Endoscopy Technician

Physicians use endoscopes to examine the digestive tract of their patients. This thin, flexible tube has a camera on the end that allows doctors to detect diseases, lesions, or other medical issues such as cancer. They can even use the endoscope to take biopsies of tissue. This non-surgical procedure, while uncomfortable, is safe, efficient, and far preferable to exploratory surgery.

Endoscopy technicians assist doctors and nurses with endoscopies. They establish and maintain a sterile field, assist with equipment set up, help run equipment during procedures, sterilize equipment after procedures, and can be responsible for maintenance and repairs.

Aspiring endoscopy technicians can enter this field upon graduating high school or earning a GED. Once employed, they must complete on-the-job training. Endoscopy technicians who want to pursue formal education can complete a certificate program or an associate’s in endoscopy or surgical technology.

Earnings for endoscopy technicians vary based on education and years of experience. According to Payscale, endoscopy technicians earn $35,630 per year on average. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not keep data for endoscopy technicians, a related profession, surgical technologists, earn $49,040 per year. The job outlook for surgical technologists is good, with an anticipated 7 percent national increase in openings between 2019 and 2029. This increase is due to an aging baby boomer population that needs more medical care and surgeries.

Discover how to become an endoscopy tech, including required education, typical job duties, and a step-by-step guide.

Endoscopy Technician Specializations & Degree Types

There are several paths to becoming an endoscopy technician. While many aspiring technicians may choose to complete a certificate program or associate’s degree, it is possible to enter this field directly after high school and complete on-the-job training.

Certificate programs typically take a year to complete, while associate’s degrees take two or more years to earn. There are endoscopy technician-specific programs, although many professionals who enter this field choose to complete a surgical technologist program. It provides the necessary training and sought-after credentials and certifications that can be beneficial when searching for work.

Admissions Requirements for Endoscopy Technician Programs

Endoscopy technician and surgical technician programs can be very competitive, so candidates should strive to put forward the best application they can. Admission requirements typically include completing a basic life-saving class, holding a GED or high school diploma, and passing both a background check and drug screening. Often, programs may require students to complete prerequisite coursework in medical terminology, math, or anatomy.

Endoscopy Technician Program Accreditation

Ensuring a program is accredited is a crucial step when looking for an endoscopy technician program. Accreditation assures students that the program meets a minimum level of quality in faculty, facilities, and curriculum. Accreditation may be either from one of the six regional accrediting regions or programmatic from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which approves surgical technologist programs. There is no programmatic accreditation for endoscopy technician programs.

On-Campus Endoscopy Technician Degree Programs

Tallahassee Community College

The endoscopy technician certificate program at Tallahassee Community College can be completed in just two semesters. If students choose, they can complete additional coursework to meet the certification requirements as an associate with the SGNA. Required coursework includes classes such as orientation to perioperative services lab, microbiology for perioperative services, the art of teamwork in surgery, and endoscopy basics theory.

In addition to classroom work, students participate in extensive hands-on labs to gain the skills they will need to be successful endoscopy technicians. Students are admitted to this program each spring, however, this program is limited access, and admission is competitive. Students must apply to both Tallahassee Community College and the endoscopy technician program.

  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
  • Duration: Two semesters
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $387.27 per credit

Houston Community College

Students in the Houston Community College endoscopy technician program learn the necessary skills to handle scopes, supplies, and equipment during endoscopic procedures. Graduates are eligible for entry-level employment in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and surgery centers.

Applications are accepted and processed from January to June each year, so applicants need to be on top of timelines in order to be considered for this program. Prerequisite coursework, including an introduction to health professions and medical terminology, must be completed or in progress when applying for admission. Completing coursework in biology is not required, although highly recommended.

  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Duration: Two semesters
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $4,055 for the entire program

San Jacinto College(Related Program – Surgical Technology)

Students receive a well-rounded education and training in the surgical technology program at San Jacinto College, including endoscopy equipment. This program combines classroom learning with supervised clinical practicums to ensure students know how to apply what they have learned. Graduates of this program are prepared to assist with a variety of procedures, affording them flexibility when pursuing employment.

Coursework completed as part of this program can be used to complete an associate’s in applied science, should a student wish to pursue further education. This program has selective admissions and uses a scoring rubric to evaluate candidates. Applicants receive points for their GPA, grades on prerequisite coursework, and previous medical experience. Requirements for admission include completing a basic life support class, immunizations, a background check, and a drug screening.

  • Location: Pasadena, TX
  • Duration: Three semesters (12 months)
  • Accreditation: Commission for Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $5,379.40 for the entire program, including books and materials

Sinclair Community College(Related Program – Surgical Technology)

The associate’s of applied science (AAS) in surgical technology at Sinclair Community College prepares students to be valuable surgical team members. Graduates of this program work in various settings, including endoscopy centers, OB departments, operating rooms, and tissue banks. Students receive a combination of classroom education and hands-on clinical training.

As this is an associate’s degree program, students must complete general education coursework in addition to the classes in surgical technology. Students may complete their general education coursework prior to gaining admission to the more limited technical classes. In order to graduate from this program, students are required to take the Certified Surgical Technologist exam (CST), administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

  • Location: Dayton, OH
  • Duration: Five semesters
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $329.40 per credit

Bevill State Community College(Related Program – Surgical Technology)

For the past 20 years, 100 percent of the graduates of the surgical technology program at Bevill State Community College have found employment within six months of completing their certificate. This innovative program emphasizes education, skills, and attitude to create well-rounded surgical technologists who are an asset to any surgical team. Students must complete 120 clinical observations, of which up to 10 can be endoscopy procedures.

While there is no prerequisite coursework needed for admission, applicants must have a GED or high school diploma. Candidates are admitted on a competitive basis and are scored based on their interview with the program director, military service, Accuplacer exam scores, and previous medical-related field experience.

  • Location: Jasper, AL
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $266 per credit

Online or Hybrid Endoscopy Technician Degree Programs

Texas State Technical College (Related Program – Surgical Technology)

Texas State Technical College offers a hybrid surgical technology program. While there is no specific endoscopy certification, endoscopy is a component of the education students must complete.

Students pursuing a career in endoscopy can choose to complete endoscopic procedures as part of their clinical case requirements. All classroom coursework is offered online while clinical experiences are completed at Valley Baptist Medical Center and Harlingen Medical Center Surgical Suite.

Due to the physical nature of work as a surgical or endoscopy technician, students must complete a physical examination to be considered for admission. Other admission requirements include immunizations, drug screening, a background check, official transcripts, and a completed financial aid application.

  • Location: Waco, TX
  • Duration: Two semesters
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $270 per credit

Gulf Coast State College

At Gulf Coast State College, students can complete a surgical services associate’s of science (AS) with an endoscopic technician option. Students who are already employed in the field can complete their education online, while students who are not currently employed must complete a traditional on-campus program. Students must complete general education requirements in addition to coursework specific to surgical services and endoscopy.

This program includes the online SGNA Associate Credentialing Program. Upon completion of the program, students can use the title of GI Technical Specialist (GTS). Courses students must take to complete this program include endoscopy basics, endoscopy technician theory, and surgical anatomy and physiology.

  • Location: Panama City, FL
  • Duration: Two semesters
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $359.71 per credit

Trident Technical College

The continuing education department at Trident Technical College offers a six-week-long endoscope reprocessor course. While this certification on its own may not be enough to gain employment in the field, it can be a valuable addition to someone who already holds a surgical technologist certification, as knowing how to sterilize equipment is an essential part of this job.

To enroll in this program, students must already be working in endoscopy and have at least three months of work experience. Upon completion, graduates can sit for the CFER exam through the CBSPD.

  • Location: Charleston, SC
  • Duration: Six weeks
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $389

Berkeley College (Related Program – Surgical Technology Option)

Berkeley College in New York, NY, offers a health sciences associate in applied science degree (AAS). This two-year program can be completed online or in a hybrid format, depending on students’ needs. In addition to general education classes, students can choose to take a specialization in surgical technology. Students who complete this specialization are eligible to participate in the CFER examination administered by the CBSPD.

This program’s required coursework includes foundations in health services, medical terminology, ethics in health services, and fundamentals of surgical processing. In order to graduate from this program, students must sit for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification examination administered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Duration: Four semesters
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $870 per credit hour

Baptist Health System – School of Health Professions(Related Program – Surgical Technology)

Surgical technologists who need to complete additional education to earn certification can complete the five-semester Baptist Health System School of Health Professions surgical technology accelerated alternate delivery program. This online program features asynchronous classes so students can complete their coursework at their own pace. This program specifically targets surgical technologists who have already received on-the-job training or completed an unaccredited program.

In addition to surgical technologist coursework, students will also be required to complete general education classes. This balance in coursework ensures graduates are well-rounded and have the necessary skills to provide high-quality patient care.

  • Location: San Antonio, TX
  • Duration: Five semesters
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $20,150 (includes books and fees)

How Long Does it Take to Become an Endoscopy Technician?

One can gain entry-level employment as an endoscopy technician directly after high school or upon completing a GED. Professionals who pursue a direct route will complete on-the-job training that takes roughly a year to complete. If aspiring endoscopy technicians choose to pursue formal education, it typically takes one to two years of education post-high school to gain the necessary skills and training,

How To Become an Endoscopy Technician- Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Graduate from High School or Complete a GED (Four Years)

Completing high school or obtaining a GED is the first step in a career as an endoscopy technician. Not only is it required by most employers, but it can also be necessary for admission to a certificate or associate’s degree program. Students who are considering this career should focus on classes such as biology, math, chemistry, and psychology in order to gain the necessary skills to excel in this field.

Step 2a: Complete Endoscopy Technician Education (Optional, One to Two Years)

Aspiring endoscopy technicians can choose to complete formal education. Programs are offered as a one-year certificate or two-year associate’s degree. While education is optional in this field, it can be beneficial when looking for work or seeking a promotion. About half of endoscopy technicians have completed an education course.

Step 2b: Obtain On-The-Job Endoscopy Technician Training (Optional, One to Two Years)

Roughly half of endoscopy technicians enter this field by obtaining entry-level work and completing on-the-job training. This training typically lasts a year, although there are no formal requirements, so it can be shorter or longer depending on the employer.

Step 4: Earn an Endoscopy Technician Certification (Optional, Timeline Varies)

While certification is optional for endoscopy technicians, it can be beneficial when looking for work or pursuing a promotion. Check out the certification section below for details.

What Do Endoscopy Technicians Do?

Endoscopy technicians work in hospitals, at endoscopy centers, outpatient clinics, at surgery centers, and in physicians’ offices. Typical day to day duties include:

  • Preparing a suite or room for an endoscopy procedure
  • Assisting physicians or nurses during an endoscopy
  • Maintaining or repairing endoscopy equipment
  • Reprocessing (sterilizing) endoscopy equipment
  • Collecting specimens from a patient
  • Ensuring equipment is in proper working order before a procedure

Endoscopy Technician Certifications & Licensure

Certification as an endoscopy technician is voluntary, although highly recommended. The primary certifications earned in this field are:

  • Associate or technician through the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA). This is an online program that teaches the basics of endoscopy. Upon completion, candidates may call themselves a GI Technical Specialist (GTS) or Advanced GI Technical Specialist.
  • The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc. (CBSPD) offers a flexible endoscope reprocessor (GI scope) certification exam (CFER). This certification demonstrates competency in sterilizing endoscopes.
  • Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). This is for students who have completed a surgical technology program.
  • Tech in Surgery – Certified (TS-C) credential from the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). This is also for students who have completed a surgical technology program.

Currently, there are no state licensing requirements for endoscopy technicians. Surgical technicians working in endoscopy must be licensed in ten states, although there is lobbying and legislation to increase that number. Requirements for licensing vary by state, so candidates should contact their local board to ensure they have the necessary qualifications.

How Much Do Endoscopy Technicians Make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2019) does not maintain data on endoscopy technicians, but surgical technologist—a related occupation—can provide insights. Please note that the surgical tech role requires more education and has more responsibilities than most endoscopy technicians.

Average annual earnings for a surgical technologist are $49,040. Percentiles for wages are:

  • 10th percentile: $32,870
  • 25th percentile: $38,910
  • 50th percentile (median): $47,300
  • 75th percentile: $58,040
  • 90th percentile: $69,170

According to PayScale (2021), endoscopy technicians earn $17.13 per hour, which is a bit lower than the average of $23.58 for surgical technicians.

Endoscopy Technician Career Alternatives

Here are some alternatives to a career as an endoscopy technician.

Become a Dental Assistant

Dental assistants work in dental clinics and oral surgery centers. They work alongside hygienists and dentists, assist them with procedures, prepare rooms, and sterilize equipment. Dental assistants who have received additional training may even take patient x-rays. Often they can be called up to complete clerical work such as charting or assisting with insurance billing.

  • Typical Education: One year certificate
  • Licensing or Certifying Organization: Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)

Become a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants work in every health care setting, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, doctor’s offices, and more. They provide essential services such as taking patient’s vital signs, preparing or cleaning procedure rooms, and monitoring patients. They also perform many clerical tasks such as scheduling appointments and maintaining client records.

  • Typical Education: One year certificate
  • Licensing or Certifying Organization: American Medical Technologists (AMT), National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

Become a Clinical Laboratory Technician

Most clinical laboratory technicians work in hospitals, although they are also employed at diagnostic labs, physicians’ offices, and outpatient clinics. Typical duties include analyzing bodily fluid samples, using laboratory equipment, logging data, writing reports on findings, and discussing lab results with doctors.

  • Typical Education: Associate’s degree
  • Licensing or Certifying Organization: The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy Gustafson

Writer

Kimmy is a freelance writer with extensive experience writing about healthcare careers and education. She has worked in public health, at health-focused nonprofits, and as a Spanish interpreter for doctor’s offices and hospitals. She has a passion for learning and that drives her to stay up to date on the latest trends in healthcare. When not writing or researching, she can be found pursuing her passions of nutrition and an active outdoors lifestyle.

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