Sterile Processing Technician Careers in Illinois
Are you interested in working as a sterile processing technician and want to learn more about the career? Sterile processing technicians work in hospitals, surgical centers, dental offices and physicians’ offices, ensuring that the tools used in medical and surgical procedures are suitably cleaned and sterilized. The work is the perfect fit for anyone who enjoys physical labor and is extremely detail-oriented and organized.
Sterile processing is the backbone of any hospital’s infection control policies, as the proper decontamination and sterilization of medical equipment prevents the spread of infectious diseases. In addition, sterile processing technicians are responsible for the control and distribution of this highly specialized equipment, often engaging in its delivery throughout the hospital. The department keeps meticulous records of equipment processing, and technicians will need to be well-versed in clerical procedures.
Illinois Sterile Processing Technician Licensing Requirements
Illinois does not require sterile processing technicians to be licensed, nor is there a statewide program for professional oversight. Even without licensing, though, the profession is not without significant supervision. As one of the hospital’s most vital areas for infection control, central sterilizing departments are frequently audited and inspected to ensure the proper procedures are followed at all times.
Educational Opportunities for Sterile Processing Technicians in Illinois
Sterile processing technicians need to have extensive knowledge of the equipment they work with and the various techniques used for cleaning and sterilizing them. For this profession, training can be acquired on the job or through a reputable training program. A high school diploma or equivalent is a prerequisite in either case.
A few of the potential training programs in Illinois include:
- College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn offers a Central Sterile Processing Distribution Technician Certificate. In one semester, students will learn the basics of central sterile processing including aseptic technique, theories and practices.
- Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, IL, offers a Central Sterile Service Technician Certificate of Completion. This 16-week program prepares students to sit for a certification exam upon completion.
- Allied Institute of Professional Studies in Chicago offers a Sterile Processing and Distribution Certificate. The program promises to provide students with the knowledge and expertise needed to work as a sterile processing technician.
- MedTek College in Skokie, IL, offers a Sterile Processing course. Students will learn aseptic techniques, HIPPA regulations, sterilization and packaging techniques.
Sterile Processing Accreditation
Credentialing is a great way to advance your career, as it can open up more opportunities for employment and advancement. In addition, some organizations may require technicians to obtain certification within a specific timeframe. Many organizations in the United States offer credentialing for sterile processing technicians, so it is essential to research the preferences in the organizations in which you intend to become employed.
Sterile Processing Technician Salaries in Illinois
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the range in wages for sterile processing technicians in Illinois was $27,590 to $52,110 in 2019. Average salaries in the state were $35,340 in the same year, somewhat below the profession’s national average. In general, those in entry-level positions should expect wages toward the lower end of the scale, with opportunities to advance as their career progresses.
Opportunity and Career Growth in Illinois
According to Projections Central, sterile processing technician careers are not predicted to increase or decline in the next 10 years. However, an 8 percent growth is expected nationally in the same period of time. Currently, there are an estimated 2,670 sterile processing technicians employed in Illinois.
Potential employers in the state include CGH Medical Center, Vested Medical, Inc., University of Chicago Medical Center, Clinical Management Consultants and ODF Healthcare.