The surgical tech degree most commonly held by surgical technicians is the associate’s degree in surgical technology, a two-year program offered by most surgical tech schools. Associate’s degrees in surgical tech cover the core subjects of surgical technology in addition to some general education classes. These programs can prepare a surgical technician for entry-level employment and certification, with some potential to advance.
Surgical tech bachelor’s degrees also exist, but are less common.
Surgical Tech Associate’s Degree Curriculum
The specific courses that make up an associate’s degree program in surgical technology vary from school to school, but mostly cover the same core training concepts, such as medical background knowledge, surgical techniques and operating room protocol, including safety and sterilization.
A few typical courses students might encounter in surgical tech associate’s degree programs are:
- Medical Ethics
- Medical Terminology
- Sterilization Techniques
- Infection Control
For example, the surgical technology AAS degree program at Rasmussen College includes core courses in medical terminology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and surgical fundamentals and procedures, as well as general education courses in English composition, algebra and critical thinking.
Some programs require students to complete an externship with a local hospital after the bulk of core courses are satisfied. Externships, where a student performs the job duties of a surgical tech in a live, supervised clinical setting, can provide both professional experience and valuable instruction, and look good on a surgical technician’s resume.
Choosing the Right Degree Program
There are a few factors potential students can use to evaluate surgical tech degrees. The most significant ones are accreditation, location, cost, and additional offerings such as career services.
Accreditation – Surgical tech schools are accredited by two primary authorities, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). The presence of accreditation from one of these or another reputable organization ensures the degree program provides training that is in line with current industry standards.
Location – Many schools will not accept students who live outside of commuting distance to campus, and attending classes too far away adds another challenge to the already difficult task of going to school. For students who do not live near a surgical tech school campus, online programs can be an additional option.
Cost – Tuition and fees can vary broadly between programs. Some schools offer financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, or assistance with student loans, so comparing finances between degree programs is a wise step to take.
Career Services – Many schools offer career assistance such as recruitment events, a job placement office, or resume and interview assistance.
Benefits of Surgical Tech Degrees
An associate’s degree in surgical technology offers the best chance for career stability, advancement and flexibility for surgical technicians. Compared with other credentials, associate’s degrees present a complete package including both core courses and the general education courses that best compliment them.
Though associate’s degree programs last longer than diploma and certificate programs, employers prefer them over other types of credential, particularly if the degree is accredited and the tech is certified.
Surgical Tech Degree Programs Enrolling Now
Welcome to Carrington College – The Starting Point for Health Care Careers.
With roots that date back more than 45 years, Carrington College has helped to shape the careers of tens of thousands of students as they prepare to enter health care professions. Part of DeVry Education Group, Carrington College operates 18 campuses across 8 Western states through a broad range of programs that lead to certificates of achievement or associate degrees in medical, dental, administrative and veterinary fields.
Carrington College’s career-focused curriculum is designed to prepare students for entry level positions in their fields of study. Along with academic preparation and skills training, Carrington College students gain core institutional student learning outcomes in critical thinking, information management, and technical literacy. But it doesn’t end there. Personal and professional development, communication skills, respect, and responsibility are also emphasized throughout their education at Carrington College.
Students, faculty, and administrative staff at Carrington College are encouraged to pursue and achieve their highest potential. We strive for excellence and quality in everything we do and instill in our students the same aspirations. In doing so, we’re confident that our graduates will be prepared to begin working in the health care field and ready to meet the needs of patients.
New England Institute of Technology
New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, co-educational technical college offering over 30 Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree programs. As a leader in Technical Career Education in southern New England, New England Tech is committed to providing hands-on technological programs that prepare graduates for positions of leadership in the technical, industrial, business, and allied health communities. Most of our associate degree programs can be completed in as little as 18 months, and bachelor’s degree programs in as little as three years. Every year over 2,000 students choose New England Tech for the hands-on laboratory and classroom training that provides the necessary skills to begin their technical careers.
New England Institute of Technology is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE).
- Hands-on Training
- Day or Evening Classes
- Financial Aid available for those who qualify / Ask about our Military and Veterans benefits
- Career Planning Assistance
- Housing Assistance
Financial Aid (for those who qualify):
- Non-repayable grants
- Work-study programs
- Student Loans
- Our own tuition payment plan
- Military and Veterans Benefits
New England Institute of Technology
One New England Tech Boulevard
Take your life in an exciting new direction with an education from Virginia College! Graduates of Virginia College can be confident in the skills and training that they’ve received because programs are designed for their success. Virginia College focuses on the needs of the job market of each industry, creating programs that meet the needs of students and future employees alike.
Virginia College provides the convenience of flexible class schedules with the benefits of small class sizes. Financial aid is available for those who qualify, helping open doors for everyone who wants to improve his or her education and opportunities!
Virginia College provides a number of choices in order to offer you the education that best fits your needs and goals, from diploma and associate degree programs to bachelor degree programs at some locations. Virginia College’s school of business management even offers graduate degrees at select campuses. Programs are also offered in a number of different fields, providing choices as varied as graphic design degrees or paralegal studies. Whether you’re interested in criminal justice schools or a cosmetology college, Virginia College has a choice that’s right for you!
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Southern Technical College
Whether you need to upgrade your skills or change careers, we have the right program to fit your needs. Let us show you how to get the skills you need in a short amount of time so that you can get into your career today! At STC we offer hands-on clinical training, career placement assistance and morning or evening schedules.
Spencerian College has been educating students since 1892 and is part of the Sullivan University system which is Kentucky’s largest private college system with over 6,000 students. Spencerian offers career-focused curriculums in business, medical and technical fields. The mission of Spencerian College is to provide men and women with quality training for careers in the business, technical and health care professions.
For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
At Keiser University, you will find a warm, friendly community with faculty and staff truly committed to your success. Our small class sizes, individualized attention, and one-class-at-a-time schedules create a positive learning environment where you can excel. Whether your goal is to prepare for a new career or to advance with your current employer, Keiser University is designed around your needs.
Keiser University Advantage
- Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs
- Day, Evening, and Online Classes
- Financial Aid to Those Who Qualify
- Job Placement Assistance Available
- Military-friendly, scholarships for qualified active duty personnel, Veterans, and dependants. Yellow Ribbon program participant, approved for Veterans training
Programs and delivery format vary by campus. Courses are subject to change.
Keiser University’s programs and curriculum remain in-line with technology and workforce trends, helping you develop the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in today’s job market. Our career-focused programs make it possible for you to graduate in less time than you may think.
Keiser University is a private, not-for-profit university.
Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.