How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Indiana

There are some basic minimum requirements that the state of Indiana has set for surgical technologists working in the state. These are not hard to achieve, and if you are willing to train or complete a certificate or associate degree program, you can be ready to work in this exciting, hands-on healthcare career within a year or two. [En Español]

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What is a Surgical Technologist?

State law in Indiana defines a surgical technologist as a healthcare professional who provides care for surgical patients by preparing operating rooms, anticipating what the surgeon and other members of the surgical team will need and performing specific tasks during the operation. These may include passing instruments to the surgeon, suctioning at the operation site, transferring drugs, holding retractors and handling specimens.

Requirements for Working as a Surgical Technologist in Indiana

There are several different ways in which you can be eligible to work in surgical technology in Indiana. One of the most common pathways to this career is to complete an accredited and approved post-secondary program and to then get certified by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). The other options are:

  • Completing surgical technology training while serving in the military
  • Working as a surgical technologist prior to July 1, 2009
  • Working for the federal government as a surgical technologist
  • Having the necessary skills and knowledge to work in surgical technology as determined by the employer

In Indiana, it is the responsibility of the surgical technologist to prove to an employer that he or she meets one or more of these requirements and to notify them in writing of any changes in compliance with the requirements, such as failing to renew NBSTSA certification.

NBSTSA Certification

To become a qualified surgical technologist in Indiana, getting certified through the NBSTSA is a good option. It requires that you first complete a program, which may be for a certificate or a two-year degree that is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Completing an appropriate secondary program qualifies you to take the NBSTSA exam. A passing score on the exam will qualify you to become certified. Once certified, you must complete 15 credits of continuing education courses each year and renew the certification every four years. The state of Indiana also requires 15 hours of continuing education, regardless of certification status.

Indiana Schools for Surgical Technology

To become certified you first have to complete an educational and training program in surgical technology. Indiana has several accredited programs from which to choose:

  • Indiana University Health, Indianapolis. The surgical technology certificate program at IU Health takes just 11 months to complete with a full-time schedule of courses. IU Health employees pay just $2,111.16 for the program, while other students can expect fees to total $4,135.56. Graduates of the program had 100 percent passing rates on the NBSTSA certification exam for 2015 and 2016.
  • University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne. Graduates of this program in Fort Wayne are also successful in getting certified, with a 100 percent pass rate for three years running. Students who complete the program earn an associate degree and complete hands-on clinical work at several area medical centers and hospitals before graduating.
  • Ivy Tech Community College, Multiple Sites. Ivy Tech has multiple campuses throughout the state with accredited surgical tech programs. These include Indianapolis, Evansville, Kokomo, Lafayette, Columbus, Muncie, Terre Haute and Valparaiso. The programs are selective in admitting students and include 900 hours of hands-on practice in a clinical setting and operating room.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

For a career in healthcare that will provide good job security in Indiana, surgical technology is a great option. In 2019, the state had 2,910 surgical technologists employed, and by 2026 that number is expected to grow to 3,290. That means there will be 400 new positions ready for those training for the career now.

Salary expectations for qualified surgical techs in the state are good, with the average hourly salary in 2019 at $22.97. That year, surgical technologists saw an average annual income of $47,870, but salaries can climb much higher with experience and years on the job.

Working as a Surgical Technologist in Indiana

Surgical technologists are most often employed by hospitals. In Indiana there are opportunities for employment throughout the state, but the larger cities will have the most jobs available: Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville and South Bend. Some of the largest hospitals are Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne and Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville.

As a qualified surgical tech in Indiana you may also be hired to work in outpatient surgery centers, physician offices and dental offices. With a year or two of school and a passing score on a certification exam you will be ready for this exciting and meaningful career in the state of Indiana.

College Programs

Fort Wayne, IN Area

University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne

2701 Spring St, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808-3994
(260) 399-7700
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Surgical Technology Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at University of Saint Francis is offered at their Fort Wayne campus in the city of Fort Wayne. Of the 2,240 students, about 19% are postgraduates. The University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees are around $28,310 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,200, although this will depend on the program.

Indianapolis-Carmel, IN Area

Harrison College-Indianapolis

550 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2611
(317) 447-6200
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Harrison College’s Associate program in Surgical Technology is taught at their Indianapolis campus in the city of Indianapolis. The majority of of the school’s 3,040 students are on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition are about $16,275 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $825, although this varies from program to program.

Ivy Tech Community College

50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-5752
(317) 921-4800
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at Ivy Tech Community College can be taken at their campus in the city of Indianapolis, IN. The college has around 81,668 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. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $4,175 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $8,052 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,196, depending on the program chosen.

Southern Indiana Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Vincennes University

1002 N First St, Vincennes, Indiana 47591
(812) 888-8888
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Vincennes University offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are based at their campus in the town of Vincennes, IN. The college has round 18,711 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The university is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-state students are about $5,575 and for students from other states likely to be about $13,184 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,274, 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

Residents of Indiana may also wish to review their options in Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.