How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Mississippi

In order for surgery and other medical procedures to be safe, medical environments and equipment must be sterile and free of contamination. Sterile processing technicians, also called medical equipment preparers or central service technicians, play an important role in preparing, sterilizing, cleaning and storing the medical equipment and supplies needed. These technicians help reduce the risk of infections in both patients and staff.

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Requirements for Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in Mississippi

Sterile processing technicians in Mississippi usually obtain formal training through a community college or other postsecondary school. You’ll need to be a high school graduate or the equivalent to qualify for admission to one of these programs, and you may need to be at least 18 years old. Formal training programs usually include courses in math and sciences along with sanitization and sterilization, infection control and surgical equipment identification. Admission to training programs may also require passing a criminal background check and a drug screen.

Training to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Mississippi

Preparing for a career as a sterile processing technician requires knowledge of topics such as microbiology, medical terminology, techniques for controlling infections and how to clean, operate and maintain medical instruments and equipment. Examples of Mississippi schools that offer programs that can prepare you for this career include:

  • Hinds Community College. Located in Raymond, MS, this community college offers a certificate in surgical technology, which can be completed in one year. The program begins annually in August and prepares students to work extensively with surgical instruments, supplies and equipment
  • Pearl River Community College. This college in Hattiesburg, MS, offers a Surgical Technology program, which can be completed in less than two years and prepares students to work as central supply technicians or surgical technologists.
  • East Mississippi Community College. This two-year program prepares students for entry-level jobs including central sterile supply technician or surgical technologist. It’s a 65-hour program consisting of 20 hours of general education and 45 hours of courses focused on surgical technology.
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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.

Do You Need Certification to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Mississippi?

The state of Mississippi doesn’t require certification to work as a sterile processing technician. Most employers prefer candidates who can demonstrate they have the required knowledge to do the job. Certification can be obtained through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Management (IAHCSMM).

Potential Salary and Job Outlook for Mississippi Sterile Processing Technicians

In Mississippi, the average annual wage for medical equipment preparers, including sterile processing technicians, is $30,320. This is lower than the national average of $41,480. The salary range in Mississippi sees the lowest 10% earning $24,250 or less and the highest 10% earning $43,150 or more. Hourly, workers in Mississippi earn an average of $14.58, with the lowest 10% earning $11.66 or less and the highest 10% earning $20.74 or more. This compares to the national hourly average of $19.94

National and Mississippi Salaries Comparison

Description United States Mississippi
Average Salary $41,480 $30,320
10% Earn Less Than $31,570 $24,250
10% Earn More Than $62,960 $43,150

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Mississippi

Region 10% Earn Less Than Median Salary 10% Earn More Than
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS $24,250 $31,260 $44,360
Hattiesburg, MS $28,380 $28,440 $40,740
Jackson, MS $25,800 $32,100 $43,170

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Mississippi

In Mississippi, the employment trends for medical equipment preparers show a positive outlook. As of 2020, there were 310 employees in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 330 employees by 2030, indicating a growth rate of 7%. Additionally, there are projected to be around 40 annual job openings from 2020 to 2030. This growth rate is a positive indicator for those looking to enter this field in Mississippi.

Comparatively, on a national level, the employment for medical equipment preparers was 66,700 in 2022 and is projected to reach 70,300 by 2032, marking a 5% growth rate, which is considered faster than average. The projected annual job openings nationally from 2022 to 2032 are estimated to be 9,500.

Employment Trends for Medical Equipment Preparers

Category Mississippi (2020-2030) United States (2022-2032)
Employment (Start of Period) 310 employees 66,700 employees
Projected Employment (End of Period) 330 employees 70,300 employees
Projected Growth 7% 5%
Projected Annual Job Openings 40 9,500

Sources of Data:

  1. Mississippi Data: The employment trends for Mississippi are sourced from Projections Central’s 2020-2030 long-term projections. Projections Central specializes in providing detailed employment projections at the state and national levels.
  2. United States Data: The national employment trends are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2022-2032 employment projections. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a unit of the United States Department of Labor and is the principal federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Mississippi

If you’d like a career in healthcare in Mississippi that’s behind the scenes and doesn’t involve hands-on patient care, this may be the career for you. In your career as a Mississippi sterile processing technician, you’re likely to be working at a fast pace. You may be working with harsh cleaning agents, and there’s some risk of exposure to blood or bodily fluids, so you’ll usually wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, face masks and gowns.

Many job opportunities can be found in hospitals as well as dentist offices or outpatient surgical clinics. Some settings involve just daytime hours while others may include working evenings and weekends. Opportunities to work in this field can be found all over Mississippi, especially in cities such as Jackson or Gulfport.