How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Illinois

A surgical technologist is a healthcare professional who works hands-on in the operating room, assisting surgeons and physicians. They prepare operating rooms and patients for procedures, maintain a sterile environment and directly assist the surgeon during operations. If you think this might be a good career choice for you and you live in Illinois, consider starting with one of the state’s accredited surgical technology programs. [En Español]

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Requirements for Working as a Surgical Tech in Illinois

Most states do not have minimum educational or licensing requirements for surgical technologists, and Illinois is no exception. The state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) registers certified surgical techs, but this is not required. It is up to individual employers to decide what qualifications are needed to hire a surgical technologist. However, you may have a better chance of being hired if you are registered with the state, as this proves you have the knowledge and skills needed to do the job.

Registering as a Surgical Technologist in Illinois

To register in Illinois you must submit an application to the IDFPR with all the supporting documentation that is required, as well as a $100 fee. There are several requirements you must meet to have your application accepted and to become registered:

To become certified through the NBSTSA you must complete an educational program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). You must then take and pass the NBSTSA certification exam. This certification can be renewed every four years, but you must complete 15 or more credit hours of continuing education courses every year to qualify.

Illinois Schools for Surgical Technology

While completing a degree or certificate program is not strictly required for becoming a surgical tech in the state, getting that education is an important way to gain valuable knowledge and hands-on skills and to prove them to potential employers. There are several accredited programs in Illinois:

  • Elgin Community College, Elgin. At Elgin, students can complete a certificate program in surgical technology that will prepare them for national certification and jobs in healthcare. Courses take about one year to complete and include basic science and healthcare classes as well as several levels of surgical technology practices.
  • Malcom X College, Chicago. The Malcolm X campus of the City Colleges of Chicago offers students an associate degree program in surgical technology that takes two years to complete. Students take 61 credit hours of coursework, including two courses in hands-on, clinical work experience.
  • Parkland College, Champaign. At Parkland, students can learn to become a surgical technologist through classroom curriculum and hands-on clinical work. The program at Parkland was awarded NBSTSA’s Merit Award for having a 100 percent passing rate for graduates taking the national certification exam.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

Across the country the growth in careers for qualified surgical technologists is strong at 12 percent. In Illinois that growth is less, but it is still positive. Surgical technologists continue to be in demand in the state, and you can look forward to good job security as well as a good salary. The average annual salary for surgical techs in Illinois in 2019 was $49,030. There is a potential to earn a higher salary with more years of experience and depending on the employer.

Working as a Surgical Technologist in Illinois

Nearly three-quarters of surgical technologists are employed by hospitals. They can also work in ambulatory surgery centers and physician or dental offices that perform surgical procedures. A surgical tech may rotate and work with a variety of surgeons or may specialize in one type of surgery, like obstetrics or pediatric surgery.

There are job opportunities for qualified surgical techs throughout Illinois, but the greatest number of jobs is in large cities, like Chicago and its suburbs. With a year or two of training and a passing score on the national certification exam, you will be ready to be hired by any of the hospitals in the state.

College Programs

Champaign-Urbana, IL Area

Parkland College

2400 W Bradley Ave, Champaign, Illinois 61821-1899
(217) 351-2200
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Parkland College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Champaign, IL. This public college has round 8,147 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-district students are usually about $4,710 and are $11,100 and $15,870 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,200, although this will vary with the program.

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division Area

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College

1900 W Jackson, Chicago, Illinois 60612-3197
(312) 850-7000
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technologist – Certificate Program

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Chicago. The majority of of the school’s 5,550 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-district students are usually about $3,506 and are $8,126 and $11,906 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,900, although this will vary with the program.

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137-6599
(630) 942-2800
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Assistant – Certificate Program

College of DuPage offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and two Certificate programs. All programs are taught at their campus in Glen Ellyn in Dupage County, IL. Most of the school’s 28,678 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-district students are likely to be around $4,050 and are $9,660 and $11,760 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost about $1,420, although this varies from program to program.

Elgin Community College

1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, Illinois 60123-7193
(847) 697-1000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Surgical Technology Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Elgin Community College is taught at their campus in the city of Elgin. Most of the school’s 10,336 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-district students is roughly in the order of $3,012 and are $10,439 and $11,959 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost roughly $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Midwestern Career College

20 North Wacker Drive Ste 3800, Chicago, Illinois 60606
(312) 236-9000
Surgical Technologist – Certificate Program

The Surgical Technologist Certificate program in Surgical Technologist at Midwestern Career College is taught at their campus in the city of Chicago. The majority of of the school’s 315 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 82%. Tuition fees for the Surgical Technologist program are broadly about $18,960 annually, while study materials may cost around $700. Usually, the program is completed in 14 months.

Prairie State College

202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411-8226
(708) 709-3500
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Surgical Technology Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Prairie State College is based at their campus in Chicago Heights in Cook County, IL. Most of the school’s 4,699 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-district students are likely to be around $3,804 and are $8,412 and $9,972 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost about $2,000, although this varies from program to program.

Robert Morris University Illinois

401 S State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60605
(312) 935-6800
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at Robert Morris University Illinois is based at their campus in the city of Chicago. Of the 3,056 students, about 12% are postgraduates. The university is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is in the order of $25,800 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,500, although this varies from program to program.

Triton College

2000 5th Ave, River Grove, Illinois 60171-1995
(708) 456-0300 x3130
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Triton College is based at their campus in River Grove in Cook County, IL. This public college has in the order of 11,684 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $3,870 and are $9,360 and $11,630 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost around $1,380, although this will vary with the program.

Waubonsee Community College

Rte 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, Illinois 60554-9454
(630) 466-7900 x2255
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Waubonsee Community College can be taken at their campus in Sugar Grove in Kane County. The majority of of the school’s 10,511 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-district students is usually in the order of $3,024 and are $7,230 and $7,815 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,584, although this varies from program to program.

Decatur, IL Area

Richland Community College

One College Park, Decatur, Illinois 62521-8512
(217) 875-7200
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Richland Community College’s Associate program is based at their campus in the city of Decatur, Illinois. The majority of of the school’s 3,368 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-district students is usually in the order of $4,230 and are $6,420 and $14,640 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,320, although this varies from program to program.

East Central Illinois Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Kaskaskia College

27210 College Rd, Centralia, Illinois 62801
(618) 545-3000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Kaskaskia College’s Certificate-level Surgical Technology program is based at their campus in Centralia in Marion County. This public college has in the order of 4,472 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-district students is usually about $4,470 and are $7,530 and $12,330 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost roughly $1,393, depending on the program.

Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division Area

College of Lake County

19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, Illinois 60030-1198
(847) 543-2000
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

College of Lake County offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are taught at their campus in Grayslake in Lake County. The majority of of the school’s 14,964 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly about $3,780 and are $8,736 and $11,564 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost about $1,428, depending on the program chosen.

Peoria, IL Area

Illinois Central College

1 College Drive, East Peoria, Illinois 61635-0001
(309) 694-5422
Surgical Technologist – Associate Program, Surgical Technologist – Certificate Program

Illinois Central College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in East Peoria in Peoria County, IL. Most of the school’s 9,704 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-district students are generally about $4,200 and are $9,000 and $10,500 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $1,200, although this will depend on the program.

Rockford, IL Area

Rock Valley College

3301 N Mulford Rd, Rockford, Illinois 61114-5699
(815) 921-7821
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Rock Valley College’s Certificate program is offered at their campus in the city of Rockford, IL. The college has around 7,651 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $3,314 and are $8,624 and $15,584 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $1,260, although this will depend on the program.

South Illinois Nonmetropolitan Area Area

John A Logan College

700 Logan College Road, Carterville, Illinois 62918-2500
(618) 985-3741
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at John A Logan College is based at their campus in Carterville in Williamson County, Illinois. This public college has around 3,575 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-district students is usually in the order of $3,510 and are $5,100 and $5,940 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Shawnee Community College

8364 Shawnee College Rd, Ullin, Illinois 62992
(618) 634-3200
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Surgical Technology Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Shawnee Community College is taught at their campus in Ullin in Pulaski County. This public college has around 1,819 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-district students is roughly in the order of $3,648 and are $5,600 and $5,984 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost roughly $1,400, depending on the program.

Southeastern Illinois College

3575 College Road, Harrisburg, Illinois 62946
(618) 252-5400
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Southeastern Illinois College can be taken at their campus in Harrisburg in Saline County. This public college has about 2,034 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-district students are usually about $3,390 and are $5,340 and $5,580 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,157, depending on the program chosen.

Springfield, IL Area

Lincoln Land Community College

5250 Shepherd Rd, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9256
(217) 786-2200
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Lincoln Land Community College’s Associate program is offered at their campus in the city of Springfield, Illinois. The majority of of the school’s 6,447 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-district students are usually about $3,024 and are $5,784 and $8,544 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $912, although this will depend on the program.

West Central Illinois Nonmetropolitan Area Area

John Wood Community College

1301 S 48th Street, Quincy, Illinois 62305-8736
(217) 224-6500
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

John Wood Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are offered at their campus in Quincy in Adams County. The college has about 2,016 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-state students are around $4,710 and for out-of-state students likely to be about $8,010 yearly. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,650, depending on the program chosen.

* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.

Neighbor States

See options in Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana.