How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in South Carolina
Sterile processing technicians bear a great deal of responsibility for patient health and safety within a medical facility. These vital technicians ensure the proper cleaning and sterilization of medical equipment, keeping patients safe from the transmission of infectious diseases. Due to the essential and meticulous nature of the work, those considering this career should possess critical thinking skills and an eye for detail. Technicians should expect to perform visual inspections of packaging along with other quality control measures on a regular basis.
Working in the field requires good physical stamina, as sterile processing technicians are responsible for tracking and delivering inventory. Because technicians often work in a hospital setting, the hours are irregular and may include weekends, off-hours, holidays and on-call. If this career sounds like a good fit for you and you are wondering how to get started, this article has the information you need.
State Licensing for Sterile Processing Technicians in South Carolina
South Carolina does not provide statewide oversight for sterile processing technicians, meaning a license is not required to work in the state. However, employers may have requirements for job candidates, including certifications. It is essential to research the requirements of any organization at which you wish to become employed.
Sterile Processing Technician Training in South Carolina
On-the-job training as a sterile processing technician is possible in South Carolina, especially for those who are already employed in a medical center or contract sterile processing company. For those who wish to enter the field directly, there are training programs that can be taken to learn the appropriate skills. In either case, a high school diploma or equivalent is a required prerequisite.
A few potential programs for training in South Carolina include:
- Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC, offers a Sterile Processing Technician course. Students will learn HIPPA and OSHA guidelines, medical terminology, infection control and anatomy.
- Aiken Technical College in Aiken, SC, offers a Surgical Technology program. In addition to learning to process and sterilize surgical equipment, students will learn to handle specimens, maintain equipment and assist physicians in surgical procedures.
- Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC, offers a Central Sterile Processing Technician course. Students will train to decontaminate, sterilize and redistribute equipment.
- Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, SC, offers a Diploma in Applied Science in Surgical Technology. Students will learn sterile technique and equipment processing, along with surgical assisting. Upon completion, graduates may pursue an Associate in Applied Science degree in General Technology. See also https://surgicaltechedu.org/sc/
Potential for Career Accreditation
There is no requirement for sterile processing technicians to become certified, but acquiring accreditation can help you achieve promotions and advance your career. Although many organizations offer certification, the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materials Management (IAHCSMM) is a popular choice for the profession. Their Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) designation can be earned by passing an examination.
Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations
In South Carolina, Sterile Processing Technicians, also known as Medical Equipment Preparers, earn an average annual wage of $36,890, which is slightly lower than the national average of $41,480. The salary range in South Carolina varies from $29,150 at the lower end (10th percentile) to $48,830 at the higher end (90th percentile), indicating a broad range of salaries that could reflect regional differences and varying levels of experience.
National vs. South Carolina Salaries for Sterile Processing Technicians
|Percentile||United States||South Carolina|
Salaries by Region in South Carolina
|Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC||$30,690||$31,700||$36,790||$42,680||$44,180|
|Charleston-North Charleston, SC||$30,680||$35,330||$38,380||$44,200||$50,580|
|Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC||$28,470||$31,390||$36,160||$37,250||$45,740|
Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in South Carolina
The employment trends for Medical Equipment Preparers in South Carolina are showing positive growth. According to the data from Projections Central (2020-2030), the field is set to experience a 9% growth over the decade.
In 2020, there were 430 employees working as Medical Equipment Preparers in South Carolina. This number is projected to increase to 470 by 2030. This growth rate is higher than the national average, indicating a robust demand for these professionals in South Carolina’s healthcare sector.
Additionally, there are projected to be 60 annual job openings in South Carolina 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 projected to grow by 5% from 2022 to 2032, with 9,500 projected annual job openings.
|Category||South Carolina (2020-2030)||United States (2022-2032)|
|Employment (Start of Period)||430 employees||66,700 employees|
|Projected Employment (End of Period)||470 employees||70,300 employees|
|Projected Annual Job Openings||60||9,500|
Sources of Data:
- For South Carolina-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 South Carolina
Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in South Carolina offers a promising career path in the healthcare sector, with a positive job outlook and steady growth. The state is experiencing a 9% growth in this field from 2020 to 2030, which is higher than the national average. This growth suggests a strong demand for these professionals in South Carolina’s medical facilities. Sterile Processing Technicians in the state play a crucial role in ensuring the cleanliness and readiness of medical equipment, a vital aspect of patient care and safety. With an average of 60 annual job openings projected over the decade, individuals pursuing this career in South Carolina can expect ample opportunities for employment and professional growth in a vital and rewarding healthcare role.