Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in Minnesota

It takes a lot of ongoing care and dedication to make sure that America’s medical facilities are free from dangerous infection outbreaks. One of the key safeguards used in this constant fight is decontamination/sterilization of scalpels, dental tools and other kinds of equipment. Who do healthcare facilities rely on for state-of-the-art sterilization services? A group of specialists called sterile processing technicians.

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In Minnesota, you’ll find sterile processors working wherever equipment sterilization is required. Thinking about becoming one of these essential healthcare professionals? Just keep reading to learn the facts about topics such as state guidelines, training, earnings expectations and long-term employment prospects.

Minnesota Law for Sterile Processing Technicians

While Minnesota has laws governing most aspects of the healthcare field, it does not have specific guidelines for sterile processing technicians. This may sound unusual, but it is not uncommon. Sterile processors probably have such little governmental oversight because they do not interact with patients in any significant way.

The lack of state regulations means that you won’t have to get licensed to work as a sterile processor in Minnesota. It also means that you don’t need to stick to a required course of training or certification. Instead, the main factors in getting started as a sterile processor are the expectations of your potential employers.

Employer Expectations for Sterile Processor Job Candidates

Sterile processing technicians must be familiar with a range of subjects before they can work effectively. Examples of these subjects include everything from infection prevention protocol and microbiology to the use sterilization devices and machines. It takes considerable time and effort to gain sufficient knowledge and experience in these areas.

Employers across the healthcare industry are well-aware of the critical importance of sterilization procedures. The people they hire to follow these procedures must know what they’re doing. If not, they can make serious, or even fatal, mistakes. With this in mind, prior experience or training is commonly expected of new employees. That may or may not include some sort of national certification verifying your skills as a sterile processor.

Getting Trained in Minnesota

Minnesota boasts multiple options for people seeking sterile processing technician training. Training sources you may want to consider include:

  • Minneapolis Community & Technical College – This school offers a central services technician program, which is the equivalent of a sterile processor program. The coursework combines classes and lab with real-world training in local healthcare facilities. Graduates can take the national certification exam established by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution.
  • Anoka Technical College – Anoka offers a sterile processing program as a preliminary to its Surgical Technology Associate in Applied Sciences degree path. This program will prepare you for an entry-level position. If you like, you can continue your studies and get your associate’s degree.
  • Sant Paul College – Saint Paul’s program provides a total of 30 credits in sterile processing. In-person learning is combined with online coursework. Like Anoka Technical, the school includes sterile processing in its larger degree path for a surgical technology associate’s degree.
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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

In Minnesota, medical equipment preparers earn an average annual salary of $45,820, with the lowest 10% earning $34,500 or less and the highest 10% earning $53,040 or more. This is higher than the national average salary for this profession, which is $41,480 annually, with the lowest 10% earning $31,570 or less and the highest 10% earning $62,960 or more. The average hourly wage in Minnesota is $22.03, with the lowest 10% earning $16.59 or less and the highest 10% earning $25.50 or more, compared to the national average hourly wage of $19.94​.

National and Minnesota Salaries Comparison

Location Average Salary 10th Percentile Salary 90th Percentile Salary
United States $41,480 $31,570 $62,960
Minnesota $45,820 $34,500 $53,040

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Minnesota

Region 10% Salary 25% Salary Median Salary 75% Salary 90% Salary

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Minnesota

The employment trends for Medical Equipment Preparers in Minnesota are showing positive growth. As of 2020, there were 1,380 employees in this field in Minnesota, and the number is projected to increase to 1,480 by 2030, indicating a growth rate of 7%. This projection also estimates about 180 annual job openings from 2020 to 2030. In comparison, the United States as a whole had 66,700 employees in this field in 2022, with a projected increase to 70,300 by 2032, reflecting a 5% growth rate, which is characterized as faster than average. The projected annual job openings nationwide are estimated to be 9,500​.

Employment Trends for Medical Equipment Preparers

Location Employment (2020/2022) Projected Employment (2030/2032) Projected Growth Projected Annual Job Openings
Minnesota 1,380 1,480 7% 180
United States 66,700 70,300 5% (Faster than average) 9,500

Sources of Data:

  • For Minnesota-specific data, the source is Projections Central, which provides the 2020-2030 long-term projections.’For Minnesota-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 Minnesota

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Minnesota involves being part of a growing field, as indicated by the employment trends. The state offers a higher average salary for this profession compared to the national average, with an average annual income of around $45,820. The employment in this field in Minnesota is projected to grow by 7% from 2020 to 2030, suggesting a healthy job market with approximately 180 annual job openings expected during this period. Sterile Processing Technicians in Minnesota play a crucial role in healthcare settings, ensuring that medical equipment is properly sterilized and safe for use, which is vital for patient care and infection control​.

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