Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in Kansas
It is impossible to minimize infection risks in America’s healthcare industry without sterile processing technicians. That’s because these technicians play a main role in the decontamination process. Specifically, they decontaminate all reusable equipment that comes into contact with patients.
If you’re thinking about entering the healthcare field in Kansas, sterile processing may be on your list of possible options. But before you start applying at hospitals or other facilities, you need more information on Kansas’ legal requirements. You also need to know more about sterile processor training and job opportunities. This concise guide provides ready answers for all your important questions.
Following the Law for Sterile Processors in Kansas
Kansas has not made any statewide laws covering employment as a sterile processor. This means that, unlike frontline employees such as doctors and nurses, you don’t have to apply to a state-level board for a license. You also don’t need to follow any other set legal procedure or pay a fee. All you need to do is meet the qualifications established by healthcare facilities where you apply for work.
Meeting the Standards of Healthcare Organizations
No one can expect to succeed in a job hunt without meeting the standards of prospective employers. What does this mean for anyone hoping to work as a sterile processing technician? First, it means being old enough to work in a dentist’s office, surgical center or hospital. As a rule, it also means achieving at least a secondary education.
Most importantly, you must have the background expected of a competent sterile processor. Such a background may include completion of a thorough processor training program. It may also include firsthand experience working in another healthcare-related position. In addition, national certification as a sterile processor may be expected by some Kansas employers. You obtain this kind of certification by passing a comprehensive, standardized exam for members of the profession.
Kansas is one of a few states that lack brick-and-mortar locations for sterile processor training. Fortunately, you can overcome this obstacle with online training options such as:
- Penn Foster – Penn Foster has developed an extensive online program for sterile processors. To complete this program, you will need to pass 12 individual classes covering the full gamut of relevant training topics. On average, it takes half a year to nine months to complete all of your work. The level of skill you attain will leave you well-prepared to take a national certification exam.
- MedCerts – MedCerts specializes in video training for would-be sterile processing technicians. All of your coursework will be presented in this format. The program also emphasizes close mentoring for each student. It takes about 90 days to complete your training. Almost 90 percent of all graduates succeed in achieving national certification.
- Ashworth College – Ashworth’s online sterile processor program focuses on covering all areas of knowledge that are vital to working professionals. At the same time, the institution prepares you for national certification by one of the nation’s top two providers.
Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations
Based on the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2022, Sterile Processing Technicians in Kansas have an average annual wage of $35,930. Entry-level technicians, or those in the lowest 10% of the pay scale, earn around $30,590, while those in the top 10% can earn upwards of $51,060. This shows an increase from the previously reported average wage of $35,000. When compared to the national average salary of $41,480 for this occupation, Kansas falls below the national earnings, but the cost of living in the state may offset the wage difference.
National vs. Kansas Salaries:
Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Kansas:
|Region||10% Low||25% QL||Median||75% QU||90% High|
|Kansas City, MO-KS||$33,650||$35,430||$40,300||$46,230||$51,280|
|Kansas nonmetropolitan area||$29,100||$29,620||$30,700||$35,590||$44,420|
Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Kansas
In Kansas, the employment landscape for Medical Equipment Preparers, which includes Sterile Processing Technicians, is expected to experience modest growth. According to the state’s projections, employment in this field is set to increase from 450 employees in 2020 to 470 employees by 2030, marking a 4% growth rate. This growth will result in approximately 60 job openings each year, accounting for both new positions and replacements.
Nationally, the occupation is projected to grow at a slightly faster rate of 5% from 2022 to 2032, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The United States is expected to see an increase from 66,700 employees in 2022 to 70,300 in 2032, with about 9,500 job openings annually.
Employment Trends for Medical Equipment Preparers
|Employment (2020/2022)||Projected Employment (2030/2032)||Projected Growth (2020-2030/2022-2032)||Projected Annual Job Openings (2020-2030/2022-2032)|
Sources of Data:
- Projections Central – for the state-level projections for Kansas, covering the period from 2020 to 2030.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – for the national employment projections, covering the period from 2022 to 2032.
Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Kansas
In Kansas, Sterile Processing Technicians can expect a stable career with a modest growth projection of 4% from 2020 to 2030. With an average annual wage of $35,930, the compensation for these essential healthcare workers is slightly below the national average but may be balanced by Kansas’s lower cost of living. The state’s healthcare facilities offer a supportive environment for both entry-level and experienced technicians, with around 60 job openings each year, indicating a steady demand for professionals skilled in maintaining the sterility and readiness of medical equipment.