As a sterile processing tech, you have a critical role in ensuring patient and provider safety. Sterile processing techs supply surgeons, physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals with sterilized instruments and equipment. The most successful sterile processing technicians are meticulous,organized, and knowledgeable – with a clear understanding of microbiology and sterile methods.
Sterile processing techs are referred to by several different names including central processing technician (CPT), central service technician (CST), central sterile processing technician (CSPT), central sterile supply technician (CSS tech), sterile processing and distribution technician (SPD tech or CPD tech), and surgical processing technician.
As a sterile processing tech, your daily responsibilities can include:
If you want to become a sterile processing tech, you’ll need to first graduate from high school or earn a GED. Some healthcare facilities will hire inexperienced sterile processing techs and provide on-the-job training; however, to be a competitive job candidate, you’ll want to complete a sterile processing tech program.
Once you have completed an educational program, you can take an exam to become certified through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the International Association for Healthcar Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM).
Only certain states require certification or licensing, but regulations are always changing. Be sure to check with your state’s health regulatory agencies to find out the requirements for your area.
The median salary for a sterile processing tech was $37,990 in 2018 with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $25,350 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $53,540 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Travel sterile processing tech salary closely aligns with that of permanent sterile processing techs; however, travel sterile processing tech pay is in the form of hourly compensation through your travel sterile processing agency rather than as payment directly from the healthcare facility. Travel perks such as paid housing and travel reimbursements, sign-on and completion bonuses, and education assistance add to the appeal of traveling as a sterile processing tech.
The work environment of a sterile processing tech can be fast-paced and physically demanding. It is typically a behind-the-scenes, solitary job. Sterile processing technicians often work during weekdays and shifts vary. They are located in hospitals, outpatient care centers, ambulatory surgical centers, clinics, or physicians’ offices.
When you take on a travel assignment as a sterile processing tech, you’ll have the freedom to choose when and where you want to work. You can enjoy the challenge and rewards of the career paired with the flexibility and fun of traveling someplace new. Join this exciting career and find your next sterile processing travel tech job today.
Are you thinking about travel nursing but still wondering which field is right for you?
Explore our top travel nursing specialties to learn more: