To work as a surgical technologist, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- complete a surgical technology program.
Education after high school
Many surgical technologists earn an associate degree by completing a two-year training program. Professional-technical schools, two-year colleges, universities, and hospitals all offer surgical technology programs. As a student, you learn anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and medical terminology. You also learn about aseptic techniques, the care and safety of patients during surgery, and infection control and prevention.
Certification is important in this occupation. Certification requires a combination of training, experience, and good scores on exams.
While completing a training program, you get hands-on training by working under the supervision of an experienced technologist. You may receive training for up to six months.
Some branches of the military train people to be medical care technicians. This occupation includes surgical technologists. Training lasts seven to 52 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.