How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Alaska
Patients have an expectation that the medical equipment and settings used in their visits and procedures will be safe and sterile. Yet we may not realize how they become decontaminated. The answer is that the entire profession of a sterile processing technician is devoted to cleaning and sterilizing as well as preparing and storing medical equipment and supplies. These professionals create safer conditions with a reduced risk of infection and complications. You have good career prospects available to you as a sterile processing technician in Alaska.
Requirements for Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in Alaska
Alaska has no statewide requirements for becoming a sterile processing tech. Nonetheless, training or an apprenticeship program will help you learn the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out the job.
Educational Programs in Alaska
While Alaska does not have educational requirements, entering a training program through a college, apprenticeship or other type of schooling can help start your career. These are some options available to you in the state:
- University of Alaska Anchorage: The Surgical Technology A.A.S. degree educates students on preparing operating settings and the medical instrumentation and supplies needed for surgery. This degree also teaches how to assist the surgeon with an operation.
- Alaska Job Center Network: Through the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, you have the opportunity to apprentice as a central sterile processing technician or surgical technologist. You would gain on-the-job training in the field.
- Ashworth College: The Sterile Processing Technician Certification is a qualification you can earn online from anywhere in Alaska. It’s an accredited program that can be completed in about four months. It teaches concepts such as aseptic technique, quality assurance and bloodborne pathogens, and prepares students to sit for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), which is included in the cost of tuition.
Qualifications of Sterile Processing Technicians in Alaska
Certification in the field is not required in Alaska. Nonetheless, it could benefit your career prospects and help you stand ahead of other candidates. Some employers may have requirements you would need to follow. Qualification options include becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) by taking a national exam through The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) or becoming a CRCST through the IAHCSMM.
Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations
The average salary of sterile processing technicians in Alaska is $43,413 per year or $21 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter. This is lower than the average national salary of $48,224 for this field, yet it’s important to consider factors like cost of living when comparing areas.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects surgical technologist positions to grow by seven percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average growth rate across all professions.
Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Alaska
The name and duties of this position may differ from place to place. Some professionals, such as surgical technologists, may assist with surgical operations in addition to preparing the operating room and the medical equipment needed for the procedure. Others may only take care of the setting, equipment and supplies. This role may go by names such as central service technician or medical equipment preparer.
These professionals may work in hospitals, dental offices, doctor’s offices or other medical settings. The majority work in hospitals. Alaskan cities that offer the highest pay for this position include Knik-Fairview, Lakes and Tanaina, according to ZipRecruiter.
Working as a sterile processing technician in Alaska puts you into a medical career with good job growth. With few requirements, it’s easy to get started in this position in the state.