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.

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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.
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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.

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

Description United States North Dakota
Average Salary $41,480 $37,630
10% Earn Less Than $31,570 $31,370
10% Earn More Than $62,960 $52,200

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in North Dakota

Region 10% Earn Less Than Median Salary 10% Earn More Than
Bismarck, ND $34,500 $40,200 $52,200
Fargo, ND-MN $32,790 $37,630 $58,350

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.

Employment Trends

Category North Dakota (2020-2030) United States (2022-2032)
Employment (Start of Period) 300 employees 66,700 employees
Projected Employment (End of Period) 350 employees 70,300 employees
Projected Growth 17% 5%
Projected Annual Job Openings 40 9,500

Sources of Data:

  1. 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.
  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 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.