The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Surgical Technician

Are you interested in pursuing a career in healthcare that involves critical thinking, precision, and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients? If so, becoming a surgical technician may be the perfect fit for you. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about how to become a successful surgical technician.

What is a Surgical Technician?

A surgical technician, also known as a scrub tech or surgical assistant, is a vital member of the operating room team. They work alongside surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to ensure that surgeries are conducted safely and efficiently. Surgical technicians prepare operating rooms, sterilize equipment, assist surgeons during procedures, and monitor patient vital signs.

Education and Training

In order to become a surgical technician, you will need to complete a formal training program. Most programs can be completed in as little as 9-12 months and result in a certificate or diploma. Alternatively, you can pursue an associate’s degree in surgical technology, which typically takes 2 years to complete.

During your training, you will learn about surgical procedures, anatomy, medical terminology, and how to use surgical instruments. You will also complete clinical rotations in a hospital or surgical center to gain hands-on experience in the operating room.


While certification is not required to work as a surgical technician in all states, many employers prefer to hire certified surgical technicians. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, which demonstrates your knowledge and skills in surgical technology.

In order to become certified, you will need to pass the CST exam, which covers topics such as patient care, surgical procedures, and sterile technique. You will also need to complete continuing education credits to maintain your certification.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for surgical technicians is excellent, with a projected growth rate of 12% from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is due to the increasing demand for surgical procedures as the population ages.

On average, surgical technicians earn a median salary of $48,300 per year. However, salaries can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and employer.


In conclusion, becoming a surgical technician is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice for those who are passionate about healthcare and helping others. By following the steps outlined in this ultimate guide, you can embark on a successful career as a surgical technician and make a meaningful impact on the lives of patients.

If you have any questions or would like to share your own experiences on becoming a surgical technician, feel free to leave a comment below.

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