Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in Kentucky

Sterile processing technicians play an important role in maintaining safety in medical settings. They work in hospitals, dental offices and other medical facilities, cleaning and sterilizing equipment. Nurses and physicians rely on these techs to organize, stock and provide safe, sterile tools, equipment and machinery.

Also known as medical equipment preparers and central processing technicians, these healthcare workers earn a great living with out a college degree. To become a sterile processing technician in Kentucky, you only need a few months to learn and train.

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What You Need to Be a Sterile Processing Tech in Kentucky

As with most other states, Kentucky law does not set any requirements for sterile processing technicians. Employers determine the credentials they want in new hires. Some employers hire candidates with only a high school diploma or GED and train them on the job.

Another way to become a sterile processing tech is to enroll in a community or technical college program. Many schools offer a certificate or diploma in central or sterile processing. Most take just a few months to complete and prepare graduates for national certification.

College Programs for Sterile Processing

There are not many academic programs for sterile processing techs in Kentucky. One is available at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah. The program includes 145 hours of class time and self-paced learning and testing. Students in this program include eight hours of hands-on work experience.

In the Louisville area, KentuckianaWorks trains people for a variety of jobs including sterile processing. The program predicts that trained techs will be in high demand in the region in the coming years and prepares students and adults for those jobs.

Another option is to complete online courses. Penn Foster offers a sterile processing technician program with 12 courses that take six to nine months to complete. The accredited program prepares students to take and pass the national certification exam. More information.

Certification in Sterile Processing

The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management offers certification for sterile processing technicians. Kentucky does not require certification for this industry, but some employers do. Having this credential will make you a better job candidate.

There are five levels of certification. If you complete a sterile processing training program, you will take the exam for the introductory certification. You may also choose to take the exams for instrumentation or endoscope reprocessing. Certification in central service management can help you advance from working as a tech to managing technicians.

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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.

Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations

Sterile Processing Technicians in Kentucky have seen an increase in their average annual wage to $38,140. The lowest 10% of earners in this field make about $26,420, while the highest 10% can earn upwards of $54,400. This represents a significant increase from the previously reported mean salary of $34,010 per year. When compared to the national average salary of $41,480 for this occupation, Kentucky’s average is still lower, but the gap has narrowed.

National vs. Kentucky Salaries:

Percentile National Average Kentucky
10% $31,570 $26,420
25% $36,240 $33,580
Median $41,480 $38,140
75% $50,300 $47,270
90% $62,960 $54,400

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Kentucky:

Region 10% Low 25% QL Median 75% QU 90% High
Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area $20,800 $27,780 $35,980 $38,480 $40,000
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN $35,020 $37,870 $40,180 $46,770 $52,070
East Kentucky nonmetropolitan area $28,660 $29,070 $33,650 $36,010 $46,210

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Kentucky

In Kentucky, the field of Medical Equipment Preparers, which includes Sterile Processing Technicians, is expected to see a 9% growth from 2020 to 2030, according to Projections Central. This is a robust growth rate, indicating a healthy demand for these professionals in the healthcare industry. The state is projected to have 740 employees by 2030, up from 680 in 2020, with an estimated 90 job openings each year due to growth and replacements.

Nationally, the occupation is anticipated to grow by 5% from 2022 to 2032, which is considered faster than average. The United States is expected to have 70,300 employees by 2032, up from 66,700 in 2022, 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)
Kentucky 680 740 9% 90
United States 66,700 70,300 5% 9,500

Sources of Data:

  1. Projections Central – for the state-level projections for Kentucky, covering the period from 2020 to 2030.
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – for the national employment projections, covering the period from 2022 to 2032.

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Kentucky

In Kentucky, Sterile Processing Technicians are part of a growing field, with a projected 9% increase in jobs from 2020 to 2030, reflecting a strong demand for these critical healthcare roles. With an average salary of $38,140, which is on the rise, technicians in the state can expect to earn a competitive wage, particularly with experience and advancement into supervisory positions. The state’s lower cost of living may also enhance the value of these wages. With approximately 90 job openings each year due to growth and turnover, Kentucky offers a promising landscape for those entering or advancing in the sterile processing discipline.