How Long Does It Take to Become a Surgical Tech?

It takes about nine months to complete a surgical tech program. However, some programs may take up to two years to complete.

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Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians or scrub techs, are an essential part of the surgical team. They prepare operating rooms for surgery, set up equipment and make sure that it functions properly, and sterilize instruments. They also may assist surgeons during operations.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Surgical Tech Program?

Most surgical tech programs can be completed in about nine months, although some may take up to two years to finish. The length of time it takes to complete a program depends on whether you choose to attend full- or part-time, as well as the type of program you enroll in.

What Are the Prerequisites for a Surgical Tech Program?

To become a surgical tech, you must complete an accredited surgical technology program. These programs typically take about 9 to 12 months to complete and lead to a certificate or an associate’s degree.

Before you can enroll in a surgical technology program, you will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You may also need to complete some prerequisite courses, such as anatomy and physiology, before starting the program.

Once you’ve completed the necessary courses, you’ll be eligible to take the certification exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Once you pass this exams, you will be a certified surgical technologist (CST).

What Are the Certification and Licensure Requirements for a Surgical Tech?

To work as a surgical technologist, also called a scrub tech, most states require certification by either passing an accredited surgical technology program or passing the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Some states have laws regulating surgical technologists, and a few states require surgical technologists to be licensed. Although certification and licensure requirements for surgical technologists vary by state, most employers prefer to hire certified and licensed surgical techs.

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What Are the Continuing Education Requirements for a Surgical Tech?

After you become a surgical technologist, you must complete continuing education (CE) to maintain your certification. The CE requirements vary by certification organization, but most require that you complete a certain number of credits every few years. You can usually fulfill the CE requirements by taking courses or attending seminars related to surgical technology.


The average length of time it takes to become a surgical tech is 26 months. This includes time spent in both a formal education program and on-the-job training. However, some people may be able to complete their training in as little as 18 months.

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