Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in North Dakota
If you are interested in a healthcare career where you don’t have to interact a lot with patients, then a sterile processing technician might be the career for you. Also known as medical equipment preparers, sterile processing techs have an essential job. They are responsible for keeping inventory of surgical instruments and medical equipment and decontaminating and sterilizing equipment. Sterile processing technicians should be detail-oriented and familiar with sterilization techniques and the many types of surgical instruments and medical equipment.
North Dakota Sterile Processing Technician Licensing Requirements
North Dakota does not have any requirements for the licensing of sterile processing technicians. But sterile processing departments are usually supervised by a licensed healthcare professional like a registered nurse. Additionally, hospitals are frequently audited by local health departments and accreditation companies. Internal audits are also conducted to ensure the hospital is following the best safety protocols and procedures.
Sterile Processing Technician Programs in North Dakota
Before you can complete any kind of sterile processing training, you must have a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED). While there are several universities and technical schools with surgical technician programs, there aren’t any on-campus sterile processing technician programs currently being offered in North Dakota. However, you do have online options including:
- Penn Foster College. Penn Foster offers an online program consisting of six courses focused on sterile processing that can be taken at the student’s pace. Programs can be completed in anywhere from four to 18 months. The cost to take the national certification exam is included in the tuition.
Certification for Sterile Processing Technicians
Certification is available to sterile processing technicians, although it is not required in most states. North Dakota does not require that sterile processing technicians be certified.
The most common national credentialing agency for sterile processing techs is the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materials Management (IAHCSMM). The IAHCSMM offers five levels of certification for sterile processing techs who pass the examination. The certificate must be renewed annually.
Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations
In North Dakota, medical equipment preparers, including sterile processing technicians, earn an average annual wage of $37,630, which is slightly below the national average of $41,480. The highest earners in North Dakota can make up to $52,200 annually.
National vs. North Dakota Salaries for Medical Equipment Preparers
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Salaries and Percentiles by Region in North Dakota
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Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in North Dakota
In North Dakota, the employment outlook for medical equipment preparers is showing a positive trend. As of 2020, there were 300 employees in this occupation. This number is projected to increase to 350 employees by 2030, indicating a significant growth rate of 17%. Additionally, there are projected to be around 40 annual job openings from 2020 to 2030. This growth rate is notably higher than the national average, suggesting a robust job market for medical equipment preparers in North Dakota.
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.
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Sources of Data:
- North Dakota Data: The employment trends for North Dakota are sourced from Projections Central’s 2020-2030 long-term projections. Projections Central specializes in providing detailed and state-specific employment projections, offering valuable insights into various occupations.
- 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 part of the United States Department of Labor and is the primary federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.
Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in North Dakota
North Dakota ranks third in the United States for the highest concentration of sterile processing technician jobs. Sterile processing technicians can usually find work anywhere in the state that healthcare is offered. However, you may have more luck finding work in some of the larger cities like Bismarck and Fargo. Some of the work opportunities in the state include Essentia Health, Sanford Health and Trinity Health.