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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Becoming a Surgical Technician

Becoming a Surgical Technician Cost


How Much Does Becoming a Surgical Technician Cost?

 
average costPublic College Programs: $5,000-$25,000+high costPrivate College Programs: $8,000-$60,000+

Also called an operating room technician, a surgical technician prepares the operating room equipment and instruments; assists the patient before, during and after surgery; and passes instruments to the surgeon during procedures. Required training is either a certificate program (typically 9-12 months long) or an associate degree program (12-24 months).

Typical costs:

  • At a public college, a surgical technology program can cost $5,000-$25,000 or more for tuition, fees, books and other supplies. Living expenses are an additional cost and will depend on the location and circumstances.
  • For example, at Seattle Central Community College[1] in Washington, tuition, fees and supplies for a nine-month certificate program cost about $5,343 for state residents and $10,410 for out-of-state students; living expenses are typically $7,000-$9,000 or more, for total costs of $12,300-$14,300 for state residents and $17,500-$19,500 for out-of-state students.
  • At Southeast Community College[2] in Nebraska students receive an associate of science degree after two quarters of general academics plus five quarters (about 15 months) in the surgical technology program; tuition, fees and supplies cost about $6,585 for state residents and $7,865 for out-of-state students; on campus room-and-board is estimated at $8,470-$11,459 for seven quarters, for total costs of $15,000-$18,000, or $16,000-$19,500 for out-of-state students.
  • At a private college or technical school, tuition, books, fees and supplies can cost $8,000-$50,000 or more, depending on length, student-teacher ratio, amount of hands-on clinical practice, whether the school is not-for-profit or for-profit, and location; living expenses will be an additional cost, and depend on location and circumstances.
  • For example, Baptist Health Schools Little Rock[3] , a private Christian college in Arkansas, offers a 12-month surgical technology program; tuition, fees, books and supplies cost about $8,400; room and board is estimated at $9,400, for total costs of $17,800.
  • Berkeley College[4] in New York and New Jersey offers a two-year associate in applied science degree in surgical technology; tuition, fees, books and supplies typically cost $48,110; room and board is estimated at $7,900-$27,400, for total costs of $56,010-$75,510.
What should be included:
  • A surgical technology program typically includes classroom lectures, lab work and hands-on clinical time in a local hospital or medical center.
  • Surgical technicians typically work in a hospital or an outpatient surgery center. They spend most of their time standing, and the environment can be stressful and fast-paced. Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC posts a video illustration[5] of the typical duties of a medical technician.
Additional costs:
  • Most employers require a surgical technician to be certified by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting[6] . Taking a practice examination costs $40. Taking the actual certification exam, $190 for members of the Association of Surgical Technologists and $290 for non-members. Many surgical technology programs schedule students to take the exam just before graduation (with the exam fees paid by the student).
  • Certification expires after four years; renewal testing costs $399 for AST members and $499 for non-members.
Discounts:
  • Filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid[7] is required before receiving most scholarships or financial aid. Federal student aid grant information is available online.
  • The Association of Surgical Technologists offers annul scholarships[8] .
Shopping for becoming a surgical technician:
  • Look for a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs[9] . Ask about the number, length and location of program's clinical practicum sites; the percentage of students that complete the program; and the percentage of graduates who find work in their field.
  • Many colleges have a specific period for accepting applications for surgical technology programs, and only have one or two start dates per year.
  • Check with each school for its specific requirements. For example, Anne Arundel Community College[10] in Maryland, Mercy College of Health Sciences[11] in Iowa and Kapi'olani Community College[12] in Hawaii describe their varying admissions requirements.
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External Resources:
  1.  seattlecentral.edu/programs/surgicaltech/
  2.  www.southeast.edu/SurgicalTech/
  3.  www.bhslr.edu/programs-of-study/surgical-technology/
  4.  berkeleycollege.edu/academics_bc/school_of_health_studies/degree_program_5714.htm#...
  5.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=kClAxIXFQrY
  6.  nbstsa.org/examinations-cst.html
  7.  www.fafsa.ed.gov/
  8.  www.ast.org/educators/scholarships.aspx
  9.  www.caahep.org/Find-An-Accredited-Program/
  10.  www.aacc.edu/surgtech/admissions.cfm
  11.  www.mchs.edu/surgical-technology.cfm
  12.  kcc.hawaii.edu/object/io_1280285939812.html
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