How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Massachusetts

Surgical operations are important procedures in which everyone involved must be meticulous and precise. Lead surgeons may often get all the credit for a successful operation; however, they receive the help of an entire surgical team to get the job done. Surgical technologist

are key components of these surgical teams. These individuals ensure that all medical equipment is being handled properly, sterilizing instruments before surgery begins. Surgical techs also ensure that medical tools and materials are strategically placed during surgery, and they hand these tools to the surgeon during the operating process. When surgery is completed, surgical techs prepare operating rooms for the next procedure. [En Español]

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Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in Massachusetts

Certain states have laws in place to regulate the surgical technologist profession, and Massachusetts is one of them. Massachusetts law states that hospitals and clinics cannot employ or use the services of any surgical technologist unless the person has either:

  • Successfully completed an accredited educational program for surgical technologists and holds and maintains the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential
  • Successfully completed an accredited school of surgical technology but has not, as of the date of hire, obtained the certified surgical technologist certification, provided that such certification will be obtained within 12 months of the graduation date
  • Been employed as a surgical technologist in a surgical facility on July 1, 2012
  • Successfully completed a training program for surgical technology in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard of the United States or in the United States Public Health Service
  • Is performing surgical technology tasks or functions in the service of the federal government, but only to the extent the person is performing duties related to that service

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health allows medical facilities to hire surgical technologists who do not meet these requirements only under the circumstance that the clinic or hospital has made every effort to employ a CST but is unable to employ enough qualified surgical techs for its needs.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are the two most trusted organizations for accrediting medical schools across the U.S. You will need to attend a surgical technologist training program that is accredited by either of these organizations if you want to become a surgical tech in this state.

Documented proof of a high school diploma or GED will be necessary for enrollment into any one of these accredited training programs. When you find a program that is right for you, you should also seek to gain some hands-on experience through a local internship at a surgical facility or hospital. Your employer may not require you to have this real-world experience, however it will be a great addition to your list of qualifications. This experience will also help prepare you to sit for the national exam that certifies you as a CST. This national exam is detailed below.

Massachusetts Schools for Surgical Technologists

The CAAHEP has accredited a number of schools for surgical technologists throughout the state of Massachusetts. Some of these schools are as follows:

  • Bunker Hill Community College, located in Boston, offers a certificate program in surgical technology, which is designed to be completed in 11 months. During the spring semester, students will spend two days per week in area hospitals and will work in these facilities full-time during June and July. Students must also undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check. The results of both checks could affect your admission into the program. In state-tuition is currently $4,855 per semester.
  • Massachusetts Bay Community College also offers a certificate program in surgical technology. Applicants must undergo both CORI and SORI checks. Additionally, applicants will need to have either a Healthcare Provider Card from the American Heart Association or a CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer Card from the American Red Cross. These are the only two CPR certifications acceptable for this program. The program can be completed in one year, and tuition ranges between $7,000-$14,000 for residents, and $15,000-$18,000 for non-residents.
  • Quincy College supplies graduates with a certificate in surgical technology, which can be completed in just 10 months. CORI and SORI checks are also performed for students before admission. Tuition is about $5,524 per semester.

National Certification for Surgical Technologists in Massachusetts

Since certification is required in Massachusetts, you will need to take the exam provided by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) to become a CST before finding employment. Surgical technologists are highly encouraged to earn this certification even in states that do not require surgical techs to be certified.

The exam fee is $290, and you must provide official documentation that you’ve completed a NBSTSA-recognized surgical technology program before sitting for this exam. Any surgical technology program accredited by the CAAHEP or the ABHES will be approved by the NBSTSA. Alternatively, you can provide proof that you’ve completed a military training program in surgical technology. You should expect to recertify every four years by either retaking the exam or providing documentation that you’ve completed at least 60 credit hours of continued education in surgical technology during the four-year period between exams.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

In 2016, there were 3,090 surgical technologists working in Massachusetts, according to data from the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). By 2026, there are expected to be a total of 3,360 people employed as surgical techs in this state alone.

Surgical techs in Massachusetts make an average hourly wage of $27.63, or $57,470 annually, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from May 2019. The same data shows that the highest paid surgical techs in this state make around $79,090 annually.

Working as a Surgical Technologist in Massachusetts

The job market for surgical techs is projected to expand by 12 percent nationally within the 10-year period from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS. If you’re interested in joining this trade in Massachusetts, you should be aware that the highest earners in surgical technology work in cities like Arlington, Boston and Brookline. Environments like hospitals, surgical clinics or outpatient facilities are a home away from home for surgical techs. You may find yourself working in any medical area involving surgery, from labor and delivery to neurology. If you’re passionate about helping patients receive quality care, paying attention to detail and assisting in important medical procedures, you should consider becoming a surgical technologist.

College Programs

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division Area

Bunker Hill Community College

250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02129-2925
(617) 228-2000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Surgical Technology Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Bunker Hill Community College is based at their campus in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. Most of the school’s 13,142 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $3,888 and for out-of-state students in the order of $8,832 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $2,100, depending on the program.

Massachusetts Bay Community College

50 Oakland St, Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts 02481-5399
(781) 239-3000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Surgical Technology Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Massachusetts Bay Community College is based at their campus in Wellesley Hills in Norfolk County, MA. The college has roughly 4,859 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $4,808 and for students from outside the state in the order of $9,752 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,200, although this varies from program to program.

North Shore Community College

1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, Massachusetts 01923-0840
(978) 762-4000 x4350
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Surgical Technology Certificate program in Surgical Technology at North Shore Community College is based at their campus in Danvers in Essex County. The majority of of the school’s 6,961 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $4,848 and for students from outside the state in the order of $10,416 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,200, although this varies from program to program.

Quincy College

1250 Hancock Street, Quincy, Massachusetts 02169
(800) 698-1700
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Quincy College is based at their campus in Quincy in Norfolk County. The majority of of the school’s 4,732 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Tuition fees are around $5,910 annually. Learning materials may cost around $2,000, although this will vary with the program.

Quinsigamond Community College

670 West Boylston Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 01606-2092
(508) 853-2300
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Quinsigamond Community College’s Certificate-level Surgical Technology program is offered at their campus in the city of Worcester, MA. The majority of of the school’s 8,064 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $5,394 and for out-of-state students approximately $10,338 annually. Learning materials may cost around $960, although this will vary with the program.

Northwest Massachusetts Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Charles H McCann Technical School

70 Hodges Cross Rd, North Adams, Massachusetts 01247-3999
(413) 663-5383 x181
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Charles H McCann Technical School’s Certificate-level Surgical Technology program is based at their campus in North Adams in Berkshire County, MA. This public college has in the region of 47 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Surgical Technology program are in the order of $925 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,015. Program completion is normally 9 months.

Springfield, MA-CT Area

Springfield Technical Community College

1 Armory Sq, Springfield, Massachusetts 01105-1296
(413) 781-7822
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at Springfield Technical Community College can be taken at their campus in the city of Springfield. The majority of of the school’s 6,286 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $5,736 and for students from other states around $12,246 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,200, 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

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