Sterile Processing Technician Training Program Information

Sterile processing technicians ensure that surgical tools and workstations are adequately sterilized for surgery and medical procedures. Several colleges and universities offer Central Sterile Processing Technician Certificate programs to prepare students for this career.

Essential Information

Sterile processing technician certificate programs provide students with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to maintain sterile medical environments. Students often participate in laboratory or clinical practice where they learn and practice sterilization and sanitization procedures. Graduates with a year of full-time experience are eligible to become certified as a Central Sterile Processing Technician.

To qualify for admission to a certificate program, students must have their high school diplomas or equivalent, be at least 17 years old, and submit recent physical examinations and immunization records. Before clinical courses, individuals should also make sure they obtain health or malpractice insurance.

Certificate Program in Sterile Processing Technology

A certificate program in sterile processing provides students with introductory health sciences courses as well as practical training in sterilization techniques. Math and computer courses may be included in the curriculum along with a clinical practicum. Some possible courses include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy
  • Infection and contamination control
  • Surgical equipment identification
  • Sanitation and sterilization

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical equipment preparers, in general, held approximately 50,330 positions across the country in 2015. More than 35,500 of these individuals worked in general medical and surgical hospitals. The annual median wage for the profession in May 2015 was about $33,330, per the BLS.


The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) offers professional certification for graduates of approved programs with significant work experience. Certification through this board is valid for five years, and professionals must submit proof of continuing education to renew certification. The CBSPD provides an approved course that meets continuing education requirements.

Certificate programs are available for students hoping to get jobs as sterile processing technicians. Not only do these programs equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful, they can also qualify individuals to seek professional certification.

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