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Surgical Technology


Surgical technology programs teach people to work in operating rooms under the supervision of surgeons.

Surgical technology programs include topics such as:

Students may be able to specialize in a particular type of surgery.


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer certificates and associate degree programs in surgical technology. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

Proprietary schools, colleges, and universities all offer this program. If you want to study at a proprietary school, you can prepare for this program of study by completing your high school diploma or getting a GED. If you want to study at a college or university, you can prepare for this program by taking the following courses: four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Some programs require minimum scores on aptitude tests. Some schools administer their own aptitude tests. Other schools look at scores on standardized tests such as the American College Test (ACT), the Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE), the ASSET, or the COMPASS.

In addition, some programs require minimum grades in high school biology, chemistry, and algebra courses.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

You may need to compete some of the above courses, such as medical terminology and anatomy, before starting the program.

As part of an associate degree program, you may also need to take courses in:

Most programs offer a clinical practicum or externship as part of their curriculum. These are valuable hands-on opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills that you've learned to actual surgical settings. You may even have a chance to do a specialty surgery practicum such as heart surgery.

Things to Know

Because surgeries can be long and complicated, you need to be strong, coordinated, and have a long attention span. You also need to work well under stress.

After completing this program you are eligible to sit for a national certification exam. Certification is not required.


King-Snohomish Area

Renton Technical College

Seattle Central College

Spokane Area

Horizon Medical Institute

Spokane Community College

Tacoma Area

Clover Park Technical College

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College

West Side Area

Bellingham Technical College

Yakima Area

Yakima Valley College