The Cost of Becoming a Surgical Technician

When deciding which career is the right one for you, you would like to know how much money you will earn once you invest your time, effort, and money into your education.

However, it is also very significant to know how much money will be necessary so that you becoming a Surgical Technician.

How Much Does Becoming a Surgical Technician Cost?

Surgical technicians are also called operating room technicians, and their main duty is to prepare the operating room equipment and instruments as well as assist the patient before, during, and after surgery.

Furthermore, they are supposed to pass instruments to the surgeon during procedures.

These are not at all naïve obligations, so they need to have appropriate education prior to beginning doing this job.

The required training is either a certificate program which is typically 9-12 months long or an associate degree program which takes 12-24 months to be finished.

Typical Costs

If you decide to enroll in a program offered by a public college, a surgical technology program can cost you between $5,000 and $25,000 or more and this is the price that includes tuition, fees, books, and other supplies.

Living expenses are an additional cost and will depend on the location and the place you choose to live in.

For example, we have gathered information about Seattle Central Community College in Washington, which offers a surgical technology program that costs about $5,343 for state residents and $10,410 for out-of-state students.

The cost involves tuition, fees, and supplies for a nine-month certificate program.

Plus, you will need to provide for living expenses that are typically from $7,000 to $9,000 or more, which will result in total costs of $12,300-$14,300 for state residents and $17,500-$19,500 for out-of-state students.

On the other hand, at Southeast Community College in Nebraska students can receive an associate of science degree after two quarters of general academics plus five quarters (about 15 months) in the surgical technology program.

The price they will need to pay for tuition, fees, and supplies is about $6,585 for state residents and $7,865 for out-of-state students.

Plus, in case you take on-campus room-and-board, it is estimated that you will need to pay $8,470-$11,459 for seven quarters, meaning that the total costs will be $15,000-$18,000, or $16,000-$19,500 for out-of-state students.

Those who decide to get an education at a private college or technical school will need to pay for tuition, books, fees, and supplies between $8,000-$50,000 or more.

This will highly depend on length, student-teacher ratio, amount of hands-on clinical practice, whether the school is not-for-profit or for-profit, and the location of the educational institution.

Living expenses will be an additional cost and depend on location and circumstances.

What Should Be Included?

A surgical technology program consists of classroom lectures, lab work, and hands-on clinical time in a local hospital or medical center so that future surgical technicians who will be working in a hospital or an outpatient surgery center can be prepared for duties that await them.

They have to be ready to spend most of their time standing and to accept that the environment in which they will work can be stressful and fast-paced.

Additional Costs

When it comes to additional costs after getting a degree, you should know that most employers would require a surgical technician to be certified by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

Taking a practice examination costs $40 while taking the actual certification exam would cost $190 for members of the Association of Surgical Technologists and $290 for non-members.

Certification expires after four years; renewal testing costs $399 for AST members and $499 for non-members.


Our suggestion is to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid which is required if you are in need of scholarships or financial aid.

Federal student aid grant information is available online and the Association of Surgical Technologists offers annual scholarships as well.

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