How to Become a Surgical Technologist in West Virginia

As a surgical technologist, you would be responsible for the proper sterilization and utilization of medical tools and equipment as a surgery is taking place. Before a procedure begins, you might also be responsible for helping patients prepare to enter the operating room by dressing their wounds, cleaning or shaving particular areas of the body where the surgery will take place, or simply helping the patient remain calm and relaxed before the surgical process. When an operation is complete, surgical technologists may also need to prepare the operating room for the next procedure. [En Español]

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Requirements for Becoming a Surgical Technologist in West Virginia

In recent years, some states have passed legislation to govern the practice of surgical technology. West Virginia is one of the many states that has not yet enacted laws or regulations that must be followed by anyone looking to become a surgical technologist. If you are interested in this career, enrolling in a training program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) will be the best option for you to succeed. At minimum, these training programs will likely require students to provide documentation of a high school diploma or GED to enroll.

To progress quickly, you should consider finding a local internship while you are completing your training classes. The hands-on experience you’ll gain in the real world will prepare you for what to expect in your role when you find employment after graduation. While some training programs may offer internships or externships as part of their curriculum, others may not. If the school you choose does not offer this hands-on experience, consider reaching out to a local hospital or private practice for possible job-shadowing opportunities. Taking this initiative will set you apart from fellow jobseekers and put you ahead of the curve in terms of your level of experience.

West Virginia Schools for Surgical Technologists

The CAAHEP lists six accredited schools for surgical technologists in West Virginia, two of which are included below. The ABHES accredits one school for surgical techs in the state, which is also included below:

  • Carver Career and Technical Education Center offers a certificate program in surgical technology, which takes 11 months to complete. As part of the curriculum, students will sit for the national certification exam before graduation. Students will complete the first six months of this program in a classroom setting, while the last five months will be completed in clinical rotations. Tuition and fees are about $4,233, and books and supplies will cost around $2,300.
  • James Rumsey Technical Institute also offers an 11-month certificate program in surgical technology. The program consists of 30 hours of training per week, and tuition is currently about $6,000. Books and fees will be an additional $1,000, and students will sit for the national certification exam before graduation.
  • Academy of Careers and Technology allows students to complete a surgical technology certificate program in less than one year. The total cost for attendance is $7,810, and adult students without a high school diploma or GED may also enroll. These students cannot receive their certificate of completion, however, until a high school diploma or GED is earned.

National Certification for Surgical Technologists

Grabbing the reins of this career will definitely require sitting for the national exam to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). Although the practice is not regulated in West Virginia, there are several other states that require surgical technologists to become nationally certified before seeking employment. Even in states where this is not a requirement, some schools will set this as a curriculum requirement for surgical tech students to graduate.

This CST exam and certification are offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Eligibility requirements include completion of a training program accredited by either the CAAHEP or the ABHES. If you’ve completed a surgical tech training program while in the military, you will also be eligible to sit for this exam. The exam fee is $290, and you will need to recertify with the NBSTSA every four years. This recertification can be done by either retaking the exam or by showing proof that you’ve completed at least 60 credit hours of continued education during the four-year period between exams. This will serve as a testament to your continued competency within the field.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

There were 1,060 surgical techs working in West Virginia in 2016, according to data from the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). By 2026, there is expected to be a total of 1,140 people employed in this profession in this state alone, which indicates an 8.2 percent expansion in the surgical tech job market within this 10-year period.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data indicates that during 2019 surgical techs earned an average of $17.94 per hour, or $37,310 per year. If you are looking to become one of the top earners in the field in this state, you can expect to earn an average of $50,650 annually, according to the same data.

Working as a Surgical Technologist in West Virginia

By 2026, there are expected to be about 80 jobs added to the field of surgical technology in West Virginia, according to the PMP. Nationally, the BLS reports this job market will see 12 percent growth by 2026.

Surgical technologists will likely earn the most in cities like Wheeling, Morgantown and Charleston. Work will be available in local hospitals, cosmetic surgery centers, outpatient facilities, OB/GYN clinics and more. If you are able to stand for long periods of time while remaining alert and attentive, this may be the career field for you. In surgical technology, compassion for patients combined with meticulousness, technical skills and teamwork will help ensure your career is a long-lasting and fulfilling one.

College Programs

Charleston, WV Area

Carver Career Center

4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, West Virginia 25306-6397
(304) 348-1968
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Carver Career Center’s Certificate program is based at their campus in Charleston in Kanawha County. Most of the school’s 223 students are on 2-year programs. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 93%. Tuition fees for the Surgical Technology program are generally in the order of $3,368 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,697. The typical program completion time is 12 months.

Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Area

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

13650 Apple Harvest Drive, Martinsburg, West Virginia 25403
(304) 260-4380
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College’s Associate program is based at their campus in Martinsburg in Berkeley County, West Virginia. This public college has about 5,552 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $3,864 and for students from outside the state in the order of $6,984 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,364, although this will vary with the program.

James Rumsey Technical Institute

3274 Hedgesville Road, Martinsburg, West Virginia 25403-0259
(304) 754-7925
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technology at James Rumsey Technical Institute is based at their campus in Martinsburg in Berkeley County, WV. This public college has round 128 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is in the order of $6,024 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $2,143, although this will vary with the program.

Morgantown, WV Area

Monongalia County Technical Education Center

1000 Mississippi Street, Morgantown, West Virginia 26501-6841
(304) 291-9240 x223
Surgical Technology – Certificate Program

Monongalia County Technical Education Center’s Certificate program is based at their campus in the city of Morgantown, West Virginia. This public college has about 62 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is over 80%. Tuition fees for the Surgical Technology program are around $4,370 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,635. The typical program completion time is 9 months.

Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH Area

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

300 Campus Drive, Parkersburg, West Virginia 26104
(304) 424-8000
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Surgical Technology at West Virginia University at Parkersburg can be taken at their campus in Parkersburg in Wood County. Most of the school’s 2,812 students are on 4-year programs. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly in the order of $3,384 and for students from outside the state around $7,920 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,500, depending on the program.

Southern West Virginia Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Academy of Careers and Technology

390 Stanaford Rd, Beckley, West Virginia 25801
(304) 256-4615 x302
Surgical Technologist – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Surgical Technologist at Academy of Careers and Technology is based at their campus in the city of Beckley, West Virginia. Most of the school’s 192 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Surgical Technologist program are around $5,495 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,155. The typical program completion time is 11 months.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College

Dempsey Branch Road, Mount Gay, West Virginia 25637
(304) 896-7098
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Associate-level Surgical Technology program is taught at their campus in the town of Mount Gay. This public college has approximately 1,644 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $3,556 and for students from other states in the order of $5,980 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,472, although this varies from program to program.

Wheeling, WV-OH Area

West Virginia Business College-Wheeling

1052 Main St, Wheeling, West Virginia 26003
(304) 232-0361 x16
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

West Virginia Business College’s Associate program in Surgical Technology is taught at their Wheeling campus in the city of Wheeling. The college has approximately 115 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Fees for tuition are, as a rough guide, about $10,200 per year, while books and supplies may cost about $2,750, depending on the program chosen.

West Virginia Northern Community College

1704 Market St., Wheeling, West Virginia 26003-3699
(304) 233-5900
Surgical Technology – Associate Program

West Virginia Northern Community College’s Associate program in Surgical Technology is taught at their campus in the city of Wheeling, West Virginia. The college has in the region of 2,013 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-state students are about $3,684 and for students from other states likely to be about $10,620 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,135, 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

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