How to Become a Surgical Technologist in Virginia

A surgical technologist is an allied health professional working on the frontlines of surgery and medicine. These trained professionals work in the operating room with surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, providing technical assistance. They are responsible for preparing the operating room and keeping it clean, sterilizing equipment, getting patients ready for surgery and directly assisting surgeons during procedures. [En Español]

This is a hands-on and exciting career that doesn’t take long to train for and that can provide a good income and job security. To become a surgical technologist in Virginia, you do not have to be licensed, but it is strongly recommended that you complete an appropriate educational program and register with the state as a certified professional.

Registered Surgical Technologists in Virginia

Virginia, like many states, does not require that surgical technologists be licensed in order to practice. However, unlike other states, Virginia does offer voluntary registration. Those who register with the state are allowed to use the title “registered surgical technologist.” Holding this title proves that you have a certain level of education, knowledge and training, and helps when applying for jobs. Some employers may require that their surgical techs are registered.

Requirements for Registering in Virginia

To register and gain the title of registered surgical technologist in Virginia, you must meet one of three requirements:

Most people seeking to register in Virginia will meet the first requirement. To be certified through the NBSTSA requires passing the organization’s exam. To be eligible to take the exam you must have completed a certificate program or an associate degree program in surgical technology. The program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

To remain certified, surgical technologists must take at least 15 credits of continuing education courses every year. These must be approved by the NBSTSA. Surgical techs must also renew the certificate every four years.

Registering in Virginia is through the Department of Health Professions. Surgical technologists must send in an application with a $75.00 fee and documentation to prove NBSTSA certification or one of the other two requirement options.

Virginia Schools for Surgical Technology

Virginia is home to several schools that offer either certificate or degree programs in surgical technology that are accredited by either the CAAHEP or the ABHES. Completing one of these programs will make you eligible to take the certification exam and, with a passing score, register with the state of Virginia.

  • Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke. Jefferson’s program in surgical technology offers students the chance to earn a two-year associate degree. The program is completed with five semesters of coursework, including hands-on experience in a real medical clinic. Jefferson’s surgical technology graduates have a 100 percent passing rate on the NBSTSA certification exam.
  • Riverside College of Health Careers, Newport News. Riverside’s program in surgical technology is also an associate degree program. It takes as little as 18 months to complete and includes basic anatomy, physiology and medical instruction, as well as surgical procedures and surgical patient care coursework.
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville. At Piedmont, students can choose to work toward a certificate in surgical technology in just three semesters. There are 42 credit hours of coursework to complete, and students are prepared to pass the certification exam after graduation.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

The outlook for careers in surgical technology is positive throughout the country. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (Updated 01/05/2021), job growth nationally in this field is 7 percent, which is faster than average. In Virginia, the growth is closer to 9 percent. There were 2,250 employed professionals in this field in 2018. By 2028, there are projected to be enough positions to employ 2,450 surgical technologists in the state.

Surgical technologists in Virginia also earn more than the national average for this career. The average annual salary in 2019 for surgical techs in the state was $49,260, as compared to $48,300 nationwide. There are opportunities to earn a higher salary with experience and as a registered and certified surgical technologist. Salary conditions in your area may vary.

Working as a Surgical Technologist in Virginia

Most surgical techs are employed by hospitals and work in the operating rooms. The majority of these professionals work with all types of surgeons, but some may work only with obstetricians, pediatric surgeons or other specialists. Some of the biggest hospital employers are Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond and the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville. In addition to hospitals, surgical techs can find employment with ambulatory surgery centers and in dental and physician offices that perform minor surgical procedures.

Taking the time to complete an appropriate educational program in surgical technology can lead you to a rewarding career working hands-on with patients in hospitals and medical centers. It takes just two years or less in Virginia to be prepared for this exciting work.

College Programs

 

Charlottesville, VA Area

Piedmont Virginia Community College

501 College Drive, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902-7589
(434) 977-3900
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Piedmont Virginia Community College’s Certificate program is taught at their campus in Charlottesville in Charlottesville City County, VA. Most of the school’s 5,438 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 about $4,558 and for students from other states around $10,456 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,800, although this will depend on the program.

Richmond, VA Area

Chester Career College

751 WEST HUNDRED ROAD, CHESTER, Virginia 23836
(804) 425-5797
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Chester Career College’s Associate-level Surgical Technology program is based at their campus in CHESTER in Chesterfield County. This private, for-profit college has in the order of 154 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Surgical Technology program are usually in the order of $29,995 yearly. Typically, the program is completed in 20 months.

Fortis College-Richmond

2000 Westmoreland Street, Suite A, Richmond, Virginia 23230
(804) 323-1020
0 – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in 0 at Fortis College is taught at their Richmond campus in Richmond in Henrico County, VA. The college has round 419 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Fees for tuition are usually about $14,359 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,195, depending on the program chosen.

Virginia College-Richmond

7200 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, Virginia 23225-5502
(804) 977-5100
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Surgical Technology Associate’s program in Surgical Technology at Virginia College is based at their Richmond campus in Richmond in Richmond City County, Virginia. The majority of of the school’s 336 students are on 2-year programs. Tuition fees are likely to be around $14,632 per year.

Roanoke, VA Area

American National University

1813 East Main Street, Salem, Virginia 24153
(540) 986-1800
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at American National University can be taken at their campus in Salem in Salem County, Virginia. This is a full, 4-year private college with 1,207 students, of which 94% are undergraduates. Tuition fees are around $14,886 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $2,979, depending on the program.

Jefferson College of Health Sciences

101 Elm Avenue SE, Roanoke, Virginia 24013
(888) 985-8483
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at Jefferson College of Health Sciences can be taken at their campus in the city of Roanoke, VA. This is a full, 4-year private college with 1,062 students, of which 75% are undergraduates. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $25,150 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,200, although this will vary with the program.

Virginia Western Community College

3093 Colonial Ave, Roanoke, Virginia 24015
(540) 857-7311
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Virginia Western Community College is offered at their campus in the city of Roanoke. The majority of of the school’s 7,932 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 $5,093 and for students from other states approximately $10,991 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,500, although this will depend on the program.

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Area

Eastern Virginia Medical School

700w. Olney, Norfolk, Virginia 23507
(757) 446-8422
Surgical Assisting – Master Program

The Master’s program in Surgical Assisting at Eastern Virginia Medical School is taught at their campus in the city of Norfolk. Of the 1,096 students, about 100% are postgraduates. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $21,766 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $24,780 yearly.

ECPI University

5555 Greenwich Rd, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
(757) 490-9090
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Surgical Technology at ECPI University can be taken at their campus in the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Of the 11,735 students, about 1% are postgraduates. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition are generally about $14,775 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $780, although this will depend on the program.

Riverside College of Health Careers

316 Main St., Newport News, Virginia 23601
(757) 240-2200
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Surgical Technology at Riverside College of Health Careers can be taken at their campus in the city of Newport News, VA. Most of the school’s 208 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Tuition fees for the Surgical Technology program are generally about $18,750 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $791. The typical program completion time is 17 months.

Sentara College of Health Sciences

1441 Crossways Blvd, Suite 105, Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
(757) 388-2900
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Surgical Technology Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at Sentara College of Health Sciences is offered at their campus in Chesapeake in Chesapeake City County, VA. Most of the school’s 445 students are on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Fees for tuition are about $2,068 yearly.

Winchester, VA-WV Area

Lord Fairfax Community College

173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, Virginia 22645
(540) 868-7000
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at Lord Fairfax Community College can be taken at their campus in Middletown in Frederick County, VA. The majority of of the school’s 7,002 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 likely to be about $4,507 and for students from other states likely to be about $10,405 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,600, although this varies from program to 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 Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.