How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Georgia
Surgical technologists are an important part of any surgical team. As a surgical technologist, you would ensure that the tools and equipment in the operating room are properly sterilized and in the correct positions so the surgeon can focus on the most important aspects of the process. This could be a great field for you if you enjoy paying attention to detail and appreciate playing a vital role on teams that require high levels of focus. [En Español]
Prerequisite Courses for Surgical Technologists in Georgia
Before you can become a surgical technologist in Georgia, there are some courses that you will need to take. These include human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, microbiology, and basic nursing skills. While all of these subjects can be taken at the undergraduate level, it is important to note that most employers prefer those who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field.
Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in Georgia
Georgia is one of many U.S. states that do not set regulations for aspiring surgical technologists. If you’d like to pursue this career, it is a good idea to attend a college or training program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). As with most post-secondary education programs, you will likely need to provide documentation that you have graduated high school or completed your GED before enrolling.
It is a great idea to find a local internship while completing your college coursework in surgical technology. Your employer will determine whether this hands-on experience is necessary for you to be hired; however, this real-world experience is sure to give you a leg up on the competition. Prior experience shows that you are already familiar with the field and have some knowledge of the work ethic required to be successful in this career.
Surgical Technology Programs in Georgia
Multiple Georgia colleges have CAAHEP-accredited surgical technology programs to prepare you for a successful career. Listed below are some post-secondary education options to choose from:
- Albany Technical College offers a diploma program in Surgical Technology which can be completed in less than one year. Students will complete a total of 120 surgical cases throughout this program. The cost of tuition per semester is $2,648 for in-state students and $4,784 for out-of-state students.
- Athens Technical College allows you to choose between a diploma program and an associate degree program. The associate degree will take about two years to complete, while the diploma program can be completed in one year or less. The cost of tuition is approximately $2,684 per semester for in-state students and $4,820 for out-of-state students.
- Atlanta Technical College offers an associate degree in Surgical Technology, which takes five semesters to complete. The program will cost a total of about $8,255 and requires a full-time commitment from students. The school is located in the city of Atlanta.
Allied Health Education Programs in Georgia
In addition to traditional college programs, there are also many allied health education programs available throughout the state. These may take less time to complete, but will still provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in surgical technology. Here are two popular options:
Georgia Training Institute offers a certification program in surgical technology that can be completed in three months or less. The cost of tuition is $2,900 and the curriculum covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, sterile processing, surgical procedures, and more.
Medix School has an online certification program in surgical technology that can be completed in just 12 weeks. This program costs $7,500 and covers topics such as basic medical terminology, aseptic technique and sterilization, surgical procedures, patient safety, and more.
Allied health professionals play an important role in the healthcare industry.
National Certification for Surgical Technologists in Georgia
It is highly recommended that you take the initiative to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). It will be easier to find employment with this nationally-recognized certification since it shows your level of competency as a surgical technologist.
The exam and certification are offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). To be eligible to sit for this exam, candidates must provide official documents showing completion of an NBSTSA-recognized surgical technology program, which can be found under both the CAAHEP and ABHES lists of accredited schools. You can also provide documentation showing the completion of a military training program in surgical technology. The exam fee is $290. You will need to either retake the exam every four years or provide proof of 60 completed credit hours of continued education during the four years between exams, to show your continued competence within the field.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) data show 4,440 people were working as surgical technologists in Georgia in 2018. By 2028, this number is expected to jump to 5,130, which indicates that 870 jobs will be added to the field in these 10 years.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), surgical technologists in Georgia earned an average of $23.09 per hour in 2021. This is equivalent to an annual income of $48,020. Top earners in this field made more than $60,860 in 2021. Conditions in your area may vary.
Working as a Surgical Technologist in Georgia
By 2030, the job market for surgical technologists in Georgia is expected to expand by 20 percent. This is an increase to look forward to as it indicates that now is a good time to get started in this trade.
The highest-paid surgical techs in Georgia can be found in the cities of Atlanta, Marietta, and Roswell. People in this career field will find employment in the operating or emergency rooms of local hospitals, private practices, surgical clinics, or outpatient facilities. Take advantage of all learning options to ensure that you approach employers with a high level of skill and expertise in surgical technology. This will help ensure that you experience little to no difficulty in finding employment in this state.