Surgical Technologist Associate Degree Program

Career opportunities for the surgical technologist are projected to increase as the number of surgical procedures for a growing and aging population escalates.* Surgical technologists can also be known as surgical tech, surgical technician, operating room (OR) technician, operating room tech or OR tech. Other career paths include central supply technician, also known as sterile processing technician.

Learn the skills to assist with surgical operations under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, and other surgical personnel. You can train to become an important part of the surgical team by assisting in various procedures.

A surgical tech job description may include preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative duties such as preparing the operating room and patients, organizing and maintaining the proper tolls and equipment, cleaning the operating room after a procedure, and replacing supplies for the next surgery.

Surgical Technologist Training Courses

The Surgical Technologist program provides training courses in the areas of:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Principles and Practices of Surgical Technology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Diseases of the Human Body
  • Microbiology and Infection Control
  • Surgical Pharmacology
  • Surgical Technology
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Clinical Rotation

Surgical Technologist Degree Courses

The Associate of Science (AS) degree in Surgical Technologist program shares the same core diploma program courses:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Diseases of the Human Body
  • Microbiology and Infection Control
  • Principles and Practices of Surgical Technology
  • Surgical Pharmacology
  • Surgical Technology
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Clinical Rotations
  • Surgical Technologist Certification Exam Review

Plus, associate degree candidates will take the additional courses to satisfy degree requirements:

  • Strategies for Health Care Professional Success
  • Computer Applications
  • Composition
  • Environmental Science
  • College Algebra
  • General Psychology
  • Oral Communication

Surgical Technologist Career Opportunities

There are many surgical tech job opportunities in a variety of health care settings, including hospital operating rooms, clinics, outpatient surgery centers, and physician or dentist offices. General medical and surgical hospitals are the largest source of employment for surgical tech.

Upon successful completion of the entire course of study, students may be eligible to take the national surgical tech certification exam by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Graduates who pass this exam earn the distinction of being able to work as a certified surgical technologist (CST). To sit for the certification exam, the student must be a graduate of either a Commission of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) or the Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) approved program. Program version may vary by campus.

Surgical Technologist Degree

As a graduate, you’ll receive an associate degree.

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Surgical Technologists, on the Internet at (visited April 10, 2013). Publish Date: Thursday, March 29, 2012. Your own hard work, professional attitude and demeanor, experience, and local market factors may impact personal employment opportunities.


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Important Consumer Information and Disclosures

  • For information on graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete this program and more, please view the Thornton Program Disclosures.
  • The 2015 annual Accreditation Review Council on education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) report reflects an 86 percent pass rate as an Outcome Based Assessment for Everest College -Thornton's Surgical Technology Program, for students attending from 08/01/2014-07/31/2015, and taking the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) administered Certified Surgical Technologist Exam.

* For information regarding assumptions made in establishing these completion rates, click here.

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