How Much Does Becoming a Surgical Technician Cost?

Costs main cover image
$ Public College Programs: $5,000-$25,000+ $ $ Private College Programs: $8,000-$60,000+

The surgical technician, also called an operating room technician, a prepares the operating room equipment and instruments; helps the patient before, during and after surgery; and also passes instruments to the surgeon during procedures.

The required training is either a certificate program which lasts for 9-12 months or an associate degree program which lasts for 12-24 months.

Typical Costs

A surgical technology program at a public college can cost $5,000-$25,000 including tuition, fees, books and other supplies, excluding living expenses which depend on the location and circumstances.

The Seattle Central Community College in Washington, for example, has tuition, fees, and supplies for a nine-month certificate program costs of $5,343 for state residents and $10,410 for out-of-state students.

The living expenses are calculated to be $7,000-$9,000 or more, for total costs of $12,300-$14,300 for state residents and $17,500-$19,500 for out-of-state students.

For example, at Southeast Community College in Nebraska, students receive an associate of science degree after two quarters of general academics plus five quarters in the surgical technology program.

The cost of fees and tuition, as well as supplies, is approx. $6,585 for state residents and $7,865 for out-of-state students; while the on-campus room-and-board is estimated at $8,470-$11,459 for seven quarters, which makes total costs of $15,000-$18,000, or $16,000-$19,500 for out-of-state students.

At a private college or technical school, the fees, tuition, books, and supplies are roughly $8,000-$50,000, based on the location, student-teacher ratio, length, amount of hands-on clinical practice, and the fact that the school is not-for-profit or for-profit; excluding the living expenses based on location and circumstances.

The private Christian college in Arkansas – Baptist Health Schools Little Rock, for example, offers a 12-month surgical technology program; where fees, tuition, books, and supplies cost about $8,400; accommodation and board are estimated at $9,400, for total costs of $17,800.

Berkeley College in New York and New Jersey provide a two-year associate in applied science degree in surgical technology; where the fees and tuition, books and supplies typically cost $48,110; accommodation and board are estimated at $7,900-$27,400, for total costs of $56,010-$75,510.

What Is Included

  • A surgical technology program usually covers classroom lectures, lab work and hands-on clinical time in a local hospital or medical center.
  • The surgical technicians work in a hospital or an outpatient surgery center and spend their time in a stressful environment.
  • The Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, provides a video illustration of the typical duties of a medical technician.

Additional Costs

A great deal of the employers requires a surgical technician to be certified by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting by going on a practice examination for the sum of $40.

The actual certification exam is $190 for members of the Association of Surgical Technologists and $290 for non-members.

A lot of surgical technology programs schedule students to take the exam just before graduation.

This certification is valid for four years and its renewal costs $399 for AST members and $499 for non-members.


  • The participants should fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid before they receive scholarships or financial aid.
  • The federal student aid grant information is available online.
  • The Association of Surgical Technologists offers annual scholarships.

Shopping For Becoming A Surgical Technician

  • Search for a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
  • Always ask about the number, length, and location of the program’s clinical practicum sites; also the percentage of students that complete the program; and further the percentage of graduates who find work in their field.
  • Many colleges have a specific period when they accept applications for surgical technology programs and only have one or two start dates per year.
  • Check with each school for its specific requirements – Mercy College of Health Sciences in Iowa, Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, and Kapi’olani Community College in Hawaii describe their varying admissions requirements.
  • Looking for a complete guide on the subject? check out ours: How to Become a Surgical Technologist: The Definitive Guide

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