How to Work as a Sterile Processing Technician in Wisconsin
A great option for a healthcare career that does not require a degree is sterile processing. Techs working in this job are responsible for cleaning and sterilizing equipment for medical centers, hospitals, and dental offices. The role these techs play is essential. They keep patients safe by maintaining sterile equipment used by nurses and doctors.
In Wisconsin, jobs for sterile processing technicians are on the rise. With just a few months of post-secondary education or training on the job, you could be working in this important industry.
Requirements for Sterile Processing Techs in Wisconsin
Wisconsin state government has not set any requirements for working as a sterile processing technician. A typical path to a job includes graduating from high school or earning a GED and enrolling in and completing a post-secondary certificate or diploma program.
Some employers will hire you without that college program and train you as you begin working. There are benefits to earning a certificate, though. It prepares you to work immediately and makes it easier to land a job. A good program will also prepare you to pass an exam for national certification.
Wisconsin College Programs for Sterile Processing
Wisconsin has several options for earning a post-secondary diploma in sterile processing. The Wisconsin Technical Colleges system offers a standardized program with 10 credit hours of courses that can be completed in one semester. You’ll learn about infection control, decontamination of instruments, sterilization techniques and inventory control and distribution, and be ready to pass a certification exam. Choose from several locations:
- Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville
- Chippewa Valley Technical College, Eau Claire
- Mid-State Technical College, Marshfield
- Milwaukee Area Technical College, downtown Milwaukee
- Waukesha County Technical College, Pewaukee
- Western Technical College, La Crosse
How to Get Certified as a Sterile Processing Technician
You do not have to be certified to work in this industry, but there are several reasons to get this credential:
- Certification helps standardize the industry
- It also helps maintain high quality
- Employers prefer to hire certified techs
- With certification, you may be able to earn a higher salary
The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management offers five types of certification: introductory, entry-level certification, secondary certification for instrumentation, endoscope reprocessing certification, central service management certification and certification for central service vendors.
Wisconsin Salaries and Job Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the mean annual salary for sterile processing techs in Wisconsin is $36,020. The average hourly salary is $17.32. The top 10 percent of earners in this career in Wisconsin make more than $46,750.
Careers for sterile processing technicians are growing, according to Projections Central. Across the U.S., jobs are growing at a rate of eight percent. In Wisconsin, growth is a little slower at five percent, but still strong.
Landing a Job in Wisconsin
With high demand, finding a job as a sterile processing technician should not be difficult. Anywhere there are hospitals and medical centers, there will be jobs. You can expect to find the most openings and the highest salaries in and around Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha and Racine.
Some examples of recent job listings in the state can give you a good idea of what is available: sterile processing technician, Orthopedic & Sports Institute in Appleton; sterile processing tech, Favorite Healthcare Staffing in Madison; and sterile processing technician, UW Health in Madison.