How Long Are Surgical Tech Programs?

How long are surgical tech programs?
The duration of surgical tech programs can vary depending on the type of program and the school you attend.

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Surgical tech programs typically last between 10 and 18 months, although some programs may be as short as nine months or as long as two years. The length of the program will depend on the type of program you choose and the amount of experience you already have in the field.

The Length of Surgical Tech Programs Varies

While most surgical tech programs can be completed in two years or less, the length of the program may vary depending on the school you attend and whether you choose to study full-time or part-time.

Some schools offer surgical tech programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months, while others may require up to three years of study. If you choose to study part-time, it is important to note that it may take longer to complete your program.

In addition to the length of time it takes to complete a surgical tech program, there are also a few other factors that can affect how long it takes you to become a certified surgical technologist. For example, if you have already earned a degree in another healthcare field, you may be able to complete a surgical tech program in a shorter amount of time than someone who has no prior experience in the healthcare field.

It is also important to note that most surgical tech programs include a clinical component, which means that you will spend some time working in an operating room or other medical facility before you are eligible to take the certified surgical technologist exam. The length of time you spend in a clinical setting will vary depending on the requirements of your chosen program.

If you are interested in becoming a certified surgical technologist, the best way to determine how long it will take to complete a surgical tech program is to speak with an admissions representative from the school of your choice.

Factors That Determine the Length of a Surgical Tech Program

While the length of surgical tech programs can vary, most will take between nine and 24 months to complete. The specific length of time required to complete a program will depend on a number of factors, including whether you pursue a diploma, certificate or degree, and whether you attend school full- or part-time.

When choosing a surgical tech program, it’s important to consider your career goals and schedule to determine which type of program will best fit your needs. For instance, if you’re looking to enter the workforce as quickly as possible, pursuing a diploma or certificate may be the best option. These programs typically take between nine and 12 months to complete and can be attended on a full- or part-time basis.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in surgical technology but also want the flexibility to pursue other opportunities in the future, such as becoming a registered nurse, then completing an associate’s degree may be the best option for you. These programs typically take two years (or four semesters) to complete if attended full-time. Part-time students may need up to six years to complete an associate’s degree.

Keep in mind that if you’re interested in eventually obtaining certification through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), you must have completed an accredited program. The NBSTSA currently accredits over 400 surgical tech programs across the country.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long surgical tech programs last. The length of time it takes to complete a program depends on many factors, including the type of program you choose and your individual learning pace. However, most surgical tech programs can be completed in about two years.

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