile

Job Duties

Anesthesia technicians assist licensed anesthesiologists during surgical procedures. Prior to surgery, technicians sterilize and check equipment to make sure everything is running correctly. They also set-up anesthesia tools and medications ordered for the specific surgery, and may be involved with patient transport and positioning, depending on the needs of the surgical staff.

During surgery, anesthesia technicians monitor anesthesia equipment and verify that patients are receiving the appropriate amount of anesthesia. They hand tools to the anesthesiologist and assist the anesthesiologist with tasks such as keeping the patient's airway clear. After surgery, technicians may follow-up with patients to check on post-anesthesia recovery.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS does not make exact predictions for anesthesia technician employment growth rates. However, under the larger category of surgical technologists, the BLS predicted a 15% job growth for these workers in the years 2014-2024. The BLS reported in May 2015 that surgical technologists earned a mean annual salary of $44,330.

Anesthesia technicians assist with surgical operations. They perform tasks that are critical to ensure the success of the surgery, including sterilizing equipment, ensuring equipment is working properly, assisting the anesthesiologist and monitoring the equipment during surgery to make sure that the patient is receiving the right amount of anesthesia. The job growth in this field is strong and candidates with a certificate or associate's degree should be able to compete successfully for positions in this field.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Associate in Medical Assisting
    • Diploma in Pharmacy Technician

    What is your education level?

    • MS in Nursing
    • Master of Healthcare Administration
    • BS in Health Science
    • Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN
    • BS in Healthcare Administration
    • BS in Health and Wellness

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MSHS in Clinical Microbiology

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Healthcare Administration (MBA)
    • Healthcare Administration (MHA)
    • Anesthesia Science (MMSc)

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Pre-Physical Therapy
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Pre-Physician Assistant
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
    • Associate of Science in Health Science
    • Associate of Science in Health Science - Pre-Nursing
    • Associate of Science in Health Science - Pre-Pharmacy
    • Certificate in Medical Assisting

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Medical Assistant-Certificate
    • Physical Therapy Technician-Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your age?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?