Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician in Texas

Modern healthcare is built on a foundation of successful infection control. That means that all reputable facilities take great care to sterilize the equipment used in surgeries, dental exams and other medical procedures. This crucial task is not left to any random healthcare worker. Instead, medical facilities employ dedicated sterile processing technicians to maintain the required safety barrier against the spread of disease.

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With its large and growing population, Texas has an ongoing need for skilled sterile processors. What’s more, the state serves as home to some of America’s biggest medical facilities. For these reasons, the sterile processing profession may be on the radar of Texas residents interested in working in the healthcare industry. If that sounds like you, let this informative summary serve as a planning tool for a more effective job search.

Does Texas Regulate Sterile Processors at the State Level?

While sterile processing technicians are essential personnel, they do not need to be licensed by the state in order to work in Texas. These medical equipment preparers also don’t need to register with a healthcare oversight board. In addition, sterile processors are free from any requirement to get certified by one of the nationwide associations that set independent standards for the profession.

Statewide Regulations Are Not the Only Thing to Consider

In the absence of statewide regulation, Texas healthcare facilities must find their own way of identifying qualified sterile processors. They typically do this by setting up in-house standards that all potential applicants must meet. Common expectations include:

  • Applying only after you reach the age of 18
  • Showing proof that you’ve graduated from high school or passed your GED exam
  • Possessing training or practical experience in the sterile processing field

To further distinguish top candidates, some facilities may ask you to present proof of national certification in sterile processing. Whether or not this is a requirement, it’s generally to your benefit to get certified, since this further demonstrates your level of ability.

Sources of Sterile Processor Training in Texas

It’s probably not surprising that a healthcare hub like Texas has plentiful training options for prospective sterile processors. Example programs from throughout the state include:

Tarrant County College

This Dallas-area school offers a 16-credit course in sterile processing. That’s the equivalent of two semesters of classes and labs. In addition, you must complete 240 hours of work during clinical rotations at local facilities.

  • Time Commitment: Students need to commit to a full-time schedule for 2 semesters.
  • Delivery Method: The program is a blended delivery program, combining online classes with on-campus labs. Labs are tentatively scheduled for Monday evenings.
  • Clinical Hours: Requires a total of 240 clinic hours, arranged with the program director based on clinical availability and student employment status.
  • Grading: A minimum grade of “C” (75 percent) is required to pass the program.

Austin Community College

ACC’s sterile processing program includes both on-site training and clinical rotations. It also includes access to resources for employment and career development. Graduates are prepared to take the national certification exam offered by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution

Program Structure

  • The program consists of two course sections, SRGT-1040 Sterile Processing Program and SRGT-1060 Sterile Processing Clinical, combining online instruction with clinical settings.
  • It is designed to be completed in approximately 3 months, with a weekly time commitment of 9 hours.

Houston Community College

HCC offers two options for sterile processor training: on-campus learning and a combination of online and on-campus work. The program begins with a semester of instruction in sterile processing and related topics. You will also spend a second semester gathering hands-on experience in local-area clinical rotations.

Program Structure

  • Award Types: Associate of Applied Science, Certificate Level 1
  • Pathway: Health Sciences
  • Semesters: The program begins each fall semester and spans six semesters, combining lectures with lab practices at the Coleman College for Health Sciences campus.
Featured School

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.

Job Growth Outlook and Salary Expectations

In Texas, Sterile Processing Technicians, also known as Medical Equipment Preparers, earn an average annual wage of $38,830, which is slightly below the national average of $41,480. The salary range in Texas varies from $30,820 at the lower end (10th percentile) to $54,210 at the higher end (90th percentile), indicating a range of earnings that can be influenced by factors such as regional cost of living, experience, and specific job location within the state.

National vs. Texas Salaries for Sterile Processing Technicians

Percentile United States Texas
10% $31,570 $30,820
25% $36,240 $35,570
50% (Median) $41,480 $38,830
75% $50,300 $46,740
90% $62,960 $54,210

Salaries by Region in Texas

Region 10% 25% Median 75% 90%
Amarillo, TX $31,680 $31,680 $32,590 $38,760 $42,900
Austin-Round Rock, TX $36,260 $36,810 $44,040 $47,250 $59,090
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX $28,800 $28,800 $34,620 $41,180 $54,170

Medical Equipment Preparers Employment Trends in Texas

The employment outlook for Medical Equipment Preparers in Texas is notably positive. According to the data from Projections Central (2020-2030), this field is expected to experience an 18% growth over the decade, which is significantly higher than the national average growth rate.

In 2020, there were approximately 3,450 employees working as Medical Equipment Preparers in Texas. This number is projected to increase to 4,080 by 2030. The substantial growth rate indicates a robust demand for these professionals in Texas’s healthcare sector.

Additionally, there are projected to be 520 annual job openings in Texas 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.

Employment Trends

Category Texas (2020-2030) United States (2022-2032)
Employment (Start of Period) 3,450 employees 66,700 employees
Projected Employment (End of Period) 4,080 employees 70,300 employees
Projected Growth 18% 5%
Projected Annual Job Openings 520 9,500

Sources of Data:

  • For Texas-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 Texas

Working as a Sterile Processing Technician in Texas presents a highly promising career opportunity, especially given the state’s robust job market growth in this field. With an impressive projected growth rate of 18% from 2020 to 2030, significantly higher than the national average, Texas offers a vibrant environment for professionals in this sector. Sterile Processing Technicians in Texas play a crucial role in the healthcare system, ensuring the sterilization and readiness of medical equipment, which is vital for patient safety and effective medical procedures. The state’s healthcare industry’s growing demand for these technicians is reflected in the projected 520 annual job openings, offering ample opportunities for employment and career advancement in a critical and rewarding healthcare role.

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