How to Become a Surgical Tech in Arizona

How to Become a Surgical Tech in Arizona

The surgery facility in Arizona is staffed with a dedicated team of professionals ready to respond promptly, particularly during emergencies.

These essential personnel include:

  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesia specialists
  • Surgical nurses
  • Surgical technicians

Their collaboration begins well before the surgical procedure commences and extends beyond the surgery’s conclusion.

Additionally, these professionals may also be referred to as operating room (OR) technicians or scrub technicians.

Surgical Technologist Job Description and Responsibilities

Surgical technologists are responsible for a wide range of tasks during their shifts.

Here are some of them:

  • Preparing patients for surgery
  • Assisting in the transportation of patients to and from the operating room
  • Setting up the operating room with necessary surgical equipment and supplies
  • Vigilantly monitoring the count of surgical instruments throughout the procedure
  • Providing surgeons with the required medical instruments
  • Participating in wound closure and patient bandaging

It’s important to note that this list does not cover all the responsibilities of these medical professionals.

Surgical Technologist Training and Education

Surgical technicians in Arizona are not regulated by any specific institution but rather fall under the jurisdiction of their employers.

However, this doesn’t imply that obtaining this role is simple.

Your journey to become a surgical technician typically begins with the completion of high school or obtaining a GED.

The next step is enrolling in a training program tailored to this occupation, which encompasses both educational and clinical components.

Several institutions across Arizona offer such training programs.

While their admission criteria may vary slightly, many share common prerequisites, including coursework in:

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

East Valley Institute of Technology

The school offers an Adult Career Training Program that includes a Surgical Technologist Certificate Program.

Admission to this program requires students to:

  • Pass a background check
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED,
  • Current immunization records
  • A valid Arizona driver’s license,
  • A current BLS and CPR certification card.

The duration of this program is 12 months, during which students must complete a minimum of 1,080 classroom hours and 120 surgical cases.

The initial semester is dedicated to classroom instruction, while the second semester combines classwork with an externship.

Notably, 80 of the surgical cases must be performed in the first scrub role, including:

  • 20 in general surgery,
  • 60 distributed among at least five different surgical specialties.

Gateway Community College

The college provides both a Certificate Program and an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in surgical technology.

The AAS degree entails completing between 60-84.5 credit hours, with students required to maintain a “C” average in all mandatory courses.

Admission to the program necessitates the completion of an application, current CPR certification, and successful fingerprint clearance and background check.

Additionally, there are prerequisite general education and health courses to be fulfilled before commencing the program-specific courses.

The Certificate Program encompasses 49-73.5 credit hours, where students must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in these classes.

Admission to the certificate program requires completing an application and passing a background check.

As with the AAS degree, there are prerequisites in general education and health courses that must be fulfilled before undertaking the program-specific courses.

Mohave Community College

Situated in Lake Havasu City, it offers an AAS degree in surgical technology.

The program comprises a total of 74 credit hours and can typically be completed in around two years.

Before enrolling in the 43 required program credit hours, students must fulfill 22 prerequisite English and science credit hours, along with nine general education credit hours.

A graduation requirement entails maintaining an average of 80 or higher in the program courses.

Pima Community College

This institution presents students with the opportunity to complete a Career Training Certificate in surgical technology.

This program can be pursued as a standalone option or as part of a broader educational journey, either by:

  • Pursuing additional certificate programs
  • Working towards an associate degree in a health-related field.

Selection for the program takes place in September, with training commencing in January.

The program encompasses 1,326 clock hours, including 526 hours dedicated to a surgical externship.

School Name Address
East Valley Institute of Technology 1601 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201
Gateway Community College  108 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034
Mohave Community College 480 S Central St, Colorado City, AZ 86021
Pima Community College 4905 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85709-1010

Certification for Surgical Technologists in Arizona

While certification is not legally mandated, many employers in Arizona prefer to hire certified surgical technologists.

Several certifying bodies offer certifications for this profession, including:

  • National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA)
    • Grants 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)
    • Offers the Tech in Surgery Certification.

Among these, the NBSTSA certification is the most reputable, enjoying national recognition.

Testing centers are located in various cities across Arizona.

The certification exam comprises 200 questions, with a passing threshold of a minimum of 119 correct answers.

Taking the exam requires payment of an associated fee, with different rates for members and non-members of the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).

Certification renewal typically occurs every four years and can be achieved by either one:

  • Retaking the certification exam (which involves an exam fee)
  • Accumulating 60 education credits through continuing education during the renewal period.

Renewal also requires the payment of a renewal fee.

Surgical Technologist Salary in Arizona

While this may not be the most glamorous profession, it’s important to be aware of the potential income in this field.

In Arizona, an OR technician can earn an average annual salary of about $50,300.

The following table highlights cities within Arizona where these professionals earn higher salaries compared to the state average:

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Somerton $55,100
Gadsden $55,100
San Luis $55,100
Dolan Springs $51,400
Willow Beach $51,400
Higley $50,700
Chandler $50,700
Avondale $50,600
Ehrenberg $50,200
Arlington $50,200

Regional Salary in Arizona

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ50$52,870$25.42$62,670$38,720
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ1,750$59,970$28.83$77,290$40,990
Tucson, AZ240$56,740$27.28$72,000$38,340
* 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 Arizona?

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 Arizona 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 Arizona Choose a Speciality?


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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