|$ $2,000||$ $ $7,000||$ $ $ $10,000|
For those considering a healthcare career, becoming a sterile processing technician is an excellent entry-level role that can lead to extensive advancement.
Technicians can work in any medical facility that requires sterilization services, ranging from hospitals and medical specialization locations to dentists’ offices.
A diploma or degree is needed, and graduates must pass the certification exam to be hired for a position.
If want to become a sterile processing technician, it’s essential to understand the associated costs.
Keep reading to learn more!
How Much Does It Cost for a Sterile Processing Technician School?
The most common sterile processing technician degree is an associate, which costs $7,000 and can run into the tens of thousands.
Many schools also offer a diploma program, which will cost a few thousand to around $7,000 and require a one-year time commitment.
These costs vary based on factors such as state residence, instructional format, accreditation, location, and school type.
These basic tuition costs don’t include additional fees like laboratory costs, equipment, and books, which may cost up to $800 per year.
What Are the Different School Types?
Sterile processing technicians are a typical major, so schools in towns and cities across the U.S. offer some programs.
The fastest path to employment is the one-year diploma program, which covers the foundational requirements for an entry-level position.
Those seeking additional, more in-depth knowledge and core educational classes may opt for the associate degree, which requires two years.
Vocational and community colleges and some universities offer different degree types in hybrid and traditional platforms.
Since a lab component exists, lectures can be taken entirely online, but lab work must be completed in person.
How Much Does a Sterile Processing Technician License Cost?
To become nationally certified, program graduates must pass an exam offered by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM).
The CBSPD exam fee is $128, but additional convenience fees could apply.
The IAHCSMM exam fee is $300, with the potential for additional convenience fees.
Free study resources exist, and sterile processing technician programs prepare students to complete both exams.
So, taking the tests almost immediately after graduation is essential while the information is fresh.
Some programs even include the certification at the end of the program and roll the costs into tuition.
What Are the Additional Costs After Becoming a Sterile Technician?
Given that sterile processing technicians are in the medical field, continuing education requirements must be completed to maintain certification.
However, most employers cover the cost of these credits since holding a license in good standing is required for employment in all states.
Also, employers cover the cost of all equipment, uniforms, sterilization hardware, and other tools needed for the job.
Is Becoming a Sterile Technician a Good Investment?
Sterile processing can be a highly rewarding career, with plenty of professional growth and entry-level positions.
The return on investment is excellent as technicians become part of a valuable patient care team that helps others across numerous medical settings.
Wherever patients are located, sterilization professionals are required.
Also, the profession is rapidly growing, with a projected increase of up to 14% through 2026, thus ensuring job security.
Many technicians wish to advance their careers and want an active role in the treatment process, so they return to school to become healthcare administrators or surgical technicians.
Furthermore, sterile processing is interesting work and can often be challenging.
Physical coordination, attention to detail, and problem-solving are key daily skills to ensure medical equipment is collected, sterilized, organized, and delivered.
Also, the profession has a continuous learning piece, so technicians regularly learn new techniques.
For such a minimal educational requirement, sterile processing technicians are compensated competitively with earnings exceeding $45,000 annually and over $70,000 for experienced technicians.
Additionally, sterile processing technicians enjoy high flexibility with their work schedule, with morning, evening, and overnight shifts available.
This makes it much easier to accommodate a personal schedule for those with outside commitments.
Finally, the minimum educational time commitment is one year, significantly lower than that of other medical professions.
This is the fastest training route to enter the healthcare industry.
Becoming a sterile processing technician is a great choice since it’s an investment in your medical career future and an excellent stepping stone to advance in the growing field.
The school cost can be a few thousand for the one-year diploma program to over $10,000 for an associate degree, which offers more in-depth information.
Students can enroll in vocational and community college programs in a traditional and hybrid format.
Two national exams must offer certification: the CBSPD, which costs $128, and the IAHCSMM, which costs $300.
No additional costs are required after certification as employers cover further costs.
Becoming a sterile processing technician is an excellent investment because helping others is a gratifying career, there are extensive entry-level positions and professional growth within the role, and experts can work in various medical settings across the U.S.
Additionally, the field is rapidly growing, showing solid numbers, the work is interesting and challenging.
Hence, employees are never bored, and the compensation is stronger than the required education.
Finally, sterile processing technicians enjoy flexible schedules and minimal educational time commitment.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 How Much Does It Cost for a Sterile Processing Technician School?
- 2 What Are the Different School Types?
- 3 How Much Does a Sterile Processing Technician License Cost?
- 4 What Are the Additional Costs After Becoming a Sterile Technician?
- 5 Is Becoming a Sterile Technician a Good Investment?
- 6 Key Takeaways