How to Begin Your Adventure as a Traveling Surgical Tech

In today’s healthcare field, traveling surgical technicians play a crucial role in ensuring smooth operations in hospitals nationwide. They support surgical teams by preparing operating rooms, sterilizing equipment, and assisting during procedures, following strict safety rules.

With healthcare demand rising, there’s a growing need for flexible professionals who can work in different hospitals temporarily. This trend has boosted the demand for traveling healthcare workers, including surgical techs. Let’s delve into this important role and the opportunities it offers in healthcare.


How To Become a Traveling Surgical Tech

  1. Understanding the Role

When working as a traveling surgical tech, you can anticipate a range of responsibilities. These include preparing the operating room before surgery begins. During procedures, technicians assist surgeons by handing them instruments, ensuring supply counts, and maintaining sterility. Post-surgery, their duties involve applying bandages, transporting patients to recovery areas, and replenishing operating supplies. Most technicians work in hospitals, surgery centers, and private clinics both throughout the United States and internationally.

  1. Education

The road to becoming a traveling surgical tech officially begins with completing an accredited surgical technologist program. Unlike many fields, a university degree is not mandatory, allowing for faster completion of education. Typically, applicants qualify for a degree program if they have earned a high school diploma or GED. The educational program is typically completed through the form of a 1-year certificate or 2-year associate’s degree.

  1. Get Certified

Most traveling surgical tech positions require certification to demonstrate mastery in maintaining a safe and sterile operating room environment.

The certification process is overseen by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) and the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). Each test comprises 175 questions and typically takes around four hours to complete. Practice exams are available to familiarize candidates with the format and pinpoint areas needing further review before sitting for the actual exam.

  1. Gaining Experience

Another aspect to consider when looking into how to become a traveling surgical tech is the need for several months of work experience. Once you gain a surgical tech diploma or obtain a certification, it is recommended that you have at least 12 months of surgical tech experience, with some facilities requiring upwards of 24 months. This is the ideal time to search for clinical internship offerings as well as opportunities for on-the-job training. It provides a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience from leaders in the industry and ultimately stand out when applying for positions.

  1. Find a Healthcare Staffing Agency

Finding a healthcare staffing agency is crucial for aspiring travel surgical techs, as they  streamline the process of securing travel assignments by offering access to a wide range of job opportunities across different healthcare facilities. Moreover, working with a recruiter gives the ability to negotiate competitive pay rates and benefits, handle contractual details, and provide ongoing career support including professional development opportunities. This partnership not only facilitates access to diverse work environments but also enhances career growth and financial stability.

  1. Apply for Travel Jobs

After registering and submitting your credentials with the assistance of your chosen healthcare staffing agency, you’ll typically undergo a thorough consultation and interview with a recruiter who will assess your skills and preferences. They will then match you with suitable job opportunities based on your qualifications and desired criteria. Once assigned, the agency assists with logistical arrangements like travel and housing and provides orientation to ensure you’re well-prepared for your new role.


Becoming a traveling surgical tech offers a unique blend of opportunity for adventure in combination with professional development. By following the essential steps- obtaining necessary education and certification, gaining relevant experience, and working with a staffing agency- you are set up for success in this rewarding career path.

If you’re eager to set sail on this adventure, we encourage you to join our team. Contact us now to begin your journey toward a fulfilling career as a traveling surgical tech!



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