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.
Educational Requirements For Surgical Techs
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.
Classes involve a study of the following:
- Medical terminology
- Human anatomy
- Operating room procedures
- Use of specialized instruments and how to prepare them
- Assisting patients with mobility and preparing them for surgery
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.
Surgical Tech Schools In San Diego
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.
Graduates of these programs will be able to apply for positions with:
- Rehabilitation clinics
- Dental surgery centers
- Trauma centers and emergency care clinics
- Veterinary hospitals
- Cosmetic surgery clinics
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.
Salaries For Surgical Technicians
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
Concorde Career College
We believe hands-on experience is the best way to learn. And at Concorde, you’ll find that a “learn by doing” approach to healthcare training will get you the skills you need to succeed – and get you into the workforce quickly.
Even in today’s economy, the demand for skilled healthcare professionals shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Career Guide to Industries (2010-2011 Edition), the healthcare industry will generate .2 million in new wage and salary jobs between 2006 and 2016 – more than any other industry.
Now’s a great time to get started – and to move toward a rewarding healthcare career.
- San Diego
- Surgical Technology
- Medical Assistant
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At Kaplan College, we create programs with our students’ needs in mind. Our goal is to empower you with the real-world knowledge you need to succeed beyond the classroom. We offer a variety of programs at 40 campuses across 10 states in various degree levels to help train you for entry-level employment in a variety of rewarding careers.
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Gain comprehensive training designed to prepare you with the knowledge and skills that could help you pursue entry-level opportunities in the health care field. Experience the satisfaction of helping people when they need it most.
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Transform your vision into exciting possibilities. Study the creative and technical processes, strategic planning, and effective problem-solving techniques that could help you succeed in the design field.
Maintain and repair the computer systems many organizations rely on to conduct day-to-day business. Through hands-on training in computer laboratories, you could develop the communication, teamwork, and critical thinking skills to help you pursue entry-level opportunities in today’s competitive marketplace and become a productive member of a business office.
Play an important role in the legal field. Gain the confidence and experience that could help you stand out to employers and acquire the communication, research, and analytical skills to pursue entry-level positions in the legal field.‡
Pursue a career in health care and assist others. Develop the skills and experience that could help you pursue entry-level opportunities in the nursing field and make a difference in patients’ lives.§
Train for the skills that could help you pursue new career opportunities. Experience comprehensive training with group discussions, lectures, and hands-on experience with equipment typically used in the field to help you develop the practical skills to pursue career success.§
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At Kaplan College, we believe commitment works both ways. We are dedicated to your success and value your reason for going to school. That is why we are offering you an opportunity to experience real classes, for real credits, for an introductory period before having a tuition obligation.#
Why Choose Kaplan College?
- Flexible schedules
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Start today by taking the first step with Kaplan College.
*Areas of study may vary by location.
_†Additional academy training may be required for law enforcement positions. Applicants to the criminal justice program in the state of Texas will require additional training approved by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) upon graduation in order to seek the following positions: police officer, peace officer, sheriff’s deputy, bailiff, and jailer.
_‡Paralegals are not lawyers and cannot practice law or give legal advice.
§Certain positions may require additional training, licensing, or certification.
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While programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue employment in their field of study, or in related fields, the College does not guarantee that graduates will be placed in any particular job, or employed at all.
- Chula Vista
- San Diego
- Palm Springs
- Nursing Assistant
- Vocational Nursing
- X-Ray Technician/Back Office Medical Assistant
- Medical Assistant
San Joaquin Valley College
Better opportunities and increased financial stability could be just around the corner. Get the skills needed to go straight to work in today’s competitive job market with accelerated programs in medical, technical, and business fields. Founded in 1977, SJVC is an accredited private junior college with campuses located throughout California – including an Online division – offering a balance of classroom instruction and hands-on training to meet your needs.
- Medical Assistant
- Respiratory Therapy
California College San Diego
California College San Diego is a nonprofit institution that is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The college offers fast, career-focused degree programs in healthcare, business and information technology. The goal of the college is to quickly and conveniently prepare you to become a competent professional to enter a career in your chosen field.
- San Marcos, CA
- National City, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Medical Specialties (AOS)
- Respiratory Therapy (AS)
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 over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions. Degrees are offered with a curriculum that is in pace with technology and workforce demand trends in business, criminal justice, healthcare and computer technology. Our “one-class-at-a-time” approach allows busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family.
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, 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
- Associate of Arts in Health Services Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science