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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Pay and Career Job Outlook for Maryland Sterile Processing Technicians
As of October 2020, the average sterile processing technician in Maryland earned $36,510, according to Salary.com. 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.
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.