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.
Salaries for Sterile Processing Technicians in North Dakota
Sterile processing technicians in North Dakota make an average annual wage of $37,170, or 17.87 hourly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is just below the national average of $39,530 for this field. The highest-earning technicians make as much as $50,310 annually.
According to Projections Central, long term projections for the career in North Dakota look promising. It is predicted that there will be a 13.3 percent increase in the number of sterile processing tech jobs in the state between 2018 and 2028.
North Dakota Opportunities and Career Growth
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.