Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in Missouri

Sterile conditions are crucial to providing proper safeguards in America’s many medical facilities. One of the biggest areas of focus for maintaining these conditions is the equipment needed for various patient procedures. The personnel who make sure that all equipment is decontaminated and safe to use are called sterile processing technicians.

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No matter where you go in Missouri, you’ll find sterile processing technicians fulfilling their duties in nearby medical, dental and surgical facilities. In fact, these facilities could not operate safely without sterile processors on their staffs.

Interested in learning what it takes to become one of these essential, behind-the-scenes workers? Just read this brief guide to learn more about current requirements and opportunities for Missouri residents.

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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.

Despite the important role they play in patient safety, sterile processors are not directly regulated by law in Missouri. You might think that the state’s lack of regulation would be the exception to the rule. However, it is not. Forty-five of the other 50 states take the same stance on regulating sterile processing technicians. In all of these states, you do not to be licensed to start working in the profession. You also have no requirement to:

  • Register with the state
  • Meet a state-mandated education standard
  • Meet a statewide requirement to obtain national certification as a sterile processor

Legal Requirements for Sterile Processing Technicians in Missouri

Paying Attention to Employers’ Requirements

If there are no state requirements for Missouri’s sterile processors, how do employers of these workers identify qualified personnel? They establish their own, independent requirements that all applicants must meet or exceed. This important step helps ensure that healthcare facilities only hire people who:

  • Are old enough to meet the many responsibilities of sterile processing technicians
  • Meet a minimal standard for secondary school education
  • Know how to perform the many tasks that processors carry out on a daily basis

How do you gather the skills that prospective employers expect? The best way to make sure you are thoroughly grounded in those skills is to enroll in a sterile processor training program. It’s also probably a good idea to follow up your training by taking a national certification exam. As an alternative, you may be able to get hired if you have related or transferrable experience in another healthcare field.

Places to Seek Sterile Processor Training

Missouri has a few in-state outlets for sterile processor training, but not a lot. Programs are offered at schools such as:

The University of Central Missouri

This Warrensburg-based school offers thorough training for would-be sterile processing technicians. The school’s program combines 130 hours of classroom instruction with 400 hours of real-world practice in medical facilities.

Expected award

  • UCM Certificate of Completion
  • Certified Registered Central Services Technician from HSPA

St. Louis Community College

STLCC offers two tiers of sterile processor training. Participants must complete the first tier before moving on to more advanced learning. The program includes both online and in-person study.

  • 100 hours of hybrid classroom instruction: This includes live virtual lectures, independent online activities, and face-to-face skill labs at the STLCC-Forest Park campus.
  • 400+ hours of on-the-job training: Training is completed at an assigned BJC HealthCare hospital, providing practical experience in the field.
  • Curriculum: Covers essential topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, infection prevention and control, tools for cleaning, safety, sterilization, and decontamination.
  • Certification: Upon completion, successful students are prepared to sit for the national certification exam to become Certified Registered Central Services Technicians.

If you can’t find a convenient in-person program in your area, you may want to consider a fully online training option. One of the best-known providers of this kind of program is MedCerts. This company focuses on both comprehensive learning and personalized mentorship for all participants.

Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations

In Missouri, the average annual income for medical equipment preparers is $37,490, which is below the national average of $41,480. The salary range in Missouri shows that the lowest 10% earn $30,400 or less, while the highest 10% earn $47,210 or more. This contrasts with the national figures where the lowest 10% earn $31,570 or less, and the highest 10% earn $62,960 or more. The hourly wage in Missouri averages at $18.03, with the lowest 10% earning $14.62 or less, and the highest 10% earning $22.70 or more. Nationally, the average hourly wage is $19.94.

National and Missouri Salaries Comparison

Description United States Missouri
Average Salary $41,480 $37,490
10% Earn Less Than $31,570 $30,400
10% Earn More Than $62,960 $47,210

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Missouri

Region 10% Earn Less Than Median Salary 10% Earn More Than
Cape Girardeau, MO-IL $27,720 $35,430 $46,590
Central Missouri nonmetropolitan area $24,830 $31,430 $40,390
Columbia, MO $31,210 $40,220 $50,940

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Missouri

The employment trends for Medical Equipment Preparers in Missouri are showing positive growth, indicating a robust job market for this profession. As of 2020, Missouri had 1,580 employees in this field, with a projected increase to 1,700 by 2030. This represents an 8% growth rate over the decade, which is slightly higher than the national growth rate of 5%. Missouri is expected to have around 210 job openings annually between 2020 and 2030. Comparatively, the United States is projected to see a rise from 66,700 employees in 2022 to 70,300 in 2032, with 9,500 annual job openings during this period.

Employment Trends for Medical Equipment Preparers

Location Employment (2020/2022) Projected Employment (2030/2032) Projected Growth Projected Annual Job Openings
Missouri 1,580 1,700 8% 210
United States 66,700 70,300 5% (Faster than average) 9,500

Sources of Data:

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

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Missouri offers a positive job outlook and a competitive salary within the region. The state’s average annual income for this role is $37,490, slightly below the national average. Missouri’s employment for Medical Equipment Preparers is projected to grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030, which is slightly higher than the national growth rate. Annually, about 210 job openings are expected, reflecting a steady demand in the healthcare sector. Sterile Processing Technicians play a critical role in maintaining the sterility and functionality of medical equipment, ensuring patient safety and supporting the overall healthcare system in Missouri.

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