Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Maryland

If you’re interested in a career in healthcare but would rather not have direct contact with patients, consider a career as a sterile processing technician. A sterile processing technician, also called a central service technician, works behind the scenes cleaning, sterilizing, storing and distributing medical supplies and equipment. In this role, you’ll play an important part in the prevention of infections and in keeping both staff and patients safe.

Search Sterile Processing Technician Programs

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

Sponsored Listings

What’s Required to Become a Maryland Sterile Processing Technician?

You’ll need a high school diploma or the equivalent to qualify for admission to postsecondary schools that offer training to become a sterile processing technician. In rare cases, you might be able to obtain employment in this field without formal training, but a sterile processing technician program can teach you important information on infection control, along with what’s required to sterilize equipment and how to prepare and assemble tools for surgical procedures. Like other healthcare careers, you may be required to pass a drug test and a background check.

Sterile Processing Technician Training in Maryland

Formal training programs for sterile processing technicians can usually be completed in a year or less and include courses in medical terminology, microbiology and infection control and sterile processing practices. Some sterile processing technician training programs in Maryland include:

Carroll Community College

Located in Westminster, MD, this community college offers a sterile processing technician certificate program, which is approximately 96 hours. It includes both a lecture and an interactive classroom lab where students learn hands-on and gain experience with instruments and wrapping techniques.

Format: It includes both in-depth lecture classes and an interactive lab component for hands-on experience.

Certification: Successful completion of the course AHE-299 prepares students to take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification exam offered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). To apply for CRCST certification, students must then complete 400 hours of work experience in a central supply department within 6 months of taking the exam.

Community College of Baltimore County.

This college offers a Central Service Technician program run by the Job Opportunities Task Force in Baltimore. It can be completed in six to eight months, and training is offered free of cost to those who qualify.

  • Training Focus: The program teaches principles and methods of infection control, surgical instruments and their use, cleaning and decontamination processes, instrument inspection, and assembly, packaging, and safe transportation of instruments throughout the healthcare facility.
  • Certification: Upon completion, students are eligible to sit for the national Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification exam administered by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA).

Anne Arundel Community College

This community college school in Arnold, MD, offers a central sterile processing technician certificate program, which consists of both classroom learning and externships.

  • Coursework: The training includes one main course, STP-510 Central Sterile Processing Technician, totalling 84 hours. Additionally, there are externship options available for hands-on experience in the field.
  • Certification Preparation: The program prepares individuals to take the exam to become a certified registered central service technician (CRCST) through the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM).
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.

Getting Certified to Be a Sterile Processing Technician in Maryland

While certification isn’t required to work as a sterile processing technician in the state of Maryland, obtaining certification is a way of offering assurance to potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to manage sterilizing instruments and equipment. Certification can also help you to be more competitive for the best available jobs.

The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Management (IAHCSMM) offers five levels of certification testing for central service professionals. Another option is to obtain certification through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD), which administers competency-based exams to sterile processing technicians who graduated from a sterile processing training program and have at least 12 months of experience.

Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations

As of October 2020, the average sterile processing technician in Maryland earned $36,510, according to The amount you earn can vary based on location and experience and can range between $32,300 and $41,240 per year in this state.

Careers in healthcare typically have steady growth. Employment growth for medical equipment preparers is projected to be approximately 6 percent between 2019 and 2029, faster than average for all occupations.

National vs. Maryland Salaries:

Annual Low (10%) Annual QL (25%) Annual Median (50%) Annual QU (75%) Annual High (90%)
United States $31,570 $36,240 $41,480 $50,300 $62,960
Maryland $33,280 $35,290 $40,940 $50,040 $59,280

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Maryland:

Region Annual Low (10%) Annual QL (25%) Annual Median (50%) Annual QU (75%) Annual High (90%)
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD $33,280 $38,540 $43,730 $51,100 $62,810
Cumberland, MD-WV $30,620 $30,620 $31,270 $38,840 $76,860
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV $29,840 $31,410 $36,410 $43,000 $45,120
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $36,830 $40,490 $44,660 $51,570 $57,410
Salisbury, MD-DE $34,370 $36,400 $40,380 $47,900 $55,020
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $35,290 $35,290 $42,130 $50,940 $58,830

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Maryland

In Maryland, the employment for Medical Equipment Preparers, which includes Sterile Processing Technicians, is on an upward trajectory. The state had 1,500 employees in this occupation in 2020, and projections indicate a rise to 1,740 employees by 2030. This represents a significant growth rate of 16% over the decade. Additionally, there are projected to be 220 annual job openings from 2020 to 2030, which includes new positions due to growth and replacements.

Employment Trends for Medical Equipment Preparers

Location Employment (2020) Projected Employment (2030) Projected Growth (2020-2030) Projected Annual Job Openings (2020-2030)
Maryland 1,500 1,740 16% 220
United States 66,700 70,300 5% 9,500

Sources of Data:

  1. Maryland Data: The employment data for Maryland is sourced from Projections Central and covers the period from 2020 to 2030. Projections Central is a reliable source for state-level labor market projections.
  2. United States Data: The employment data for the United States is sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and covers the period from 2022 to 2032. The BLS is a reputable federal agency that provides comprehensive labor market information.

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Maryland

Employment for sterile processing technicians in the state of Maryland may be found in hospitals, outpatient surgical clinics and the offices of dentists or oral surgeons. You may be able to choose between day, evening and overnight shifts. In some settings, you may have to work weekends.

To succeed as a sterile processing technician in the state of Maryland, you should be a detail-oriented person with good hand-eye coordination. Opportunities to work in this field may be found across the state of Maryland, especially in larger cities such as Baltimore and Columbia.