How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Louisiana

Surgical technologists are responsible for overseeing the proper handling of medical tools and equipment during surgery. They must ensure that instruments are sterilized and placed in convenient, strategic locations for ease of use by the lead surgeon while operations are taking place. Surgical techs must think and act quickly to ensure operations go smoothly. If you enjoy paying attention to detail and playing a vital role in important medical procedures, the work you would do as a surgical tech and the dedication to your craft will be a valuable asset to any surgical team. [En Español]

Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in Louisiana

To ensure patients receive quality care, some states have passed laws that regulate the profession of surgical technology, setting specific requirements for surgical techs before they can become employed. Louisiana, however, is one of the states that has not passed any legislation governing the profession. This means that your employer will decide whether you are eligible for hire based on your skills, experience and credentials.

Receiving quality education is important in the medical field, as you will likely be interacting with patients while they are vulnerable and in need of special care. The best option for schooling would be to enroll in any training program that is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These organizations set standards to guarantee that you will receive proper education to be effective in your role as a surgical technologist.

Most post-secondary schools will require that you show proof of a high school diploma or GED in order to enroll, so having these files on-hand will make your admissions process flow more smoothly. While you are completing your surgical technology coursework, it is recommended that you find a local internship at a medical facility that will provide you with hands-on experience in the field. This experience may not be required by your employer, but it will help you to stand out among the competition. It shows that you have been proactive in going the extra mile to build your foundation of knowledge. This experience will also help prepare you for the national exam that will certify you as a surgical tech. This national exam is detailed below.

Louisiana Schools for Surgical Technologists

The CAAHEP and the ABHES have accredited a selection of medical schools for surgical technologists in Louisiana. These schools will have the best surgical technology educational programs available in the state.

  • Baton Rouge Community College offers an Associate of Science in Surgical Technology (ASST), which will take five semesters to complete. The program follows the Core Curriculum for Surgical Technology published by the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST). Students will need to complete a urine drug screen, criminal background check, a TB skin test, various immunizations/vaccinations and hold a CPR certification. Annual tuition for this program is currently about $3,872.
  • Herzing University also offers an Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology, which can be completed in as little as 20 months. Students will learn to communicate and interact within a surgical environment and understand the use of robotics, lasers and laparoscopic devices, and more. Programs combining on-campus and online learning are available. The cost of tuition is currently around $20,000.
  • Bossier Parish Community College offers a technical diploma in surgical technology. Students will learn mathematical operations necessary to perform medical calculations, the history and current standards of the profession, the ability to find timely solutions to possible surgical complications and more. The program can be completed in as little as 18 months, and tuition is currently about $2,100 per semester.

National Certification for Surgical Technologists in Louisiana

After completing your surgical technology coursework, you will want to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). This certification will allow you to work as a surgical tech in various states across the country. Although you can still find employment without it, taking the initiative to earn this certification will help employers see you as a skilled and qualified candidate.

The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) oversees the examination and certification process of surgical technologists. The exam fee is $290, and you are required to submit proof of your completion of a NBSTSA-recognized surgical technology program to sit for this exam. Any surgical technology program found under the list of CAAHEP or ABHES accredited schools will be recognized by the NBSTSA. If you have completed a military program in surgical technology, you will also be eligible to take this exam.

Those holding the CST credential are required to recertify every four years. You can choose to recertify in one of two ways: retake the exam every four years or provide proof that you’ve completed at least 60 credit hours of coursework in surgical technology during the four-year period between exams.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that surgical technologists in Louisiana earn an average hourly wage of $19.82 in 2019. This is equivalent to $41,230 annually. The top 10 percent of surgical techs in the state earned $56,700 during that same year.

There were 2,120 people working as surgical technologists in Louisiana during 2016, according to data from the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). By 2026, there are expected be 2,330 surgical technologists in this state. This indicates a 9.7 percent expansion in the job market by 2026.

Working as a Surgical Technologist in Louisiana

On a national level, the surgical technologist profession will continue to expand in the coming years. BLS data tells us that this expansion will create a 12 percent increase in the job market. If you like to show concern for patients, appreciate being meticulous and enjoy working in a supporting role, surgical technology could be the career for you.

In Louisiana, the cities of New Orleans, Marrero and Matairie have some of the highest compensation rates for surgical technologists. You can also expect to work in rural areas or small cities throughout the state in places like hospital operating rooms, OB/GYN clinics or private practices for cosmetic surgery, among other specialties.

College Programs

 

Baton Rouge, LA Area

Fortis College-Baton Rouge

9255 Interline Avenue, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809-1908
(225) 248-1015
0 – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in 0 at Fortis College is taught at their Baton Rouge campus in the city of Baton Rouge. The majority of of the school’s 395 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Fees for tuition are about $14,337 yearly. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,096, although this will vary with the program.

Virginia College-Baton Rouge

9501 Cortana Place, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70815-8604
(225) 236-3900
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Virginia College’s Associate program is taught at their Baton Rouge campus in the city of Baton Rouge. This private, for-profit college has round 435 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Fees for tuition are likely to be about $14,632 per year.

Lafayette, LA Area

South Louisiana Community College

1101 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, Louisiana 70506-4109
(337) 521-9000
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

South Louisiana Community College’s Associate program in Surgical Technology is based at their campus in the city of Lafayette, LA. This public college has about 6,958 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $4,205 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $8,680 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,220, depending on the program chosen.

Monroe, LA Area

McCann School of Business & Technology

2319 Louisville Ave, Monroe, Louisiana 71201
(318) 323-2889
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

McCann School of Business & Technology’s Associate-level Surgical Technology program is offered at their campus in the city of Monroe. Most of the school’s 587 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees are around $10,100 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,500, although this varies from program to program.

New Iberia Nonmetropolitan Area Area

South Central Louisiana Technical College

900 Youngs Road, Morgan City, Louisiana 70380
(985) 380-2957
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

South Central Louisiana Technical College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and two Certificate programs. All programs are based at their campus in the town of Morgan City, LA. Most of the school’s 2,669 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $2,996 and for out-of-state students in the order of $4,228 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,220, depending on the program.

New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA Area

Delgado Community College

615 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
(504) 671-5000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Delgado Community College is taught at their campus in the city of New Orleans, LA. The majority of of the school’s 16,131 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are about $3,911 and for students from other states likely to be about $8,200 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,200, although this varies from program to program.

Herzing University-Kenner

2500 Williams Blvd, Kenner, Louisiana 70062
(504) 733-0074
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Herzing University’s Associate program is based at their Kenner campus in Kenner in Jefferson County, LA. This is a full, 4-year private college with 495 students, of which 94% are undergraduates. The university is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is usually in the order of $13,390 yearly.

Shreveport-Bossier City, LA Area

Bossier Parish Community College

6220 East Texas, Bossier City, Louisiana 71111-6922
(318) 678-6000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Bossier Parish Community College offers various Certificate program options for future surgical tecnologists. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Bossier City, LA. The college has round 7,839 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $4,079 and for students from other states in the order of $8,589 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,200, although this will vary with the program.

Southern University at Shreveport

3050 Martin Luther King Dr, Shreveport, Louisiana 71107
(318) 670-6000
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at Southern University at Shreveport is based at their campus in the city of Shreveport. Most of the school’s 3,174 students are on 2-year programs. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees are around $3,996 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,500, depending on the program.

* 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 the neighboring states of Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas.