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.

Search Sterile Processing Technician Programs

Get information on Sterile Processing Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Listings

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.
Featured School

Penn Foster College – Online Sterile Processing Technician Certification

Take the first steps towards a career as a sterile processing technician with Penn Foster’s Sterile Processing Career Diploma. As a student in the program, you’ll be prepared to sit for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam through the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). Call 1-800-851-1819 today.

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 annual salary for Medical Equipment Preparers, which includes sterile processing technicians in Alaska, is $48,410. This figure surpasses the national average annual salary of $41,480 for this occupation. In Alaska, the lowest 10% of workers in this field earn $39,710 or less, while the highest 10% earn $68,260 or more. Comparatively, on a national level, the lowest 10% earn $31,570 or less, and the highest 10% earn $62,960 or more.

National and Alaska salaries for Medical Equipment Preparers:

Location Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
United States $31,570 $41,480 $62,960
Alaska $39,710 $48,410 $68,260

Salaries and percentiles by region within Alaska:

Location Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
Anchorage, AK $39,990 $48,260 $66,420

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Alaska

The employment trends for Medical Equipment Preparers in Alaska, which includes sterile processing technicians, show a positive outlook. In 2020, there were approximately 80 employees in this occupation within the state. By 2030, the projected employment is expected to increase to 100 employees, indicating a significant growth of 25%. Additionally, there are projected to be around 10 annual job openings from 2020 to 2030 due to growth and replacements.

In contrast, the national employment for this occupation was at 66,700 employees in 2022, with a projected increase to 70,300 by 2032. This represents a growth rate of 5%, which is considered faster than average. The projected annual job openings on a national level are estimated to be 9,500 for the same period.

Employment Trends for Medical Equipment Preparers

Location Employment (2020/2022) Projected Employment (2030/2032) Projected Growth (2020-2030/2022-2032) Projected Annual Job Openings (2020-2030/2022-2032)
Alaska 80 employees 100 employees 25% 10
United States 66,700 employees 70,300 employees 5% 9,500

Sources of Data:

  • For Alaska-specific data, the source is Projections Central, which provides state-level long-term projections for the period from 2020 to 2030.
  • For the national data, the source is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which offers federal-level employment projections for the period from 2022 to 2032.

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.