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Online Sterile Processing Technician Training
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Become a Certified Sterile Processing Technician

The Sterile Processing Technician certification course from SDSU Global Campus equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to excel in this rewarding medical career—in just 12 months.

Through instructor interaction in online moderated discussions and your curriculum, you will learn the necessary steps required to perform the duties of a sterile processing technician and become prepared to sit for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification offered by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA).

This sterile processing technician training provides you with a voucher for the CRCST certification exam, included as part of your enrollment. You also may be eligible to participate in a clinical experience, giving you hands-on experience with the daily responsibilities of a sterile processing technician.

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Job Outlook for Sterile Processing Technicians

According to recent job insights from Lightcast, the median salary for sterile processing technicians is $61,776 in San Diego County, CA.

Between 2023 and 2033, San Diego County is expected to see a 15.8% increase for sterile processing technician roles. These professionals work in many sectors, but some of the top industries for San Diego County include general medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient care centers, education and hospitals (state government), and offices of dentists.

Sterile Processing Technician FAQs

What is a sterile processing technician? What do sterile processing technicians do?
According to ZipRecruiter, a sterile processing technician is a healthcare professional who performs sterilization processes in a surgical environment. These trained professionals use specialized equipment, such as an autoclave, to ensure all surgical instruments and materials are sterile and safe to use on the patient. They also inventory and assess equipment and materials so that the surgical suite is prepared for each procedure.

Example duties and responsibilities can include:

  • Using equipment to sterilize and decontaminate surgical and patient-care equipment
  • Logging usage and maintaining sterilization and decontamination equipment
  • Receiving and tracking equipment to be used elsewhere in the facility or in other hospital facilities
  • Collaborating with surgery team leads to ensure timely processing and availability of critical equipment

How long is the sterile processing technician course?
The Sterile Processing Technician course is self-paced, but you must complete 190 course hours in 12 months.

Are there experience opportunities beyond my course available?
The course also includes an opportunity to participate in a clinical experience. To qualify for the clinical experience application process, you must complete the online course successfully and have an account balance up to date (at a minimum). Going through the clinical experience application process does not guarantee a placement.

Why is certification important for a sterile processing technician?
According to the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA), patients count on sterile processing technicians for clean, sterile, and well-functioning instruments. They also count on them to follow best practices and stay ahead of the technology curve. Certification helps meet these expectations and ensures sterile processing technicians possess the essential knowledge and skills to manage critical departmental duties safely, effectively, and consistently.

What’s more, the ongoing education required for these professionals to maintain their certification status and stay on top of ever-evolving instrumentation, technology, standards, and best practices .

Course Objectives

  • Define the sterile processor role, responsibilities, professional skill set, and communication expectations (including accurate use of medical terminology and anatomy) required in the central processing and surgical services departments
  • Identify sterile processing regulations and standards provided by regulatory agencies and professional associations to ensure workplace safety, infection prevention, and proper support for the ancillary departments
  • Acquire basic procedures and best practices for each phase of sterile processing, including decontamination, inspection, preparation, and sterilization of medical instruments and supplies
  • Understand sterile storage considerations, guidelines, concerns, and common quality assurance procedures in the sterile processing department
  • Learn the importance of following procedures to care for loaner instruments and manage inventory while using information management systems
  • Describe how to adhere to compliance when handling documentation and maintaining records
  • Explain the importance of effective communication, human relations, and personal development and how improving these skills can impact the career of a sterile processing technician
  • Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification offered through Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA), thereby becoming a recognized professional in the field, eligible for employment in a wide range of healthcare settings

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Prerequisites and Certification Requirements

To become eligible for the national sterile processing technician certification exam, candidates are required to possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, a prerequisite best fulfilled before program enrollment.

Certification requirements include:

Full CRCST Certification

  • Provide 400 hours of hands-on experience during the previous five years, preceding the application.

Provisional CRCST Certification

  • Provide 400 hours of hands-on experience within six months of passing the certification exam.


Janice Brownlee
Janice "Jan" Brownlee has been a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) for 43 years and has worked in all sizes of hospitals, including surgery centers. Jan worked in a sterile processing department in the instrument room and sterile supply areas. While working in the operating room, she scrubbed all services, with cardiothoracic, vascular, and orthopedics being her favorites.

Jan also had the opportunity to work for a private group of cardiothoracic surgeons and expand her knowledge and skills even more. Working as a surgical first assistant was the highlight of her career. She has continued her career path by teaching surgical technology and sterile processing at a local community college and enjoys watching her students learn and grow.

Instructor Interaction:The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.

Registration and Enrollment

This course is 100% online. Start anytime.

Enroll Now