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Sterile Processing Technician Training Program Information

Get up to date on training information for aspiring sterile processing technicians. Learn about program basics such as education prerequisites and courses, and get career and certification information.

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Essential Information

Sterile processing technicians ensure that all 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. These 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 utilize training in sterilization and sanitization. Graduates with a year of full-time experience are eligible to test for certification as a Central Sterile Processing Technician.

Education Prerequisites

Applicants of a sterile processing technician certificate program must often be high school graduates who are at least 17 years of age. Some schools also require incoming students to submit recent physical examination, supply immunization records, and obtain health or malpractice insurance before they can begin clinical courses.

Program Coursework

A certificate program in sterile processing provides students with introductory health sciences courses as well as practical training in sterilization techniques. Additionally, math and computer courses may be included in the curriculum. Most programs include a clinical practicum. Some examples of 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 preparation workers, in general, held approximately 50,230 positions across the country in 2012. More than 35,000 of these individuals worked in general medical and surgical hospitals. The annual median wage for the profession in May 2012 was about $30,820, per the BLS.


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

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics