How to Become a Surgical Tech in Alabama

How to Become a Surgical Tech in Alabama

The surgery room has several personnel ready to act at any time, especially during an emergency.

This type of personnel includes:

  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesia specialist
  • Surgical nurse
  • Surgical technician

Their teamwork takes place from before the operation starts and ends after the surgery itself ends.

There are a few other names for these professionals, such as operation room (or OR) techs and scrub techs.

Surgical Technologist Job Description and Duties

A surgical technologist has to complete several tasks during their shift at work.

These include:

  • Preparing patients for surgery
  • Transporting patients to and from the OR
  • Preparing the OR with surgical equipment and supplies
  • Monitoring the instrument count throughout surgery
  • Handing the surgeon medical instruments
  • Closing wounds and bandaging patients

Of course, this is not a complete list of all the duties of such a medical professional.

Surgical Technologist Training and Education

Surgical techs are not under the jurisdiction of any institution, except their employees.

This doesn’t mean it’s that easy to get such a job, so let’s learn more about the process!

Your journey to becoming a surgical tech starts by graduating from high school.

Obtaining a GED is also acceptable.

Your next step is to enroll in a training program designed for this occupation.

Remember that you need both education and clinical training for this job.

Several institutions offer such training across Alabama.

Their enrollment requirements are slightly different, but many have common classes:

  • Microbiology,
  • Pathophysiology,
  • Pharmacology,
  • Anatomy,
  • Physiology,
  • Medical terminology.
  • CPR and/or BLS and/or AED

Bevill State Community College

The program offered here covers the following topics, among others:

  • Sterile processing,
  • Infection control
  • Sterilization,
  • Instrumentation identification,
  • Safety

The classes are organized in the college itself.

Those who want to study here must meet some prerequisites:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass the Accuplacer placement exam
  • Meet the other requirements
  • Complete their military service
    • This is not mandatory but it will be taken into consideration
  • Having previous medical-related experience, if possible
  • Have health insurance
  • Completing at least 120 clinical cases
  • Complete at least 30 cases in General Surgery, with 20 of them in the first scrub role

One of the following must also be met: 

  • Minimum composite score of 16 on the ACT
  • Minimum Writing score of 4 on Accuplacer or ENG 101
  • Minimum Math – Elementary Algebra score of 200 on Accuplacer or MTH 116

The course has a total of 29 credits.

Southern Union State Community College

At this community college students can earn one of the following credentials:

  • An Occupational Certificate in Surgical Operating Room Technology
  • An Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Technology

Students must complete the general education classes before applying.

Applications are needed because there are limited spots, and everyone will be accepted until there are no more free spots.

The certificate program takes about 3 semesters to complete and has between 36-49 credit hours.

The Associate’s Degree is completed in around 5 semesters and gives between 64-73 credit hours.

Some of the admission requirements are:

  • Passing English 101, Math 100, and the college reading requirement
  • A minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Submitting all high school and post-secondary transcripts before admission
  • Attending a Health Sciences Information Session

Calhoun Community College

At this college, The training program has a duration of around 2 years or 4 semesters.

Students will attend classroom, lab, and clinical instruction.

If you want to earn an AAS at this college, you’ll have to complete an additional 18 general education credit hours.

To be accepted into the program, you must:

  • Apply online
  • Attend a program information session
  • Complete a Manual Dexterity Exam
  • Meet all the college’s admission requirements
School Name Address
Bevill State Community College 1411 Indiana Ave, Jasper, AL 35501
Calhoun Community College 6250 Hwy. 31 North Tanner, AL, 35671
Southern Union State Community College 301 Lake Condy Rd, Opelika, AL 36801,

Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist in Alabama

Even though certification is not required legally, employers seek certified personnel for this position.

Here are some of the certifying bodies for this occupation:

  • National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA)
    • Provides the Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) qualification
  • National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)
    • Provides the Certified Surgical Technologist/Certified First Assistant credential
  • National Center for Competency Training (NCCT)
    • Provides the Tech in Surgery Certification

Out of all these exams, the one offered by the NBSTSA is the most reputable one with national recognition.

Testing centers can be found in a few cities across Alabama.

The test has 200 questions, and to pass, a minimum of 119 must be answered correctly.

You can’t take the test without paying the associated fee:

  • $190 for Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) members
  • $290 for non-AST members

Your certification has to be renewed every 4 years, and there are 2 ways of doing this:

  • Retaking the certification exam
    • It requires re-paying the exam fee
  • Completing continuing education classes
    • This requires 60 education credits during the renewal period

Certification renewal also requires a renewal fee to be paid.

Surgical Technologist Salary

While this may not be the most glamorous job out there, one should know the potential income should they choose this job.

In Alabama, an OR tech can earn about $47,100 per year.

This next table will show you the cities where these employees earn more compared to the rest of the state.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Woodville $48,900
Trenton $48,900
New Hope $48,900
Baileyton $48,700
Adamsville $48,400
Pleasant Grove $48,400
Westover $48,300
Sumiton $48,100
Tanner $47,700
Georgiana $45,600

Regional Salary in Alabama

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL60$36,650$17.62$49,070$27,490
Birmingham-Hoover, AL660$45,940$22.09$58,190$32,140
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL70$42,010$20.2$48,990$30,010
Dothan, AL110$38,440$18.48$47,750$26,790
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL60$43,170$20.75$58,160$29,470
Huntsville, AL370$48,940$23.53$66,840$29,660
Mobile, AL250$42,290$20.33$49,780$31,140
Montgomery, AL220$37,980$18.26$49,370$24,800
Tuscaloosa, AL90$41,360$19.89$50,320$30,250
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Surgical Technologists, OCC Code 29-2055, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Sills Do I Need To Work As A Surgical Tech in Alabama?

Here are the most important skills this profession requires:

  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Detail-oriented
  • Take direction
  • Understanding medical terms
  • Understanding medical methodology
  • Good communication skills

Where Do Surgical Technologists from Alabama Find Work?

These technologists usually work in a hospital’s surgery wing.

Furthermore, these other places also hire such specialists:

  • Children’s hospitals
  • Cosmetic surgery centers
  • Specialty clinics for surgical procedures

Can a Surgical Tech From Alabama Choose a Specialty?


Just like surgeons can choose to operate on a specific body part, so can these techs.

Here are the most commonly chosen surgery niches:

  • General surgery,
  • Ob/gyn,
  • Urology,
  • Plastics,
  • Neurology

USA Surgical Tech Programs by State

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