Top Surgical Technician Programs in Hawaii: Your Guide to a Rewarding Career

Deciding to become a surgical technician in Hawaii is the first step toward a dynamic and rewarding career in healthcare. But what’s next? In this article, we focus on one crucial part—choosing the right surgical technician program. Find out about surgical technician programs in Hawaii, their accredited training options, the skills you’ll learn, and the doors they’ll open in your professional life—all while enjoying the beautiful backdrop of the Hawaiian Islands.

Key Takeaways

  • Demand for surgical technicians in Hawaii is growing due to an aging population, with positive career prospects and high job satisfaction from being part of life-saving surgical procedures.
  • A high school diploma or GED is required to enter a surgical technician program, along with certain health prerequisites and other qualifications such as a drug test, TB skin test, physical exam, and up-to-date immunizations.
  • Certification for surgical technicians in Hawaii isn’t mandatory but is preferred by employers, and professionals can obtain it through the NBSTSA and maintain it with continuing education or re-examination for better job opportunities and potential salary increases.

Overview of Surgical Technician Career in Hawaii

Surgical technician assisting in surgery

Surgical technicians in Hawaii are integral to various surgical procedures as part of the surgical team. They:

  • Prepare operating rooms
  • Ensure the availability of necessary surgical equipment
  • Provide support to surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals during surgeries

This active participation in life-saving procedures not only provides a sense of accomplishment but also contributes to high job satisfaction.

Owing to the medical needs of the aging population, the career prospects for surgical technicians in Hawaii are promising. It is anticipated that the demand for skilled surgical technicians will continue to rise, contributing to long-term job security. With the right training and certification, you could be well on your way to a rewarding career in surgical technology.

Prerequisites for Entering a Surgical Technician Program

Certain prerequisites must be met to pursue this fulfilling career path. Let’s delve deeper into the educational, health, and other qualifications that you must have to enroll in a surgical technician program.

High School Diploma or GED

The first step towards pursuing a career as a surgical technician begins with obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent GED. This is a mandatory prerequisite for enrolling in any surgical technician program. You can even start exploring potential surgical tech schools while still in high school. However, you must have your diploma or GED in hand before you can start your courses.

Health Requirements

Apart from educational qualifications, there are certain health requirements that you need to fulfill. These include:

  • Drug tests
  • TB skin tests
  • A physical fitness exam
  • Up-to-date immunization records
  • Completion of the Hepatitis B vaccine series
  • Proof of a recent TB skin test or x-ray

Maintaining a safe and effective surgical environment necessitates that surgical technicians be free of communicable diseases, and chemical abuse, and have a strong understanding of medical terminology.

Other Qualifications

Once the educational and health prerequisites are met, there are a few more qualifications that you must have. These include adherence to accreditation standards, submission of application documents, and demonstration of proficiency in cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains.

For instance, graduates of the Kona Community Hospital Surgical Technology Program need to demonstrate these proficiencies as per the program’s accreditation standards.

Accredited Surgical Technician Programs in Hawaii

Kapiolani Community College Surgical Technology program classroom

A crucial step in your journey to becoming a surgical tech is selecting an accredited surgical technician program. Accredited programs ensure that you receive a quality education that prepares you to meet the demands of the healthcare field upon graduation.

This section explores some of the accredited Hawaii surgical tech schools, such as Kapiolani Community College, among others.

Kapiolani Community College

Kapi‘olani Community College, located in Honolulu, offers a Surgical Technology program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The program prepares students for the National Certification Exam for Surgical Technology through the NBSTSA.

The program combines classroom instruction and clinical practice in the operating room, equipping students with essential surgical technologist skills. These include setting up operating rooms, participating in surgical procedures, and developing competencies in attention to detail, communication, and teamwork.

The program lasts for two semesters, and upon completion, students receive a Certificate of Competence, which is a stepping stone towards becoming a certified surgical technologist, also known as a certified surgical technician.

Other Options

In addition to Kapiolani Community College, there are other options for aspiring surgical technicians. Hawaii Pacific Health offers an eight-week program specially designed for those interested in becoming Surgical Instrument Processing Technicians.

Another noteworthy option is the Surgical Technology Program at Kona Community Hospital, known for its rigorous curriculum that prepares students to become competent Surgical Technologists in various settings, including surgical centers.

The program at Hawaii Pacific Health includes online learning and hands-on clinical lab sessions at multiple locations, including Pali Momi Medical Center or Straub Medical Center on Oahu, and Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai.

Certification Process for Surgical Technicians in Hawaii

Although Hawaii does not legally mandate certification for surgical technicians, most healthcare institutions give preference to candidates with national certification. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) regulates this certification. It ensures the quality and standards of surgical technology and assisting.

To get certified, candidates must apply for the NBSTSA exam, which comes with a fee. Once certified, surgical technicians need to renew their certification every four years. This can be done by earning 60 continuing education credits or by retaking and passing the NBSTSA exam.

Certification not only enhances your credibility as a surgical technician but can also lead to better job opportunities and potentially higher salaries.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations for Surgical Technicians in Hawaii

Surgical technician working in a Hawaii hospital

By the year 2030, the field of surgical technology in Hawaii is projected to expand by 10%. This growth is largely due to the increased need for medical treatments and surgeries among the aging population. The demand for healthcare providers in rural areas of Hawaii also presents unique opportunities for surgical techs.

As for the financial aspect, surgical technologists in Hawaii can expect to earn anywhere between $18.00 to $30.00 per hour. The average annual salary for entry-level surgical techs is around $60,240. With more experience, surgical technologists can earn significantly more, even surpassing the salaries of paramedics and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Hawaii.

Skills and Qualities Needed for Success as a Surgical Technician

Certain skills and qualities are essential for excelling as a surgical technician. These include effective communication, strong attention to detail, and fluency in English. These core competencies ensure that surgical technicians can effectively execute their duties and contribute positively to the surgical team.

In addition to these, surgical technicians need to have:

  • Good visual and hearing acuity
  • Manual dexterity
  • Physical stamina
  • The strength to lift at least 20 pounds

Interpersonal skills, teamwork capabilities, adaptability, quick decision-making skills, and empathy are also crucial for dealing with the fast-paced and changing operating room conditions.

The efficiency and effectiveness of a surgical technician are greatly enhanced by technical proficiency in operating surgical machinery and equipment, as well as the ability to stay calm and think critically in stressful situations.

Opportunities for Professional Growth and Specialization

Numerous avenues for professional growth and specialization are offered in the field of surgical technology. One such opportunity is to diversify your career by working in several surgical specialties.

Surgical technicians in Hawaii can choose to specialize in areas like:

  • General surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Organ transplantation
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Plastic surgery

For further professional growth, surgical technicians can seek surgical technician training to enhance their skills in specific areas of healthcare.

Resources and Networking Opportunities for Surgical Technicians in Hawaii

More than just acquiring the necessary skills and qualifications, becoming an established part of the surgical technology community in Hawaii involves networking and resourcefulness. It also involves connecting with other professionals in the field and gaining access to valuable resources.

The Association of Surgical Technologists and the Hawaii State Assembly of the Association of Surgical Technologists are two key professional organizations for surgical technicians in Hawaii. These organizations provide scholarships, additional resources, and plenty of networking opportunities for surgical technicians.


In a nutshell, a career as a surgical technician in Hawaii is both challenging and rewarding. It involves acquiring a high school diploma or GED, meeting health requirements, enrolling in an accredited surgical technician program, and obtaining certification. The job market for surgical technicians in Hawaii is robust, and the demand is expected to grow. With the right skills and qualities, opportunities for professional growth and specialization are abundant. Moreover, resources and networking opportunities provided by professional organizations can further enhance your career as a surgical technician in Hawaii.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do surgical techs make in Hawaii?

Surgical technicians in Hawaii typically make between $43,000 and $72,000 per year, or $21 to $35 per hour. The average salary is around $57,100.

What is the highest-paid surgical tech?

The highest-paid surgical tech specialty is the surgical technology specialty. It offers some of the highest-paying surgical tech jobs available in the field.

What is the best major for a surgical tech?

The best majors for a surgical tech include biology, chemistry, exercise science, nursing, pre-health, or a health-related area. A bachelor’s degree in medical technician is also a common choice.

What is the role of a surgical technician in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, surgical technicians play a pivotal role in surgeries by preparing operating rooms, ensuring the availability of necessary equipment, and providing support to healthcare professionals during surgeries.

What are the prerequisites for entering a surgical technician program in Hawaii?

To enter a surgical technician program in Hawaii, you need a high school diploma or GED, meet health requirements, and hold certifications in Basic Life Support (BLS) and CPR. These are the prerequisites to consider.