Numerous opportunities exist in the surgical tech field for San Diego residents. The city has been a hotbed for those seeking a career in the medical care industry since the Second World War, when a number of hospitals opened up to serve military personnel shipping in or out with the U.S. Navy.
Today, population increase in Southern California and the specialization of medical care has opened the door for students desiring to enter the medical professional as a surgical assistant.
The training involved is geared toward knowledge of the human body and how it is affected by injuries, how preventative surgery helps to keep the body in good health, and how surgical procedures are carried out. Doctors rely on well-trained assistants during and after the actual operating procedure in much the same way a dentist depends on the assistance provided in an examination room. Surgical assistants also have a leg up on the competition when it comes to advancement in the medical sector.
California state law does not require certification to work as a surgical assistant. However, completing a program at an accredited institution allows an individual to consider a greater number of job possibilities. Most degree programs are upper-class and require two years of undergraduate credits before the coursework can be undertaken. Many of the specialized training courses are from one to two years in length, and the student is awarded a Bachelor’s degree, Associate’s degree, or certificate of completion that helps open doors in the job market.
Many of the accredited institutions in the San Diego area that offer degree or certificate programs for surgical technicians require previous credit in the areas of biology, chemistry, and general nursing. Upon completion of the program, students may also take a national certification exam. This helps immensely in the search for jobs, especially those that pay a monthly salary that is above the national average.
The Concorde Career College in San Diego offers a full program that covers various surgical technician and surgical assistant job duties. There are lecture classes, laboratory time, and a series of exams that must be passed before a degree is earned. Those with sufficient undergraduate college credit can earn their Bachelor’s degree with a core emphasis on surgical assistant training at Concorde Career College.
In nearby Oceanside, the MiraCosta College offers an extensive operating room surgical assistant course. This school is also accredited and is recognized by the CAAHEP. This is a 38-credit program that includes both classwork and a minimum number of hours in an actual operating room. Students may choose either the certificate of achievement program or the Associate in Arts degree program.
South of San Diego, the Southwestern College in Chula Vista offers an Associate in Science degree program for surgical assistant students. The student undertakes a 56-credit course that includes the same training that is required for surgical technician certification. Remaining credits involve classes in writing, biology, humanity, psychology, and mathematics.
A certificate or degree from one of the accredited schools in the San Diego area does not guarantee a full-time position, but the education and knowledge will certainly make the job search much easier.
Many employers will require certification or the holding of a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree before considering a candidate. Although the number of jobs in the field of surgical techs is growing across Southern California, the candidate that has completed a degree program will find a greater number of available openings for which they qualify.
National certification can be obtained after the coursework is completed. Entities that provide examinations for certification include the National Center for Competency Testing, the National Board of Surgical Technology, and the National Healthcare Association.
Students earning their degree at an accredited school will receive assistance from their advisor concerning national certification as a surgical tech.
The average starting salary for a surgical assistant in the San Diego area is approximately $35,000. Those who are certified as a First Surgical Assistant and who have passed the exam for national certification may be offered a position that pays $40,000 or more. Those with at least three years of experience may earn in excess of $60,000. This is especially true if the student participated in an internship program after earning a degree or certificate.
The number of surgical tech jobs in the Southern California region is expected to increase by as much as 10 percent over the next five to ten years. This is primarily due to the growing population and the need for specialty care for the aging members of society.
The number of citizens above the age of 70 has been growing steadily thanks to the baby boom in the mid-20th century. This has resulted in a greater need for health care specialists, especially those educated in the surgical procedure sector.
San Diego Area Surgical Tech Programs
At Brightwood College, we offer accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience focused on helping you gain skills for your chosen career.
We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.
Within the classroom, it is our mission to not only provide vocational training, but to help you develop the professional skills, values, attitudes and strategies that will enhance your potential for success on campus, in your career and through life.
The success of our students is our greatest success. Because when our students succeed, we’ve completed the job we set out to do: empower the courageous, and enable real and relevant change.
- Chula Vista
- Palm Springs
- Medical Assistant
- Healthcare Assistant
- Nurse Assistant
At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it. From the moment you enter our school, to graduation and beyond, we are right by your side. Our mission is to prepare students for employment by providing industry-relevant education and training within a positive, supportive and caring environment.
Whether it’s a career in the healthcare field, computers or business, UEI College is here to help. Our quality hands-on training will prepare you for real world situations.
Every member of our faculty and staff works hard to pass on their real-world knowledge and provide tools their students can use to excel in their chosen field and carry that knowledge on well past their time at UEI College. Many of our programs can be completed in as little as 8 – 9 months.*
Need help finding a job? Our career services department will assist you with your search, your resume and your interview skills. Need help paying for school? Our student financial services department will determine if you qualify for financial aid or even scholarships!
If you don’t have your High School Diploma, ask us about your options! As a student in one of our eligible career pathway programs, you’ll have the opportunity to earn your High School Diploma while you complete your career training! Best of all, the opportunity to complete high school is available to you at no additional cost!**
Our schools are accredited and ready to get you started on your path to success.
At UEI College, “We put U First.” ™
**Not all programs are eligible.
Not all programs available at all locations.
*Timing varies by program. UEI – Huntington Park, Anaheim, Chula Vista, El Monte, Encino, Ontario, San Marcos, Stockton, and Morrow are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACC
- San Marcos
- Medical Assistant
We believe that each student at Milan Institute holds the key to his or her own success. Our staff and instructors strive to help each student develop the professionalism that will open a world of creativity and knowledge. Milan Institute offers a college atmosphere conducive to learning and individual growth. Excellent training and job placement assistance enable our students to become enterprising professionals.
- Palm Desert
- Medical Assisting
Keiser University eCampus Online
For more than 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, career-focused education in fields such as health care, business, criminal justice and information technology. Our one-class-at-a-time schedules allow busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family. Whether you choose to attend online, on campus, or both you will be part of a caring learning environment led by experienced faculty who bring textbooks to life with real-world challenges and solutions. Our unique combination of a curriculum that is in pace with technology and the skills employers value along with our “students first” approach provides an outstanding academic experience.
Why Keiser University Online
Online Convenience to Help You Achieve Your Goals
From faculty to admissions, our staff is dedicated to your success.
- Accessible faculty and staff with small classes to ensure personalized attention for each student
- State-of-the-practice online classroom technology in a user-friendly format to enhance learning
- Extensive online resources with access to all student services, including registration, instructional materials and an online library system with a wide range of academic journals, e-books, streaming videos, print titles and research databases
- Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools1
- Financial aid and scholarships available for those who qualify
- Military-friendly and committed to serving active members of the military, veterans and their families, with scholarships available for those who qualify.
- Approved for veterans training
- Transfer credits accepted subject to university approval
Keiser is one of Florida’s largest independent universities and is a valued choice for career-motivated students. We offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in fields that are in demand, and we provide job placement assistance to students and alumni.
Keiser University is a private, not-for-profit university.
1 Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.
- Keiser University eCampus Online
- Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Science
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