How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Colorado

A sterile environment is essential for protecting patient health in surgery centers, dentists’ offices and other medical facilities. For this reason, painstaking care is taken to ensure that proper decontamination procedures are in place. As a rule, the healthcare workers who play the central role in decontamination are sterile processing technicians.

Search Sterile Processing Technician Programs

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

Sponsored Listings

For residents of Colorado, the sterile processing field offers some key employment advantages. These advantages include average annual incomes that exceed nationwide expectations for the industry. They also include plentiful work settings and a rosy outlook for future job prospects. If all of this sounds exciting to you, here is some key background information to help you gain a clearer perspective on your potential new profession.

Colorado Laws and Training Expectations

Like almost all U.S. states, Colorado does not have legislation that governs the work rules for sterile processing technicians. In practical terms, this means that you don’t need to worry about things such as:

  • Getting registered or licensed by the state before seeking employment
  • Meeting any state-mandated requirements for professional certification
  • Taking continuing education classes to retain your right to work

But what about training? Can you successfully apply for a sterile processing position without any prior knowledge or experience? In all likelihood, no. This is true for some important reasons. For example, sterile processors must have a working knowledge of an array of detailed topics including:

  • The dangers of various infectious microorganisms
  • Modern infection control protocols
  • Use of autoclaves and other devices needed to carry out effective sterilization
  • Disassembly and reassembly of surgical tools and other equipment

Some healthcare facilities may train you how to do these things on the job. However, you should not expect this to be the case. Job applicants who know what they’re doing will almost always hold greater appeal than those who don’t. In some cases, you may even need to hold national certification in sterile processing in order to meet potential employers’ expectations.

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.

Training Options for Colorado Sterile Processing Technicians

Fortunately, Colorado has multiple in-state options available for sterile processing training. Places that fulfill this role include:

  • Aims Community College – Greely-based ACC offers a five-month program of sterile processing instruction. All major areas of knowledge are covered over the course of two semesters. The knowledge you gain will help you meet the national certification guidelines of the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management, or IAHCSMM.
  • Front Range Community College – Front Range is based in Westminster. The school offers a one-semester, 18-credit program for would-be sterile processing technicians. Along with classroom instruction and lab work, this program features an apprenticeship with local Centura Health. Graduates are qualified to take the IAHCSMM certification examination.
  • Pima Medical Institute – PMI has in-state locations for sterile processing training in Denver, Colorado Springs and Aurora. The organization also offers an online program. PMI utilizes a working laboratory to give all students a taste of a real-word processing environment. In addition, all graduates can sit for their IAHCSMM exam.

Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations

In Colorado, Medical Equipment Preparers, including sterile processing technicians, earn an average annual salary of $41,940, which is slightly above the national average of $41,480. The entry-level salary in Colorado starts at the lower 10% percentile, with workers earning $31,750 or less, while the most experienced technicians in the top 10% can earn $60,730 or more annually.

Salary Comparison between National and Colorado

Location Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
United States $31,570 $41,480 $62,960
Colorado $31,750 $41,940 $60,730

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Colorado

Region Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
Boulder, CO $34,100 $46,350 $58,800
Colorado Springs, CO $30,610 $40,280 $51,190
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO $32,510 $45,580 $61,880
Fort Collins, CO $34,480 $43,640 $106,950
Grand Junction, CO $29,360 $38,680 $47,830
Northwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area $38,090 $47,420 $60,990
Pueblo, CO $31,970 $38,470 $58,510
Southwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area $32,170 $40,390 $52,110

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Colorado

The employment trends for Medical Equipment Preparers in Colorado show a robust growth outlook. In 2020, there were 1,190 employees in this occupation in the state. By 2030, the projected employment is expected to rise to 1,450 employees, marking a 22% growth. This is significantly higher than the national growth rate of 5% for the same period. Additionally, Colorado is expected to have about 170 annual job openings from 2020 to 2030 due to growth and replacements.

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)
Colorado 1,190 employees 1,450 employees 22% 170
United States 66,700 employees 70,300 employees 5% 9,500

Sources of Data:

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

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Colorado

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Colorado presents a dynamic career opportunity with a strong growth trajectory. With an expected 22% increase in employment from 2020 to 2030, the state outpaces the national average growth rate, reflecting a healthy demand for these essential healthcare workers. Earning an average annual salary of $41,940, Colorado’s technicians enjoy a competitive wage that aligns closely with the national average. The state’s diverse regions offer varied salary prospects, with some areas providing higher wages. This profession is integral to the healthcare system, ensuring the cleanliness and readiness of medical equipment, which is vital for patient safety and the smooth operation of medical facilities across Colorado.

College Listings