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.
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.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Sterile Processing Technicians
The growth in jobs for sterile processing techs is strong across the U.S. Projections Central reports that the number of new positions is increasing by eight percent with more than 7,000 jobs opening up each year across the country.
Sterile processing technicians in Kentucky earn a mean salary of $34,010 per year and $16.35 per hour. The top earners in the state make more than $46,000. You can earn more with years of experience and in management roles.
Finding a Job as a Sterile Processing Technician in Kentucky
Look for the most opportunities and the highest salaries in and around Louisville and Lexington. With strong job growth, you should be able to find a position wherever there is a medical facility. Some recent job listings in the state include: sterile processing technician, Baptist-Physicians’ Surgery Center in Lexington; sterile processing tech, Norton Hospital in Louisville; and sterile processing assistant, Owensboro Health, in Owensboro.