Pursuing a Sterile Processing Technician Career in Oregon

Working as a sterile processing technician is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a hospital-based career without a lot of patient contact. Although sterile processing technicians tend to work in the background, they are vital to keeping the hospital running safely and efficiently, because the job entails cleaning and tracking critical surgical and medical equipment. Meticulous record-keeping is essential to ensure equipment is managed with each procedure and prior to its expiration date. As such, these technicians must be well-trained, detail-oriented and extremely knowledgeable.

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Aside from decontaminating and sterilizing equipment, sterile processing technicians are responsible for reissuing and delivering cleaned equipment back to the department in which it is used. In fact, technicians may spend a great deal of time traveling throughout the hospital with a cart full of equipment. Sterile processing technicians need to be available to reprocess equipment used for urgent and emergent procedures. The job typically requires long hours, off-shifts, weekends, holidays and on-call work.

Sterile Processing Technician Licensing Requirements in Oregon

Oregon does not have a requirement for licensing for sterile processing technicians. However, sterile processing departments are generally overseen by a licensed professional, typically a registered nurse. In addition, hospitals are often audited by accreditation companies, local health departments and internal reviews to ensure proper adherence to policy and procedure.

Oregon Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians

Prior to training as a sterile processing technician, you will need to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent, as it is a required prerequisite. Once acquired, you can seek training either on the job or through an appropriate training course.

Training programs in Oregon include the following:

  • Rogue Community College with campuses in Grants Pass, Kerby, Medford and White City, OR, offers a Sterile Processing Technician Certificate. Students will learn the basics of sterile processing including the use of essential pieces of equipment like autoclaves. Education on the types of tools and equipment used on the job will also be provided. Graduates of the program will be qualified to sit for certification examinations.
  • Portland Community College with campuses in Portland, Hillsboro, Newberg and Beaverton, offers a Sterile Processing Technician program. The class is taught over the course of a single term and includes 42 hours of self-directed study along with classroom instruction. The class consists of training in infection control, decontamination, cleaning, sterilization, surgical instruments, microbiology, medical terminology, and anatomy and physiology.
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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.

Certificates for Sterile Processing Technicians

There are many possible accreditations that can be acquired by sterile processing technicians, even though there is no standard requirement for the industry. One popular organization for credentialing is the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materials Management (IAHCSMM). Their Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) is awarded to sterile processing technicians who can pass an examination.

Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022), Sterile Processing Technicians, also known as Medical Equipment Preparers, in Oregon have an average annual wage of $47,670. This is notably higher than the national average for this occupation, which stands at $41,480. In Oregon, the wages for these technicians range from $35,760 at the lower end (10th percentile) to $63,930 at the higher end (90th percentile), indicating a broad wage spectrum based on experience and qualifications.

National vs. Oregon Salaries:

Percentile United States Oregon
10% $31,570 $35,760
25% $36,240 $40,020
50% (Median) $41,480 $47,670
75% $50,300 $52,490
90% $62,960 $63,930

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in Oregon:

Region 10% 25% Median 75% 90%
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $35,250 $39,880 $50,360 $52,770 $64,180

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Oregon

The employment trends for Medical Equipment Preparers in Oregon indicate a strong and positive growth trajectory. According to the data from Projections Central (2020-2030) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022-2032), this occupation is experiencing significant growth in the state.

In 2020, Oregon had 1,320 employees working as Medical Equipment Preparers. This number is projected to increase to 1,490 by 2030, representing a 13% growth over the decade. This growth rate is notably higher than the national average, suggesting a particularly strong demand for these professionals in Oregon.

Additionally, there are projected to be 170 annual job openings in Oregon from 2020 to 2030. These openings are expected to arise due to both new job growth and the need to replace workers who leave the field.

Nationally, the employment for Medical Equipment Preparers is also growing, but at a slower rate compared to Oregon. In 2022, the national employment figure was 66,700, with a projection to reach 70,300 by 2032, marking a 5% growth. The projected annual job openings on a national level are 9,500.

Category Oregon (2020-2030) United States (2022-2032)
Employment (Start of Period) 1,320 employees 66,700 employees
Projected Employment (End of Period) 1,490 employees 70,300 employees
Projected Growth 13% 5%
Projected Annual Job Openings 170 9,500

Sources of Data:

  • For Oregon-specific data, the source is Projections Central, which offers state-level long-term projections for the period from 2020 to 2030.
  • For the national data, the source is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides federal-level employment projections for the period from 2022 to 2032.

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Oregon

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Oregon presents a promising career opportunity, especially given the state’s higher-than-average growth rate in this field. In Oregon, these technicians earn a competitive salary, with the average annual wage being notably higher than the national average. The role involves the crucial responsibility of sterilizing and preparing medical equipment, ensuring patient safety and supporting the smooth operation of healthcare facilities. With a projected 13% growth in employment from 2020 to 2030, there is a strong demand for skilled technicians. This growth not only suggests job security but also indicates opportunities for career advancement and professional development in the healthcare sector in Oregon.

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