A Career as a Sterile Processing Technician in South Dakota

Sterile processing technicians are essential to the healthcare industry, as their work ensures that patients can receive safe and effective treatments without the risk of contamination. This assurance is due to the abilities of sterile processing technicians whose job it is to receive contaminated equipment and decontaminate it per manufacturer specifications and hospital policy. Working in this profession requires a meticulous nature, an eye for detail, a high threshold for stress and good physical stamina. The job often involves long hours including ample opportunities for overtime.

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Sterile processing departments are hubs of activity, with equipment on continuous rotation in and out. Technicians are responsible for tracking the inventory as it moves through the department, keeping records of cleaning and maintenance and ensuring it is redelivered to the appropriate departments’ stock.

It is not uncommon for sterile processing technicians to spend a good portion of the day pushing carts of equipment throughout the hospital. Strict controls need to be continuously maintained in a central sterile processing unit, and, as such, technicians frequently perform quality control testing.

Sterile Processing Technician Licenses in South Dakota

You will not need to acquire a license to work as a sterile processing technician in South Dakota. However, sterile processing technicians need to be highly knowledgeable and adhere to proper procedures at all times. As such, those working in a central processing department should expect regular scrutiny and will need to undergo adequate training.

Training Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians in South Dakota

As mentioned above, working as a central processing technician requires a great deal of knowledge about the types of equipment used in medical and surgical procedures and the methods for decontaminating and sterilizing them. This expertise includes understanding the various levels of cleaning and the equipment and solvents used in the cleaning process. Acquiring this essential knowledge is generally done in one of two ways: through on-the-job training or a reputable training program.

In South Dakota, the following programs are available:

  • Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology. More than just sterile processing techniques, the program focuses on preparing students to provide assistance in an operating room. Applicants to the program will need to provide proof of a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Penn Foster – To complete the Penn Foster program, you must pass a total of 12 sterile processing-related courses. Most successful graduates require six to nine months to achieve this goal. Graduates are ready to sit for the IAHCSMM exam.
  • MedCerts offers a 13-week course that prepares you for the CRCST exam. Financial aid is available, and the program can help place you with a local site for clinical experience.
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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.

Sterile Processing Technician Accreditation in South Dakota

Although not universally required, credentialing is common in the industry. In fact, attaining certification is a great way to accelerate your career by showcasing your knowledge and professionalism to potential employers.

There are many organizations through which you can achieve credentialing, and you may want to research the most popular ones in your area prior to deciding which is the best for you. Keep in mind that specific organizations may have preferences as well.

Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations

In South Dakota, Sterile Processing Technicians, also known as Medical Equipment Preparers, have an average annual wage of $35,810, which is slightly lower than the national average of $41,480. The salary range in South Dakota varies from $26,450 at the lower end (10th percentile) to $51,750 at the higher end (90th percentile), indicating a range of salaries that could reflect regional differences and varying levels of experience.

National vs. South Dakota Salaries for Sterile Processing Technicians

Percentile United States South Dakota
10% $31,570 $26,450
25% $36,240 $31,130
50% (Median) $41,480 $35,810
75% $50,300 $41,190
90% $62,960 $51,750

Salaries by Region in South Dakota

Region 10% 25% Median 75% 90%
East South Dakota nonmetropolitan area $26,330 $33,620 $35,810 $43,280 $50,950
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD $31,560 $32,540 $38,300 $42,180 $51,430
Sioux Falls, SD $26,450 $31,130 $32,340 $41,190 $51,910

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in South Dakota

The employment trends for Medical Equipment Preparers in South Dakota indicate a significant growth in the sector. According to the data from Projections Central (2020-2030), the field is set to experience a 14% growth over the decade, which is substantially higher than the national average growth rate.

In 2020, South Dakota had 280 employees working as Medical Equipment Preparers. This number is projected to rise to 320 by 2030. The substantial growth rate suggests a robust and expanding demand for these professionals in the state’s healthcare sector.

Furthermore, there are projected to be 40 annual job openings in South Dakota from 2020 to 2030. These openings are expected to be a result of 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.

Employment Trends

Category South Dakota (2020-2030) United States (2022-2032)
Employment (Start of Period) 280 employees 66,700 employees
Projected Employment (End of Period) 320 employees 70,300 employees
Projected Growth 14% 5%
Projected Annual Job Openings 40 9,500

Sources of Data:

  • For South Dakota-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 Dakota

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in South Dakota presents a promising career opportunity with a notably positive job outlook. The state is experiencing a significant 14% growth in this field from 2020 to 2030, substantially higher than the national average. This growth indicates a strong and expanding demand for these professionals in South Dakota’s healthcare sector. Sterile Processing Technicians in the state play an essential role in maintaining the safety and efficiency of healthcare services by ensuring that medical equipment is properly sterilized and prepared. With an estimated 40 annual job openings over the next decade, individuals pursuing this career in South Dakota can anticipate a dynamic and rewarding work environment in a vital healthcare role.