Sterile Processing Technician

Online Sterile Processing Technician classes

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The healthcare field offers a wealth of exciting career paths, and Sterile Processing Technicians (SPTs) play a vital role in ensuring patient safety. If you're interested in a dynamic healthcare role with excellent job growth prospects, enrolling in online Sterile Processing Technician classes is a flexible and effective way to get started.

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What does a Sterile Processing Technician do?

As a Sterile Processing Technician (SPT), you're the meticulous guardian of instrument hygiene. You play a vital role in the background of every surgery. Here's what you'd do:

  • Decontaminate used surgical instruments: This involves scrubbing, washing, and disinfecting instruments to remove visible soil and debris.
  • Prepare instruments for sterilization: You'll meticulously assemble packs containing the specific sterilized tools needed for each procedure.
  • Operate sterilization equipment: Ensuring instruments are germ-free often involves using specialized machines like autoclaves.
  • Maintain sterile storage: You'll meticulously package and store sterilized instruments to guarantee their sterility until they're needed in surgery.
  • Maintain detailed records: Accurate documentation is crucial. You'll track every step of the processing process to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Can Sterile Processing Technician classes be done online?

Yes, Sterile Processing Technician classes can be completed online. Many reputable programs offer comprehensive training covering infection control, sterilization techniques, and equipment management. These programs combine theoretical coursework with virtual simulations and practical training components.

Where to find top accredited online Sterile Processing Technician programs?

Discover the best vocational training programs, including Sterile Processing Technician classes with online components, on Dreambound - the premier platform for students. Dreambound compiled comprehensive information on thousands of classes from various institutions, ensuring that all programs are accredited. With our user-friendly sorting and filtering options, finding the perfect program based on distance, duration, and more has never been easier.

Hear from firsthand experiences! One of our students, Jennifer Souza, said: “I loved using the Dreambound platform. It's really easy to find what you need about different training programs, whether they're online or in person.”

Bridgette Dean said, “I found the Dreambound platform super easy to use, and I found some really helpful information.”

Meanwhile, here’s our recommended Sterile Processing Technician classes:


  • Self-paced, at your own schedule
  • Not available for students in AZ, MA, ND, SD, WA
  • Cost: $3,799, with flexible payment options available
  • Average rating of 4.5 stars on over 5300 reviews

Penn Foster

  • Self-paced, at your own schedule
  • Payment plans available
  • Associate’s Degree or Diploma options available
  • Nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
  • Cost: <$2,400 for diploma, <$1,500 for Associate's. As low as $59/mo.

If you're interested in exploring other online class options, check out these resources:

How to become a Sterile Processing Technician online

Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician (SPT) through online education is an accessible and rewarding path into the healthcare industry. Follow these simple steps below or read our ultimate guide to start your journey:

1. Choose the right program

Select a program that fits your schedule, budget, and career goals. Consider factors such as program length, flexibility of coursework, and any hands-on training opportunities available.

2. Apply to the program

Once you’ve chosen a program, complete the online application process. This typically involves providing personal information, educational background, and any required documentation (such as transcripts or proof of high school diploma/GED).

3. Enroll and pay tuition

Upon acceptance, enroll in the program and arrange tuition payment. Many online programs offer financial aid options, scholarships, or payment plans to assist with funding.

4. Attend orientation (if applicable)

Some programs may require you to attend an online orientation session to familiarize yourself with the curriculum, resources, and expectations for online learning.

5. Begin coursework

Start your coursework according to the program’s schedule or at your own pace, depending on the flexibility offered. Engage with online lectures, readings, multimedia materials, and interactive assignments.

6. Participate in virtual simulations and practical training (if included)

Many online SPT programs incorporate virtual simulations and practical training components to simulate real-world scenarios. Participate actively to gain hands-on experience in sterile processing techniques.

7. Prepare for certification exams

As you progress through the program, prepare for certification exams such as the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam. Utilize exam preparation resources provided by your program.

8. Complete program requirements

Complete all required coursework, assignments, and exams within the program’s timeframe. Meet minimum GPA requirements if applicable.

9. Graduate and obtain certification

After fulfilling program requirements, graduate from the online program. Upon passing the certification exam(s), apply for certification through recognized organizations such as the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) or the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

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10. Seek employment

Utilize career services offered by your program to explore job opportunities in hospitals, clinics, surgical centers, and other healthcare facilities. Prepare a professional resume and cover letter tailored to sterile processing technician positions.

Why Sterile Processing Technician is a great career choice

Choosing a career as a Sterile Processing Technician (SPT) is a smart and rewarding decision for several compelling reasons:

  • High demand, stable career - Hospitals always need sterile instruments, and you're the one ensuring they're squeaky clean.
  • Rewarding impact on patient care - Your meticulous work prevents infections, keeping patients safe during surgery.
  • Pathway for Advancement - Starting as an SPT can be a stepping stone to advanced roles in healthcare. With further education and certification, you can move into supervisory positions, become a Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST), or explore other healthcare careers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a Sterile Processing Technician?

The length of time to become a Sterile Processing Technician varies. Online programs can typically be completed in as little as 6 to 12 months, while traditional programs may take up to 2 years. Certification may require additional study and exam preparation.

Do you have to be certified to be a Sterile Processing Technician?

While certification is not always mandatory to become a Sterile Processing Technician (SPT), it's a major advantage to have. Earning a certification like the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) offered by the HSPA demonstrates your competency and knowledge to employers. This can significantly improve your job prospects and potentially lead to higher starting salaries.

Is there a demand for Sterile Processing Technicians?

Yes! The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 5% job growth rate for SPTs between 2022 and 2032, much faster than the average. This growth is driven by an aging population and the increasing number of performed surgical procedures.

What are the salary expectations for a Sterile Processing Technician?

The median annual wage for Sterile Processing Technicians also known as Medical Equipment Preparers in the United States was $45,280 in May 2023 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salary can vary depending on experience, location, and employer.

What are the top-paying states for Sterile Processing Technicians?

While salary can vary depending on experience, location, and specific employer, the BLS determines that California, the District of Columbia, Alaska, New Jersey, and Delaware were the top-paying states for Sterile Processing Technicians in May 2023.

Career advancement opportunities for Sterile Processing Technicians

If you're interested in the world of sterile processing but want to explore similar career paths, choosing the right program depends on your interests:

  • Do you prefer a more hands-on role in the operating room? Surgical Technologist might be a good fit.
  • Are you interested in specialized equipment like endoscopes? Endoscopy Technician could be a great choice.
  • Do you want to focus on patient care alongside sterile processing? Dialysis Technician or some Central Service/Supply Technician positions might be appealing.
  • Are you drawn to the world of medications? Pharmacy Technician might be the right path.

Start your journey as a Sterile Processing Technician today!

If you're looking for a stable, in-demand healthcare career with growth potential, then Sterile Processing Technician might be the perfect choice. Online Sterile Processing Technician classes offer a flexible and convenient path to get you started. With dedication and the right program, you can launch your rewarding career in sterile processing!

Other career guides

If you're considering opportunities in the healthcare industry, Dreambound's extensive guides are a valuable resource. Take a look at some additional guides below:

Blessed Joy Amarga
Written by
Blessed Joy Amarga

Blessed Joy Amarga is part of the Growth and Sales teams at Dreambound. She helps bring in new leads, increasing the number of people at the top of the sales funnel, and supporting the team in creating graphics to boost social media engagement. Blessed is also a Licensed Architect. Outside work, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places for her vlog.

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