• Certifications and Licenses
  • CST - Certified Surgical Technologist

    • $155-$290
    • Renews every 4 years

    COURSE FORMAT

    About

    Becoming a surgical tech is a great career choice for those who seek a skilled medical career without the extensive education and training required for nurses and surgeons.

    Surgical  technologists prepare the operating room, including the sterile field, surgical equipment, supplies, and solutions. Surgical technologists pass instruments, fluids, and supplies to the surgeon during surgery and prepare and manage surgical equipment.

     Surgical technologists simultaneously manage the sterile field and specimens. Surgical technologists perform a count of sponges and supplies to prevent objects being left inside a human body. Surgical technologists are certified following successful completion of a CAAHEP-accredited program or other programmatically-accredited surgical technology program and the national Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) examination administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. 

    Eligibility requirements

    • High school graduate

    • Earn an associate degree

    • Get hands-on professional experience

    • Prepare for certification exams

    • Apply for jobs

    What are the costs?

    Becoming certified by the NBSTSA; The total cost for application and examination for members is $190. For non-NBSTSA members, the cost is $290.

    Certification through the National Center for Competency Testing to receive the Surgical Technician credential—Certified TS-C (NCCT), will cost approximately $155 to $195 for exam fees.

    Certification

    How to become certified There are two main ways to become certified as a surgical technologist

    1. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) provides those who pass an examination with the credential of Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).

    2. Certification may also be obtained through the National Center for Competency Testing. This organization offers credentialing for a number of allied health professions, including medical assistants, phlebotomy technicians, and of course—surgical techs.

    Renewal information

    Certification renewal is a two-step process. Certified Surgical Technologists (CST) must earn 60 CE credits before their four-year cycle expires to renew their certification.

    1. Earn and Submit Continuing Education (CE) Credits to AST

    2. Submit Certification Renewal Application to the NBSTSA

    Other Resources

    1. NBSTSA Surgical technology board review questions and practice tests 2. Review the Certified Surgical Technologist reference textbook list 3. Take the CST Practice Examination, available through the NBSTSA

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    Frequently asked questions

    What is Certification?

    The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) offers the national certification exam and credential.

    It administers the national certification exams and issues the certification for CSTs and CSFAs.

    After I have all my credits, what other steps do I need to recertify?

    Submit a renewal application to the NBSTSA.

    Is my AST membership included with my student ASA membership?

    No. The AST membership is $80, and separate from the student ASA membership for $45.

    Why can’t I login to the AST website?

    Some common reasons why you may not be able to log into your account may be because your email has changed or your membership has expired. To update your login, contact Member Services at [email protected]

    Does AST accept college courses for CE credit?

    Yes, each college hour is worth 5 credits. Members need to earn the college credits within their membership and certification cycle. To see which classes are eligible for credits, check out AST's Continuing Education Policies for the CST and CSFA, then click on either the 4-year cycle or 2-year cycle. Surgical technologists, also known as surgical techs, scrub techs, and OR (operating room) techs, work closely with doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, surgical first assistants, and patients to provide safe and sterile surgical procedures of all kinds.