Surgical techs perform vital work assisting in operating theaters. It’s a technical qualification and a skilled profession but is easier to get into than you might imagine.

So what kind of person makes an excellent surgical tech, and is surgical technologist program the right choice for you?

Learn all about receiving your surgical technologist degree in our complete guide.

What Do You Learn During a Surgical Technologist Degree?

The first step is choosing a surgical technologist school.

Programs are available all over the country, and the type of learning may vary – if there are multiple providers in your area, it’s worth researching each school thoroughly.

However, every surgical technologist degree will include the following components.

Practical Skills

Practical responsibilities tend to include:

  • Prepping a theater before an operation
  • Preparing a patient for operation
  • Knowing how to identify, handle and sterilize equipment
  • Completing post-surgical responsibilities such as cleaning
  • Organizing and preparing vital paperwork

Your surgical technologist program will cover all this in detail. Knowing how to identify, hold, and pass a surgical instrument might sound basic, but it’s an incredibly important role and takes far more experience and practice than you’d imagine.

Your practical training will provide you with the experience you need to flourish in this role and help you remain calm and organized in a high-pressure environment.

Theoretical Knowledge

You’ll study anatomy and human biology as part of your surgical technologist degree. You’ll learn about bacteria in hospitals and how to prevent infections. While you won’t be responsible for performing operations yourself, you’ll need a good grounding in the basics of how surgical procedures works.

You’ll undertake classroom-based learning to shore up your theoretical knowledge. This isn’t just critical to being able to perform your job; it also gives you a new appreciation of how valuable this profession is.

Professional Work Experience

In addition to practical skills and theory, your surgical technologist program will put you in simulated and supervised lab settings to help you prepare for your first professional role. In these simulations, you’ll be assisting a surgical team with every part of the operation, from setting up the theater to preparing the patient.

This is an essential part of surgical technologist school, as this role requires you to remain calm under pressure. The more simulations and advanced training you go through, the better you’ll perform in the real world.

Why Become a Surgical Technologist?

So that’s what you learn at surgical technologist school – but how do you know if it’s for you? Take a look at these benefits of undertaking a surgical technologist program to help you make your choice.

1. Graduate Within Just a Couple of Years

An associate’s degree in this field typically takes around two years. Postsecondary certificate programs sometimes take even less time. Many colleges also offer part-time study, as this is a popular career to transition into from another field.
If you have a passion for healthcare, a surgical technologist degree is a great choice because you can move quickly into an essential healthcare profession. You won’t have to go through many years of school – this makes it an especially appealing role for people with busy lives and families.

2. Good Income

According to the BLS, the median pay for professionals in this field is $49,710 per year. reports a similar median and suggests that this can rise well above $50,000 per year, especially for more experienced professionals.
This is a far higher income than most positions that require a similar level of study, especially within vital fields like healthcare. While nobody’s suggesting that being a surgical tech is an easy ride – it’s a high-stakes job that requires total commitment – it’s also a financially rewarding career and surprisingly easy to get into.

3. Positive Outlook for Job Prospects

The BLS reports that this profession’s job growth outlook is 9% from 2020 through 2030. There will always be a need for surgical techs, so you can be confident that you’re making a commitment that will reward you for life when you transition to this field.

4. Positions Are Available Everywhere

One of the main advantages of completing a surgical technologist program is that you can study almost anywhere.

Another huge benefit is that you can find professional roles everywhere – wherever there are medical facilities, there’s demand for surgical technicians. This means that if you choose to move to a different state, you can be confident that you’ll find good work when you arrive. This makes it easier to move closer to your family or make decisions with your partner to move if they find an opportunity elsewhere.

The same is true if you want to move abroad. You’ll likely have to complete a local surgical technologist program if you decide to move to another country, but the demand for these jobs is global. It’s a very accessible choice if you see your future overseas.

5. Rewarding Career Path

Perhaps the most important benefit of a surgical technologist degree is that you’re working in an essential field that changes peoples’ lives for the better. Assisting staff at hospitals and medical centers are often overlooked in glossy soaps or dramas that focus on the doctors, but everyone who works in healthcare understands the importance of surgical techs.

Making a huge, positive difference in peoples’ lives isn’t true of every profession. When you complete a surgical technologist program and start your first professional role, you can guarantee that you’ll be making a difference every day.

Final Thoughts: Is Surgical Technologist Program Right For You?

So why should you enroll in a surgical technologist program? It is affordable and doesn’t take too long, meanwhile, you can look forward to a steady job with a good salary. You can move anywhere and find rewarding work, and every day of your working life will be rewarding.

Overall, it’s a fantastic career choice.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a surgical technologist the 21-month Associate of Applied Science Degree program at Great Lakes Institute of Technology is a perfect way to get into the field. You’ll develop all the skills listed here as well as receive lifetime job placement assistance. Contact an admissions representative by calling 814-864-6666 or click to learn more about our surgical technologist program.