How to Become a Surgical Technologist in North Carolina

A surgical technologist is a paraprofessional who assists surgeons and nurses in the operating room environment, supporting everything from minor to life-saving procedures. As a surgical tech you will provide a wide range of pre-surgical, surgical and post-op duties, making you a vital part of the surgical team. [En Español]

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In many ways, surgical technologists are the backbone of any surgery. While it will be your responsibility to make sure the operating room is sanitary and that all surgical equipment is set up property, surgical techs also prepare patients for surgery and take them to the recovery room afterward. In addition, surgical technologists are responsible for handing instruments to the surgeon as needed during a procedure.

Requirements for Surgical Technologists in North Carolina

North Carolina is one of many U.S. states that does not set minimum standards for education and certification of surgical technologists. This means employers set their own guidelines and requirements for the surgical techs they hire. That said, while it might not be a prerequisite for employment as a surgical technologist in North Carolina, becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) will help you stand out from the competition and provide you with a boost in salary.

If you decide you’d like to become certified and sit for the CST Certification Exam, you will need to go through The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) for your certification, which does require the completion of an accredited training program. You can either choose to attend a diploma program or an Associate’s Degree program that is CAAHEP accredited or ABHES accredited. Once you become a CST you will need to complete at least 15 hours of continuing education each year for your certification to remain valid.

North Carolina Programs for Surgical Technology

While it is not a requirement for you to attend an education program for surgical technology to be eligible for hire in the state of North Carolina, excelling in any career field means learning as much as possible. There are numerous schools in North Carolina that offer CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited surgical technology programs including:

  • Miller-Motte College, Cary NC. The Surgical Technology program offered at Miller-Motte College in Cary, North Carolina, can be completed in as little as 18 months. This Associate of Applied Science degree is offered through the school’s CampusFlex track, which means students will have the opportunity to take classes on campus in a traditional group setting as well as online.
  • College of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City. The Surgical Technology program offered at College of the Albemarle is CAAHEP-accredited, which means that upon completion of this associate’s degree program in as few as 18 months, students will be eligible to sit for the the NBSTSA exam. Students will be may take the exam within the four-week period prior to or after graduation.
  • Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville (CCCC). Before applying to the Surgical Technology Diploma program at CCCC, students will need to meet or exceed minimum score requirements in reading, writing and mathematics or have completed equivalent courses within the last three years. Placement tests can be taken at CCCC, and students must pass with a “C” grade or higher. Upon acceptance to the accredited Surgical Technology Diploma program, students can expect to complete the program in as little as three semesters.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The number of positions for certified surgical technologists is growing rapidly throughout North Carolina and the United States. In North Carolina, the number of employed surgical technologists is on the rise, from 2,810 in 2016 to 3,250 in 2026, an expected growth rate of 15.4 percent.

The career outlook for surgical technologists in North Carolina is fantastic. Not only will you have job security and a great paying annual salary, you will have the rare opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives on a daily basis. The average hourly salary for surgical technologists in North Carolina in 2017 was $21.26, with an average annual salary of $44,230. You can expect a higher paying salary as you gain more experience, and certain locations pay more than others, such as Durham, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Working as a Surgical Technologist in North Carolina

The most numerous and varied opportunities for employment for surgical technologists in North Carolina are often found in the cities of Durham, Charlotte and Raleigh. Most surgical techs are employed in hospitals, but it’s also very common for surgical technologists to work in outpatient surgical centers as well as physician or dental offices where minor procedures are performed. No matter where you would prefer to work as a surgical tech in North Carolina, the employment opportunities are plentiful throughout the state.

College Programs

Asheville, NC Area

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

340 Victoria Rd, Asheville, North Carolina 28801-4897
(828) 254-1921
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Associate program is based at their campus in the city of Asheville. The majority of of the school’s 7,233 students are 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 about $2,547 and for out-of-state students in the order of $8,691 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $2,000, depending on the program chosen.

Blue Ridge Community College

180 West Campus Drive, Flat Rock, North Carolina 28731-4728
(828) 694-1700
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Blue Ridge Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and two Certificate programs. Classes are taken at their campus in Flat Rock in Henderson County, NC. The majority of of the school’s 2,118 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 generally around $2,601 and for out-of-state students approximately $8,745 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,912, although this varies from program to program.

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC Area

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences

401 Medical Park Drive, Concord, North Carolina 28025-3959
(704) 403-1555
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Concord. This is a full, 4-year private college with 452 students, of which 95% are undergraduates. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition are usually in the order of $12,268 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,400, depending on the program chosen.

Carolinas College of Health Sciences

1200 Blythe Blvd, Charlotte, North Carolina 28203-2861
(704) 355-5043
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Carolinas College of Health Sciences offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Charlotte. Most of the school’s 474 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition is in the order of $12,192 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,648, although this varies from program to program.

Central Piedmont Community College

1201 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, North Carolina 28204
(704) 330-2722
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Central Piedmont Community College’s Associate program is based at their campus in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. The majority of of the school’s 19,394 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $2,792 and for out-of-state students around $8,936 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,443, depending on the program.

Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Area

Durham Technical Community College

1637 Lawson Street, Durham, North Carolina 27703-5023
(919) 536-7200
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Durham Technical Community College’s Certificate program is taught at their campus in the city of Durham, NC. The majority of of the school’s 5,118 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally about $1,840 and for students from other states approximately $6,388 annually, while study materials may cost around $1,300, depending on the program.

Fayetteville, NC Area

Fayetteville Technical Community College

2201 Hull Rd, Fayetteville, North Carolina 28303-0236
(910) 678-8400
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Fayetteville Technical Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina. The college has round 11,546 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 usually about $2,528 and for students from other states in the order of $8,672 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,344, although this will vary with the program.

Greensboro-High Point, NC Area

Guilford Technical Community College

601 E. Main Street, Jamestown, North Carolina 27282
(336) 334-4822
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Guilford Technical Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are based at their campus in Jamestown in Guilford County, North Carolina. This public college has approximately 11,518 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-district students are likely to be around $2,176 and are $2,328 and $7,168 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost about $1,298, although this varies from program to program.

Rockingham Community College

215 Wrenn Memorial Road, Wentworth, North Carolina 27375-0038
(336) 342-4261
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Rockingham Community College’s Certificate-level Surgical Technology program is taught at their campus in Wentworth in Rockingham County. The majority of of the school’s 1,866 students are 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 students living in the state is about $1,940 and for students from other states around $6,548 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,500, depending on the program.

Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC Area

Catawba Valley Community College

2550 Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, North Carolina 28602-0699
(828) 327-7000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Catawba Valley Community College can be taken at their campus in the city of Hickory. The majority of of the school’s 4,571 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $2,251 and for students from other states around $7,627 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,750, depending on the program.

Jacksonville, NC Area

Coastal Carolina Community College

444 Western Blvd, Jacksonville, North Carolina 28546-6816
(910) 455-1221
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Coastal Carolina Community College is taught at their campus in the city of Jacksonville, North Carolina. The college has in the order of 4,186 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. Tuition fees for in-state students are about $2,462 and for students from other states approximately $8,606 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,538, although this will depend on the program.

Northeastern North Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area Area

College of the Albemarle

1208 N Road St, Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27906-2327
(252) 335-0821 x0
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at College of the Albemarle is based at their campus in the town of Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The majority of of the school’s 2,141 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $2,227 and for out-of-state students in the order of $6,852 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,037, although this will vary with the program.

Other North Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Lenoir Community College

231 Highway 58 South, Kinston, North Carolina 28502-0188
(252) 527-6223
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Lenoir Community College’s Certificate program in Surgical Technology is based at their campus in the town of Kinston. The majority of of the school’s 2,757 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually around $2,551 and for out-of-state students likely to be about $8,695 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,800, although this varies from program to program.

Robeson Community College

5160 Fayetteville Road, Lumberton, North Carolina 28360
(910) 272-3700
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Robeson Community College’s Certificate-level Surgical Technology program is offered at their campus in the town of Lumberton, NC. Most of the school’s 1,936 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $2,540 and for out-of-state students approximately $8,684 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,650, although this will depend on the program.

Sandhills Community College

3395 Airport Rd, Pinehurst, North Carolina 28374
(910) 692-6185
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Sandhills Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Pinehurst in Moore County. The college has roughly 3,853 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 students living in the state is roughly in the order of $2,598 and for students from outside the state around $8,742 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $2,000, depending on the program.

Wilson Community College

902 Herring Ave, Wilson, North Carolina 27893-3310
(252) 291-1195
Surgical Technology – Associate Program, Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Wilson Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are based at their campus in the town of Wilson, North Carolina. Most of the school’s 1,786 students are 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 students living in the state is roughly about $2,552 and for students from other states around $8,716 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $2,500, depending on the program.

Raleigh-Cary, NC Area

Miller-Motte College-Cary

2205 Walnut Street, Cary, North Carolina 27518-7171
(919) 532-7171
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Surgical Technology at Miller-Motte College is based at their Cary campus in Cary in Wake County, NC. Most of the school’s 307 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Tuition fees are usually around $10,584 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,800, depending on the program chosen.

Wake Technical Community College

9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603-5696
(919) 866-5000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Surgical Technology Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Wake Technical Community College is offered at their campus in Raleigh in Wake County. Most of the school’s 21,003 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $2,768 and for out-of-state students in the order of $8,912 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Rocky Mount, NC Area

Edgecombe Community College

2009 W Wilson St, Tarboro, North Carolina 27886
(252) 823-5166
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Edgecombe Community College can be taken at their campus in Tarboro in Edgecombe County. This public college has roughly 2,322 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. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $2,504 and for out-of-state students approximately $8,648 annually, while study materials may cost around $1,500, depending on the program.

Western Central North Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Cleveland Community College

137 S Post Rd, Shelby, North Carolina 28152-6224
(704) 669-6000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Cleveland Community College’s Certificate-level Surgical Technology program is taught at their campus in the town of Shelby, NC. Most of the school’s 2,666 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $2,526 and for students from other states around $8,670 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,000, although this will depend on the program.

Western North Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Isothermal Community College

286 ICC Loop Road, Spindale, North Carolina 28160-0804
(828) 286-3636
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Isothermal Community College is taught at their campus in the town of Spindale. This public college has in the order of 2,018 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 $2,542 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $8,686 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,600, depending on the program chosen.

McDowell Technical Community College

54 College Drive, Marion, North Carolina 28752-8728
(828) 652-6021
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

McDowell Technical Community College’s Certificate-level Surgical Technology program is taught at their campus in Marion in Mcdowell County, North Carolina. The majority of of the school’s 1,106 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are about $1,900 and for students from other states likely to be about $6,508 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,200, depending on the program chosen.

Wilmington, NC Area

Cape Fear Community College

411 North Front Street, Wilmington, North Carolina 28401-3910
(910) 362-7000
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Surgical Technology at Cape Fear Community College is based at their campus in the city of Wilmington, NC. Most of the school’s 8,851 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually around $2,748 and for out-of-state students in the order of $8,892 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,500, although this will vary with the program.

Miller-Motte College-Wilmington

5000 Market Street, Wilmington, North Carolina 28405
(910) 392-4660
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Surgical Technology at Miller-Motte College can be taken at their Wilmington campus in the city of Wilmington, NC. The college has about 3,065 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The cost of tuition is broadly in the order of $10,595 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,800, 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 Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia.