How to Become a Surgical Tech in Wisconsin

How to Become a Surgical Tech in Wisconsin

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

This type of personnel includes:

  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesia specialists
  • Surgical nurses
  • Surgical technicians

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 in Wisconsin 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 in Wisconsin are not under the jurisdiction of any institution, except their employers.

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 Wisconsin.

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.

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

Gateway Technical College

It offers a surgical technologist program leading to an associate degree, taking two years to complete with a total of 65 credits.

The coursework comprises various clinical courses, allowing students to gain practical experience under supervision.

Waukesha County Technical College

This school also provides a two-year associate degree program in surgical technology.

The curriculum consists of 68 credits, incorporating clinical work experience with a minimum of 120 separate cases, covering general surgery and various specialties.

Notably, all graduates from the program in 2016 and 2017 successfully passed the NBSTSA certification exam.

Milwaukee Career College 

This institution facilitates the attainment of an associate degree in surgical technology in less than two years.

The program in Milwaukee integrates classroom learning with hands-on clinical experience in local hospitals.

School Name Address
Milwaukee Career College 3077 N Mayfair Rd, Unit 300, Milwaukee, WI 53222
Bevill State Community College online
Waukesha County Technical College 800 Main Street Pewaukee, WI 53072-4601
Calhoun Community College online
Gateway Technical College 3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53144

Becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist in Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin.

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

In Wisconsin, an OR tech can earn about $50,700 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
Star Prairie $54,300
Prescott $54,300
Spring Valley $52,700
Alma $51,100
Saint Francis $50,900
Rubicon $50,500
Allenton $50,500
Verona $50,400
Wilmot $50,300
Reeseville $50,000

Regional Salary in Wisconsin

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Appleton, WI100$56,590$27.21$65,490$43,830
Eau Claire, WI130$59,480$28.6$73,540$47,120
Green Bay, WI240$57,390$27.59$68,650$48,820
Janesville-Beloit, WI60$59,720$28.71$73,490$48,080
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN130$63,510$30.54$88,330$45,490
Madison, WI330$63,100$30.34$76,870$51,260
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI850$62,340$29.97$80,340$50,360
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI70$59,100$28.41$78,090$46,820
Wausau, WI110$59,310$28.52$79,120$49,040
* 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 Skills Do I Need To Work As A Surgical Tech in Wisconsin?

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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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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