Sterile Processing Technician Schools

Sterile Processing Technician Schools

Sterile processing technician schools can prepare you to become a vital member of a health care team. Infections and illnesses can spread quickly making the task of assuring that all medical laboratory and health care equipment are free of bacterial contamination before use critically important. Many schools provide the necessary education for obtaining certification as a sterile processing technician. These programs, which require a high school diploma or equivalency degree, are organized around the need for sterile equipment used in hospitals, operating rooms, clinics and doctor's offices. Those studying to be sterile processing technicians will learn the most up to date methods of cleaning, sterilizing, inspecting and organizing tools for surgery and other medical procedures. Educational program coursework will commonly include classes in the following subject areas:
  • Anatomy and Physiology (basic)
  • Decontamination Methods
  • Microbiology/Infection Control
  • Sterilization Technology
  • Preparation and Handling of Instruments
  • Sterile Storage
  • Inventory Control
A typical sterile processing technician school can include a 5-6 week program with from 120 to 200 hours of classroom work and skills lab practice. Some schools offer additional hours of clinical internship. Upon completion of coursework the prospective sterile processing technician is advised, but not required, to complete the CBSPD (Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution). The BLS reports that the mean hourly wage for sterile processing technicians is $14.32 with a mean annual wage of $29,780. Those employed by the Federal Executive Branch in Washington, DC command the highest hourly mean wage of $18.28. Growth in this career is expected to be about as fast as average.