How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Michigan

A sterile processing technician goes by many names – central service technician, central processing technician, medical equipment preparer – but always plays a crucial role in patient safety. If you’re looking for a career in healthcare that does not require a degree, think about becoming a sterile processing tech.

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These professionals clean and sterilize medical equipment and operate the necessary machinery. They also stock and inventory supplies, keep careful records, and prepare and package supplies for medical use. This is an essential job in healthcare that minimizes infections. It’s a great career for anyone who is self-motivated, an independent worker and has a good eye for details.

Requirements for Sterile Processing Technicians in Michigan

Michigan, like most states, does not have any licensing or educational requirements for sterile processing technicians. Employers, including hospitals, medical centers and dental offices, set their own requirements for new hires.

A typical path to becoming a sterile processing tech is to complete high school and then enroll in and complete a post-secondary program. It is possible to be hired without completing a program in sterile processing. Some employers provide on-the-job training, but having that education gives you a leg up over other job candidates. You’ll be ready to work on day one.

Training Programs for Sterile Processing

If you live in Michigan, you have several options for learning to work in sterile processing:

  • Monroe County Community College. This 12-week program located in Monroe helps working adults retrain for this career by offering evening classes. Graduates are ready to work in an entry-level job and to pass the national certification exam. Students may be able to get assistance through the Michigan Works! job program.
  • Washtenaw Community College. This program in Ann Arbor includes 16 credit hours and confers graduates with a certificate in sterile processing. It is a high-demand program that fills up quickly each semester.
  • Grand Rapids Community College. Students in the Grand Rapids area can benefit from this unique program that includes an apprenticeship. The Sterile Processing Technician Registered Apprenticeship Program is unique in Michigan in offering coursework and apprenticeships with local businesses. It’s a partnership that helps graduates get jobs and employers find qualified workers.
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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.

National Certification for Sterile Processing

While certification in Michigan is not required to work in this career, there are several reasons to consider getting a credential. The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management offers five levels of certification recognized nearly everywhere:

  • An introductory, entry-level certification
  • Secondary certification for instrumentation
  • Endoscope reprocessing certification
  • Secondary certification for central service management
  • Certification for central service vendors

Start with the introductory certification to show employers you have the knowledge and skills necessary to work immediately. Certification is important for landing a job but also for maintaining high, safe standards in the industry.

Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations

The job outlook for sterile processing technicians in Michigan shows some variation compared to national trends. While there is a slight decline in new job openings in Michigan, the market remains active due to retirements and industry turnover. However, the national growth rate for this field is more robust. In terms of salaries, the average annual wage for medical equipment preparers in Michigan is $39,420, slightly lower than the national average of $41,480. The percentile wages also vary, with 10% earning $32,130 or less and the top 10% making $49,350 or more in Michigan. In contrast, the national figures are $31,570 at the lower end and $62,960 at the higher end.

Hourly wages follow a similar pattern. In Michigan, the average hourly wage is $18.95, with the lowest 10% earning $15.45 or less and the highest 10% earning $23.73 or more. Nationwide, these figures are a bit higher, with an average of $19.94 per hour, $15.18 at the lower end, and $30.27 at the higher end.

Salaries and percentiles by region in Michigan also show diversity. For instance, in Ann Arbor, the median annual wage is $41,790, while in the Balance of Lower Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area, it’s $34,130. Hourly rates in various Michigan regions like Detroit-Warren-Dearborn and Grand Rapids-Wyoming also reflect this variance

National and Michigan Salaries Comparison

Location Average Salary 10th Percentile 90th Percentile
United States $41,480 $31,570 $62,960
Michigan $39,420 $32,130 $49,350

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Michigan

Region Low (10%) Q1 (25%) Median (50%) Q3 (75%) High (90%)
Ann Arbor, MI $35,470 $38,750 $41,790 $45,270 $46,600

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Michigan

The employment trends for medical equipment preparers in Michigan and the United States indicate steady growth in this sector. In Michigan, the number of employees in this field was 1,880 in 2020, and it’s projected to increase to 2,000 by 2030, showing a growth rate of 6%. Annually, around 250 job openings are expected during this period. Comparatively, across the United States, the employment figures are significantly higher. In 2022, there were 66,700 employees, and this number is expected to rise to 70,300 by 2032, marking a 5% growth rate, which is faster than average. The projected annual job openings nationwide are estimated at 9,500.

Location Employment (2020/2022) Projected Employment (2030/2032) Projected Growth Projected Annual Job Openings
Michigan 1,880 2,000 6% 250
United States 66,700 70,300 5% (Faster than average) 9,500

Sources of Data:

  • For Michigan-specific data, the source is Projections Central, which provides the 2020-2030 long-term projections.’For Michigan-specific data, the source is Projections Central, which provides the 2020-2030 long-term projections.
  • For the national data, the source is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which offers the 2022-2032 employment projections.

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Michigan

Professionals in sterile processing are needed in medical centers, surgery centers, hospitals and other medical facilities everywhere. Michigan’s main population centers of Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing are likely to have the most opportunities and highest-paying jobs.

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