How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Arizona

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How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Arizona

When people go to any clinic or hospital, they expect all the equipment and the tools used on them to be sterile.

The same can be said about the doctors’ and patients’ outfits and not only.

Ensuring all of that is the job of a sterile processing technician, a professional that most common people don’t know exists.

Through this presentation, I hope to familiarize you with this occupation and maybe even convince you to become a sterile processing technician in Arizona.

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How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Arizona

In this state, sterile processing technicians are overseen by Arizona’s Department of Health Services.

This Department doesn’t demand this staff to hold a license or certification.

In fact, individuals can apply for such a job as soon as they finish high school.

Of course, the candidates for this job have the option to obtain such a credential.

To become certified, you’ll have to meet certain conditions, such as:

  • Finish high school or get a GED
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a drug test
  • Apply for the certification exam
  • Pay the required fees
  • Register with the testing center
  • Obtain a passing score on the certification exam

In Arizona, candidates have the option to enroll in a training program that will help them become certified.

The Arizona certification is obtained through the CRCST Credentialing Examination.

I will present these courses later in this article.

Sterile Processing Technician Job Duties and Skills in Arizona

All jobs require a specific set of skills and performing specific duties.

In the medical field, some duties and skills can be required for more than one single occupation.

Here are some of the more common tasks assigned to sterile processing techs:

  • Perform inventory checks
  • Clean, sterilize, decontaminate, package, and store medical equipment
  • Maintain and repair medical tools and equipment
  • Control and monitor the spread of disease and infection
  • Follow protocol and techniques for proper disinfection and sterilization of equipment

Don’t be surprised to see that sometimes nurses complete these duties.

It’s pretty clear these professionals have quite an important job to complete.

They can, at the same time ease the work of nurses and not only.

Possessing the following skills will be of great help for this medical position:

  • Have strong organizational skills
  • Able to identify and troubleshoot common sterilization and storage problems
  • Possess a good understanding of medical terminology and aseptic techniques.

Training Programs for Sterile Processing Technicians in Arizona

In this state, there are 4 available programs, at three educational institutions.

Brookline College

This college offers this type of training at 2 of its campuses, listed lower.

The course has 32 credits with 26 of them being the program concentration and the remaining 6 being additional.

Here are some of the classes you’ll attend:

Brookline College | LinkedIn

  • Introduction to Sterile Processing
  • Surgical Instrumentation
  • Equipment Safety Management and Tracking
  • Decontamination & Sterilization Procedures and Practices

The program includes an externship, which is very helpful for the future practician.

The college also offers tuition help, and passing an interview for this aspect is part of the enrollment in this program.

Pima Medical Institute

This institute has one campus in Arizona where future sterile processing technicians can train.

Students will become more familiar with these subjects:

Pima Medical Institute Logo

  • How to properly sterilize instruments and equipment
  • Proper decontamination procedures
  • Infection control practices
  • Microbiology
  • Provide equipment access for the medical personnel
  • Computer Basics
  • CPR & First Aid

Externships are mandatory for these students, and the institution facilitates getting into one.

The duration of the program is around 9 months and takes place in person, on campus.

East Valley Institute of Technology

This institute offers a training program for adult future sterile processing technicians.

The course includes an externship that is needed for the certification exam.

Some of the offered classes are listed next:

  • Assembly and sterilization of surgical instruments
  • Technical knowledge and skills for decontamination and inspection of surgical instruments
  • General cleaning of equipment
  • Package wrapping techniquesMesa AZ Hotels, Things to Do, Restaurants, Events & Golf | Visit Mesa
  • Patient care equipment,
  • Linen folding,
  • Distribution

The course has a duration of 6 months or 600 hours.

There are 3 separate fees associated with this program, with 2 of them being related to all the supplies needed, such as books, ID badge, background check, and more.

Here is the table with the addresses of these colleges, if you’re interested in finding out more.

School Name Address
Brookline College 1140 S. Priest Drive Tempe, AZ 85281
Brookline College 300 S. Craycroft Rd. Suite 100 Tucson, AZ 85711
Pima Medical Institute 13610 N. Black Canyon Highway Phoenix , AZ 85029
East Valley Institute of Technology Main Campus, 1601 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201
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Sterile Processing Technician Salaries in Arizona

Nobody can decide whether they want a job or not if they don’t know how much they’ll earn.

Income in the healthcare field is generally higher than in many other industries.

This is also true for sterile processing technicians in Arizona, although, in this state, salaries are usually a bit lower than in many other states.

The average annual income of a sterile processing technician in Arizona is $45,000.

Those with lower experience earn on average $36,000 yearly while those with more credentials and experience can look at annual paychecks of around $59,000.

Candidates for this position should not forget that in an urban setting, the salary is usually higher than in rural areas.

The next table shows in which cities you should apply as a sterile processing technician if you want to earn more.

Annual Salary Range:

Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Yuma $46,625
Lake Havasu City $45,552
Mesa $45,341
Scottsdale $45,341
Gilbert $45,341
Tempe $45,337
Phoenix $45,334
Chandler $45,310
Avondale $45,242
Peoria $45,211

Regional Salary in Arizona

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ810$44,140$21.22$53,130$33,560
Tucson, AZ190$39,530$19$44,370$32,260
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Medical Equipment Preparers, OCC Code 31-9093, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will I find a position as a sterile processing tech in Arizona?

In Arizona, there are many settings needing sterile processing techs.

Here is just a handful of them:

  • Hospitals
  • Dentists’ offices
  • Surgical centers
  • Outpatient care centers

Are there differences between the offered classes in Arizona?

Of course, there are differences, one of them being the name of the classes themselves.

Another difference is the duration of the course or what will the fees cover.

Despite all these differences, you’ll be ready to join the workforce in the medical field as a sterile processing tech for you’ll have all the needed knowledge for it.

Which school from Arizona should I choose?

I can’t tell you which school is the best one, but I can give you a few tips on how to choose:

  • Proximity to your home
  • Tuition
  • Enrollment requirements
  • The success rate of past students
  • Number of candidates each year

USA Sterile Processing Technician by State

  1. Avatar for Maine Yang Maine Yang

    I’m moving to Arizona next year and I think I have to go to a training program first even though I have experience being a Sterile Processing Tech. I miss studying!

  2. Avatar for Richard Holland Richard Holland

    So many options! I am so eager to get into a training program for this course. I heard there are many job opportunities for sterile processing technicians across Arizona this year.

  3. Avatar for Queenie Sandoval Queenie Sandoval

    Brookline College seems the best place for training. I will look into it tomorrow and see if I can manage to get in very easily. Thanks for the facts!

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