New Jersey Surgical Technician Training Programs and Schools

Career Information for Surgical Technologists in New Jersey

Surgical technologists play a key role in the operating room. They prepare the rooms for procedures, arrange the necessary equipment, and then assist doctors during surgeries. Their work starts way before the first incision; they stock needed supplies and prepare patients for procedures by washing and disinfecting the operating site. Other duties include:

  • Counting sponges, needles, and instruments before and after operation
  • Scrubbing arms and hands and assisting the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves, masks, and surgical clothing
  • Providing technical assistance to surgeons, surgical nurses, or anesthesiologists
  • Positioning patients on the operating table and covering them with sterile surgical drapes to prevent exposure

Most surgical technicians will need either an Associate's degree or a postsecondary certificate. Accredited programs can take from one to two years, and are taught at community colleges, vocational schools and many colleges. Some get their training from the military. According to the Department of Labor, only about 23 percent of surgical technicians attended college but don't have a degree.

Surgical technologists can be certified by passing the National Certifying Examination for Surgical Technologist and Surgical First Assistants, and many employers require that. Washington and Colorado are the only states that actually license surgical technologists, although the Association of Surgical Technologist has encouraged all states to require that all states only allow graduates of accredited programs work as surgical technologists.

Fast Facts for Surgical Technologists in New Jersey

Surgical technologists in New Jersey earn on average about $47,800 annually, which is 10 percent higher than the national average. There are 2,100 surgical technologists in New Jersey. That translates to about 0.54 surgical technologists of every 1,000 workers in the Garden State.

The highest concentration of surgical technologists is in Newark, where there are 1.44 for every 1,000 workers. Trenton has the lowest concentration, at 0.49 per 1,000.

Nearly a quarter of all the state's surgical technologists work in the Edison/New Brunswick area, although Newark and Camden are close behind, with 20 percent and 19 percent of the state's total respectively.

Here's a breakdown of the number of surgical technologists in each of New Jersey's major cities, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data from May 2014:

  • Atlantic City: 70
  • Edison-New Brunswick: 500
  • Camden: 390
  • Newark: 420
  • Trenton: 110

Surgical Technologist Salary in New Jersey

While salaries for surgical technologists are higher in New Jersey than in many parts of the country, the highest of those state salaries are paid in Atlantic City, where the average annual compensation is 16 percent higher than the national average.

Jobs for surgical technologists are expected to grow. Nationally, the BLS predicts that between 2014 and 2024, nearly 15,000 new surgical technologist jobs will be added. That's a 15 percent growth rate and it's much higher than the expected average for all occupations. The demand will be driven by an aging population in need of more surgeries, and by federal insurance laws that will make health insurance available to more people in the U.S.

While the majority of surgical technologist work in general medical or surgical hospitals, many also work in the offices of physicians or in outpatient clinics. A small percentage work in dentists' offices. According to BLS data, the highest salaries are paid to the few hundred surgical technologists who work in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing field. Here's the breakdown:

Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing


Offices of Dentists


Individual and Family Services


Specialty Hospitals


Other Residential Care Facilities


Metro Areas Rated for Salary and Popularity

Here's a breakdown of the concentration of surgical technologist jobs per 1,000 total jobs in each of New Jersey's primary metropolitan areas. The average salary paid in each area is also listed:

Atlantic City



Edison-New Brunswick












Expert Q&A

To learn more about what you need to become a surgical technologist in the state of New Jersey, we sat down with professor Carolan Sherman, program director of the Surgical Technology Department at Bergen Community College.

What are the advantages of studying to become a surgical technologist?

Advantages to attending Bergen Community College for the Surgical Technology Program is that we are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education. Bergen Community College was the first school to become accredited in the state of New Jersey. Since it is a state school, the tuition is very reasonable. It is very important to become accredited as you cannot sit for the national exam if you have not graduated from an accredited program.

What's the best way to prepare for college courses in surgical technology?

The best way to prepare is to begin college courses as soon as possible, including English and Math. Every student must take a Basic Skills Test to get accepted into BCC prior to even applying for the Surgical Technology Program.

What is the career outlook for surgical technologists?
Jobs for CSTs are available in hospitals, surgicenters and various facilities where surgery is being performed. I say CST (certified surgical technologist) because it is required that you be certified to work in the state of New Jersey and many other states. Students sit for the exam at the college at the end of the program and receive their results approximately four weeks later.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
  2. New Jersey, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nj.htm
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Surgical Technologists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/surgical-technologists.htm
  4. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, https://nbstsa.org/examinations-cst.html

Schools for Surgical Technologists in New Jersey are listed below.

Selected Schools in New Jersey

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

This list also contains online schools that accept students from New Jersey.

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Berkeley College
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  • Programs: AAS , Surgical Technologist, Certificate , Surgical Processing Tech
  • Degrees: Associate, Certificate

Jump into the exciting world of technology or medical services at Harris School.

  • Programs: Surgical Technology
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More New Jersey Schools

School Name Campus Highest Award Enrolled
Atlantic Cape Community College Mays Landing Associate 6,922
Bergen Community College Paramus Associate 15,057
Camden County College Blackwood Associate 14,741
Eastwick College Ramsey Associate 490

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Surgical Technologists

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for New Jersey. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Surgical Technologists

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Surgical Technologists relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Metro Area Jobs Salary

New Jersey

Atlantic City 70 $53050 0.79
Hammonton 70 $53050 0.79
Trenton 100 $43590 0.59
Vineland 40 $52120 0.89
Bridgeton 40 $52120 0.89
Employment For:

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