Surgical Technology Certificate: Program Summary

Individuals in surgical technology certificate programs learn through classroom study, lab simulations and clinical training. Learn more about the program, and get employment outlook and salary information for surgical technologists.

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Essential Information

While enrolled in surgical technology certificate programs, students learn how to properly prepare an operating room and patients for surgery, as well as how to set up operating room instruments and equipment. These programs may also instruct students on certain surgical environments, such as reconstructive, thoracic, gynecology, vascular and maxillofacial, and typically take 1-2 years to complete. Certification, which is available to program graduates, could make aspiring professionals more appealing to potential employers.

As entry prerequisites, some programs may require that applicants have a portfolio and experience as either a surgical technologist or licensed practical nurse, while other programs only require that applicants have either a high school diploma or its equivalent. Certain schools could also require applicants to submit college transcripts and take placement exams.

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Certificate in Surgical Technology

As students are being prepared to become certified surgical technologists, they will be instructed on how to put together surgical instruments. Problem-solving, communication, and adaptability are other skills that can be improved and taught in programs. Other coursework may include:

  • Anatomy
  • Microbiology
  • Physics
  • Robotics
  • Physiology
  • Immunology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of surgical technologists is expected to increase by 15% from 2014-2024 ( This growth in employment may be due to medical advances in the field of surgery, which have resulted in surgical options in a wider variety of instances. In 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for surgical technologists was $44,330.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Graduates of these certificate programs have the option of pursuing educational options in a health-related field, either through related certificate or associate's degree programs. According to the BLS, surgical technologists may advance in their field by obtaining specialization in a particular kind of surgery.

Voluntary certification may be obtained through multiple organizations, including the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting and the National Center for Competency Testing. To be qualified for certification, a surgical technologist must typically have completed an accredited postsecondary program in surgical technology and may be required to have a minimum amount of work experience.

Individuals who complete a surgical technology certificate program's coursework in areas including anatomy, microbiology, physics and robotics are prepared for a career in this field and can also qualify for voluntary professional certification. The employment outlook for surgical technologists is expected to be strong over the coming years, and certification may increase employment chances.

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