surgical technology students practicing skills

Surgical Technology Degree, AAS

Be an integral part of a surgical team as a surgical technologist. Set up operating rooms and maintain a sterile environment to help patients recover more quickly. Get hands-on training in our state-of-the-art facilities. With an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Surgical Technology, you'll be ready for a career as a surgical tech in two and a half years.

Why Study Surgical Technology?

Assist surgeons and create better patient outcomes by studying surgical technology. In a surgical technology program, you'll learn about sterile techniques, human anatomy, and surgical procedures. With your skills, you'll be an essential member of a surgical team.

Surgical technologists perform various important duties while on the job. Before each surgical procedure, they will arrange surgical equipment and set up a sterile field. During surgery, they will maintain the sterile field, pass surgical instruments, and assist in the procedure. Before closing the wound, they count the instruments, assist with final closing, and apply dressings to the wound, and help to ensure the patient remains in a clean environment.

The Surgical Technology AAS is a two-and-a-half-year program. You'll spend less time paying tuition and enter the job market more quickly. Also, the demand for surgical technologists is currently high. You'll be able to find a local job or take your skills across the country. Finally, your operating room experience will help you advance your career to become a surgical first assistant, a nurse, or a hospital administrator.

Why Earn a Surgical Technology AAS at San Juan College?

Hands-On Training

In the operating room, experience counts. That's why we ensure that our Surgical Technology AAS students spend valuable hours with surgeons and patients in clinical settings. You'll scrub into operation rooms at local hospitals and other medical facilities. Under close supervision, you'll perform tasks and receive feedback. By the time you graduate, you will have the skills to become an entry level surgical technologist who is an asset to your medical team.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

To help you develop your skills, San Juan College provides a state-of-the-art operating room lab for you to practice and learn. The space includes:

  • Two operating tables
  • Simulation mannequins with sim-capture
  • Laparoscopic trainers
  • A scrub room
  • A large variety of instrumentation

Quality Program

San Juan College's Surgical Technology program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. You'll get the highest quality education through our courses and clinical rotations and graduate in just two and a half years.

Our graduates consistently pass the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certification exam at a high rate. In our 2023 class, we had a 75% pass rate.

Affordable Option

Earn an associate degree in surgical technology to advance your career at an accessible cost. You'll receive high-quality education with real-world experience that will prepare you for your career. You may also qualify to get your degree tuition-free through the NM Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships.

What You'll Learn in the Surgical Technologist Program

Develop the skills you need to work in an operating room as an entry-level surgical technologist. By the end of your studies, you will be able to independently set up a surgical procedure and assist the surgeon during the operation. Have the confidence to work in an operating room with San Juan College's Surgical Technology program.

In your courses, you will learn topics such as:

  • Aseptic techniques
  • How to position patients for surgery
  • Correct preparation of instrumentation
  • How to set up operating rooms
  • The equipment and instruments for different types of surgery
  • Proper usage of case carts 
  • How to assist surgeons with instrumentation and medical procedures

To acquire additional medical knowledge, you will also study:

  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Microbiology

Surgical Technology AAS Curriculum

Careers and Outcomes

After completing your Surgical Technology AAS, you will be eligible to take the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) national certification examination. After passing the exam, you will be able to begin your career as a surgical technologist.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the overall employment of surgical assistants and technologists to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031, meaning there is rising demand for qualified workers.

With your skills, you'll quickly find a career at a medical facility in New Mexico or nationwide. Employers of recent SJC graduates include:

  • San Juan Regional Medical Center
  • Four Corners Ambulatory Surgery Center
  • Animas Surgical Hospital
  • Mercy Medical Center
  • Mountain View Medical Center
  • Memorial Medical Center
  • Presbyterian Rust Medical Center

Read the Surgical Technology Student Handbook

Understand the expectations for students in the SJC Surgical Technology program. Please review the ST Student Handbook before applying to the program.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the SJC's Surgical Technology program is selective, and completion of prerequisites is required. Learn more about the admissions requirements for the Surgical Technology program. 

NBSTSA Certificate Exam Outcome

This exam certifies you to become a surgical technologist.

2023 Annual Report (8-1-2021 to 7-31-2022)*


# of Graduated Students (CST Exam Eligible)

# of Students who Took the CST Exam

# of Students who Passed the CST Exam

# of Students who Passed the CST Exam

On Campus Students





Hybrid Students





*The information comes from the 2023 Annual Report submitted to ARC/STSA.

Accreditation Information

San Juan College's Surgical Technology program is accredited by:

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
9355 113th Street N, #7709
Seminole FL 33775

Next Steps

Contact the SJC Surgical Technology program so our department can review your eligibility. Email us at or call us at (505) 566-3492

To apply to the Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology program, you must first apply to San Juan College. You can complete your prerequisite courses and general education requirements as an SJC student.

Apply Now

Please make sure you meet all of the minimum eligibility requirements in the Admission Requirements section and perform all non-academic requirements as listed in the ST Student Handbook. The application deadline is the last Friday of October of each year.

Learn How to Apply

Phone: (505) 566-3320

West Classroom Complex,
Room 1911

M-F 8 a.m - 5 p.m

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