How do I Become a Central Sterile Processing Technician?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2019
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Central sterile processing technicians are essential members of health care teams. They maintain the cleanliness of hospital rooms, diagnostic equipment, and medical supplies to ensure the safety of staff and patients. In order to get this job in most countries, an individual must complete an accredited vocational training program and earn certification by passing written exams. An individual who is interested in the profession can investigate the costs and curricula of different programs and explore employment opportunities in his or her area.

A person who wants to become a central sterile processing technician can usually find out about educational programs by performing an Internet search and talking to representatives at local schools or hospitals. Training programs are commonly offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and specialized hospital programs. The length and cost of programs can vary considerably, though most take between one to six months to complete. Students get the opportunity to receive classroom instruction and demonstrations from trained professionals in the field. They learn about human anatomy, medical terminology, the importance of sterile practices, and the ethical elements of the job.


Upon graduation from an accredited program, a student is typically awarded a degree or a certificate of completion. Many schools offer job placement services, which help new graduates find entry-level work or internships at local hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or surgical centers. In order to earn certification and officially become a central sterile processing technician, an individual is usually required to log several hundred hours of supervised, on-the-job experience. New employees work closely with experienced professionals to learn the specific tasks of the job.

Some states and countries require passing scores on certification exams to become a central sterile processing technician. Exams are typically offered by nationally or internationally recognized governing committees. By doing well in school and gaining several hundred hours of practical experience, an individual can be confident that he or she will do well on written and practical certification exams. Many websites and reliable publications offer exam preparation material and study guides, which provide additional information and test-taking strategies to ensure success.

After gaining experience and certification in the field, an individual may be able to get a job in a larger organization or a more specialized setting. Many professionals become managers or supervisors of entire departments by proving their competence for the job and pursuing continuing education. Central sterile processing technicians are often in high demand, and top workers generally enjoy high levels of job satisfaction and security.


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Post 7

That's a great article, guys! Just wanted to add that there are three types of schools there: two year schools, six week schools and online.

Also, there are two types of certifications- CBSPD and IAHCSMM. So, they take a different amount of time, different amount of money, but absolutely the same certifications.

I've been working on the field of placing students from a 6 weeks schools to internship and then to work. And my advice would be as follows, don't waste your time. Go to some 6 weeks school and take an online course(prices start at $500) and take the CBSPD exam. And then look for a job on a real website instead of some generic website where recruiting agencies are looking for candidates to fill in their excel tables at work and will never call you back.

Post 6

Does anyone know if there are any classes in Philadelphia?

Post 4

How can I train as a sterile technician in Manchester, please?

Post 3

@Azuza - I think if you're going to do any kind of classes to prepare you for a health related career, you should definitely make sure that there is a clinical component. Employers look for this, but as you said, it can help you get a job.

I have several friends that went to school for various health related professions, and they both got their first jobs because of their clinical experiences. They impressed their supervisors and got hired at the clinical location directly after they graduated. That seems pretty desirable to me, instead of running around trying to find a job!

Post 2

@indemnifyme - I was looking into doing an allied health program, and the difference in cost between a vocational school and my local community college was staggering. If I decide to do it, I'm definitely going to the community college!

My community college actually also has a sterile processing technician program. I believe the program is a little bit longer than 6 months, but it looks pretty in depth. Also, the program has a clinical component, which I hear is usually good for helping students get a job after they get done with the program.

Post 1

I just wanted to point out that if you want to get training so you can get sterile processing tech certification, check your community college first. I've noticed that most programs that are offered at for-profit vocational schools are also offered at community colleges.

I think community colleges are a way better option for this kind of thing, because the training is usually the same (or better), but much, much cheaper. Also, you can usually get financial aid to attend community colleges, but you might not be able to get it to go to a vocational school.

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