Surgical Tech: Top-Ranked Programs 2024

Are you considering a career in healthcare but unsure where to start? Becoming a Surgical Technologist might be the perfect choice for you! This exciting and rewarding field offers numerous opportunities to work closely with surgeons and other medical professionals. Surgical technologists play a crucial role in the operating room, ensuring surgeries run smoothly and efficiently. In this blog, we’ll explore the top-ranked Surgical Tech programs of 2024, providing you with comprehensive details to help you make an informed decision. Let’s dive in!

Why Choose a Career in Surgical Technology?

Surgical technologists, also known as surgical techs, are vital members of the surgical team. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and assist surgeons during procedures. With the healthcare industry booming, the demand for skilled surgical techs is on the rise. This career offers job stability, competitive salaries, and the opportunity to make a real difference in patients’ lives.

What to Look for in a Surgical Tech Program

Choosing the right program is crucial to your success as a surgical tech. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Accreditation: Ensure the program is accredited by a recognized accrediting body, such as the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  2. Curriculum: Look for a program that offers a comprehensive curriculum covering all essential aspects of surgical technology.
  3. Clinical Experience: Hands-on experience is vital. Check if the program provides ample clinical training opportunities.
  4. Certification Preparation: The program should prepare you for the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam.
  5. Reputation: Research the program’s reputation, including reviews from former students and industry professionals.

Top-Ranked Surgical Tech Programs of 2024

1. Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences

The Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences offers one of the best surgical tech programs in the country. Located in Rochester, Minnesota, this program is renowned for its rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical training. Students receive hands-on experience at the world-famous Mayo Clinic, ensuring they are well-prepared for their careers.

Surgical Tech: Top-Ranked Programs 2024

Key Highlights:

  • Accreditation: Accredited by CAAHEP.
  • Clinical Experience: Extensive training at Mayo Clinic facilities.
  • Certification Prep: High pass rate for the CST exam.
  • Reputation: Excellent reviews from alumni and healthcare professionals.
2. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati offers a highly respected surgical tech program through its College of Allied Health Sciences. This program provides a strong foundation in surgical technology, with a focus on both theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Key Highlights:

  • Accreditation: Accredited by CAAHEP.
  • Curriculum: Comprehensive coursework covering all aspects of surgical technology.
  • Clinical Experience: Partnerships with top hospitals for clinical rotations.
  • Certification Prep: Strong support for CST exam preparation.
  • Reputation: Well-regarded by employers and graduates.
3. Pima Medical Institute

Pima Medical Institute offers a top-notch surgical tech program at multiple campuses across the United States. Known for its student-centered approach, PMI provides personalized support to help students succeed.

Key Highlights:

  • Accreditation: Accredited by CAAHEP.
  • Curriculum: Well-rounded program with a balance of classroom instruction and hands-on training.
  • Clinical Experience: Extensive clinical rotations at affiliated healthcare facilities.
  • Certification Prep: Comprehensive exam preparation resources.
  • Reputation: Positive reviews from students and industry professionals.
4. St. Philip’s College

Located in San Antonio, Texas, St. Philip’s College offers a highly regarded surgical tech program. This program emphasizes both academic excellence and practical skills, preparing students for successful careers in surgical technology.

Key Highlights:

  • Accreditation: Accredited by CAAHEP.
  • Curriculum: In-depth coursework covering all essential areas of surgical technology.
  • Clinical Experience: Hands-on training at local hospitals and surgical centers.
  • Certification Prep: Strong focus on CST exam preparation.
  • Reputation: High student satisfaction and strong job placement rates.
5. Western Technical College

Western Technical College, located in La Crosse, Wisconsin, offers a well-respected surgical tech program. This program is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the field of surgical technology.

Key Highlights:

  • Accreditation: Accredited by CAAHEP.
  • Curriculum: Comprehensive program with a mix of classroom and clinical instruction.
  • Clinical Experience: Extensive hands-on training at affiliated healthcare facilities.
  • Certification Prep: Strong support for CST exam preparation.
  • Reputation: Positive feedback from students and healthcare employers.

How to Apply to a Surgical Tech Program

Applying to a surgical tech program can be a competitive process. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Research Programs: Start by researching the top-ranked programs to find the best fit for your needs and career goals.
  2. Meet Prerequisites: Ensure you meet all the prerequisites for the programs you’re interested in. This may include specific coursework, GPA requirements, and healthcare experience.
  3. Prepare Your Application: Gather all necessary application materials, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
  4. Apply Early: Submit your applications early to increase your chances of acceptance. Many programs have limited spots and accept students on a rolling basis.
  5. Prepare for Interviews: Some programs may require an interview as part of the admissions process. Be prepared to discuss your interest in surgical technology and your career goals.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Pursuing a career in surgical technology can be expensive, but there are many financial aid options available to help offset the costs. Here are some resources to consider:

  1. Federal Financial Aid: Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs.
  2. Scholarships: Many organizations offer scholarships specifically for students pursuing careers in healthcare. Check with professional associations, community organizations, and the schools you’re applying to for scholarship opportunities.
  3. Grants: Look for grants from state and local governments, as well as private foundations. Grants do not need to be repaid, making them a valuable source of funding.
  4. Work-Study Programs: Some schools offer work-study programs that allow you to earn money while gaining valuable experience in the healthcare field.

Career Outlook for Surgical Technologists

The career outlook for surgical technologists is very promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of surgical techs is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by an aging population, advances in medical technology, and an increasing number of surgeries being performed.

Salary Expectations

Surgical technologists earn competitive salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for surgical techs was $49,710 in May 2020. Salaries can vary based on factors such as location, experience, and education level. Surgical techs in certain states and metropolitan areas tend to earn higher wages due to higher demand for their skills.

Continuing Education and Advancement Opportunities

Continuing education is important for surgical technologists who want to stay current with the latest advancements in the field. Many surgical techs choose to pursue additional certifications or specialize in specific areas of surgery. Opportunities for advancement include roles such as surgical first assistant, educator, and healthcare administrator.


Choosing to become a surgical technologist is a rewarding decision that offers numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth. By enrolling in one of the top-ranked programs of 2024, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and fulfilling career. Remember to research your options, meet all application requirements, and explore financial aid opportunities to make your dream a reality. Good luck on your journey to becoming a skilled and valued member of the surgical team!