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What Sort of Upward Mobility Exists for Sterile Processing Techs?

Sterile Processing Techs - AIMS Education

Whether you’re just entering the allied health world as a sterile processing tech (SPT) – or you’re considering attending a training course – there’s a lot to appreciate about this growing field.

Like any career, the greater your training and expertise, the better your chances of landing the job of your dreams. As a sterile processing technician, you’ve got ample opportunity to move up the ladder – or into other awesome allied health careers in the future.

What Does a Sterile Processing Tech Do?

Sterile processing technicians tend to work in designated departments, and while they may not always interact with the public, their influence on the lives of patients is crucial.

Before surgical tools and medical instruments can be used on patients, these professionals clean, sterilize, and repackage them. As SPTs manually clean tools, they’ll check for – and report – defects that could cause difficulties. Next, these tools are sanitized with an autoclave, packaged, recorded, and delivered to their corresponding rooms.

Sterile processing technicians can be referred to using a variety of titles, including (but not limited to):

  • sterile processing and distribution technician
  • certified registered central service technician
  • sterilization technician
  • medical instrument technician
  • medical equipment preparer

Where Do Sterile Processing Techs Work?

With one of the largest working populations in the United States – and one of the healthiest job growth rates – the allied health sector is showing no signs of slowing down. The same naturally applies to the field of medical equipment preparers.

Where can you find work after completing your certification course? The answer is easy: Nearly everywhere that medical equipment is used. Obviously, hospitals are prime employers in this field, but so are outpatient care centers, dental offices, and ambulatory service centers. You may even discover a company in your area that focuses solely on equipment sterilization, packaging, and delivery.

How Much Do Sterile Processing Techs Make?

Sterile Processing Techs Salaries

Obviously, before entering any career field, it’s important to understand what sort of salary you can expect to receive. According to Glassdoor.com, the average SPT earned over $36,000 in 2019 – more than $17 per hour. That’s not too shabby for a career that doesn’t require a college degree.

Is There Room for Advancement in This Field?

If you’re working hard towards building a career, you want to be adequately rewarded for your time and effort. That’s why we’ve put together a list of possible, related roles that you can move into with the right training and dedication.

What other future careers are suitable for a medical instrument technician?

Sterile Processing Supervisor

For experienced sterile processing techs, it’s possible to grow into a supervisor role. Aside from training staff, these professionals oversee their departments with an eagle eye, ensuring that everything is processed using the correct regulations and documentation.

When you’re offered this sort of position, you become responsible for acting as the liaison between your team and the operating room staff. These departments rely on timely and accurate deliveries for well-run surgeries.

The average salary for a supervisor in this field is well over $50,000 (or approximately $24 per hour). This is great, especially when you consider that such a promotion might come without any extra educational requirements.

Clinical Laboratory Technicians

For SPTs who are totally fascinated by the human body – but aren’t interested in a patient-facing position – becoming a clinical lab tech could be right up their alley.

Physicians and surgeons rely upon clinical lab techs to handle scientific equipment and samples (e.g. blood, urine, tissue) and record their findings accurately. Working under the supervision of laboratory technologists, lab technicians tend to perform automated diagnostics using microscopes and various computer-based tools.

With further education and certification in medical lab technology, you could be eligible to earn an average salary of just under $39,000. It’s common for many technicians to earn a 4-year degree in order to find work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, laboratories (e.g. medical, biological), or even universities.

Medical Laboratory Technologists

Clinical Laboratory Technologists

Medical laboratory technologists (also known as medical lab scientists) typically oversee the work of technicians – especially when it comes to ensuring that instruments are calibrated correctly – but there’s so much more to their jobs. At times, they’ll use samples to create microscope slides, run chemical tests, search for abnormalities, and grow cell cultures.

Their training is more extensive than that of a technician (requiring a 4-year degree or more) and offers them the ability to perform more complex procedures and testing. The average income for a certified lab technologist is over $60,000 annually, or just under $29 per hour.

While smaller labs may require a varied workload each day, technologists in larger labs may find that it’s better to specialize. Some specializations could include:

Blood Bank Technologists

Working with phlebotomists, these technologists take blood samples, classify it by blood type, and then prepare it for transfusions.

Immunology Technologists

These experts review the immune system in order to develop better treatments, vaccines, or therapies. Their goal is to control and/or eradicate diseases and infections.


When any tissue is removed during surgery (whether a breast biopsy or a skin tag), it’s transported to a histotechnologist. This health professional then reviews it microscopically to provide accurate results for the treating physician.

Endoscopy Technician

If you’re missing out on human interaction in your SPT role, why not consider a career as an endoscopy tech?

Also known as GI technicians and flexible endoscopy reprocessors, endoscopy techs are depended upon to ensure sterility and functionality of operating room tools (skills already taught in your sterile processing tech training course), take specimens, physically position patients, and much more.

On average, an endoscopy tech salary averages around $33,000 per year. Many of these allied health workers discover that they love more hands-on work, going back to school to advance to other career routes like surgical technologists.

Surgical Technologist

Surgical Technologist

Otherwise known as scrub techs, these healthcare professionals never have a boring, routine day. It’s not hard to see why SPTs often go into this field. Like sterile processing technicians, surgical techs are required to understand each tool on the operating table, maintain sterility, and organize instruments before procedures.

Unlike SPTs, however, scrub techs are members of the surgical team who might be relied upon to do anything from clean incision sites, transport patients to and from the operating room, and even hold organs in place during surgery.

With approximately two years of required studies, the average certified surgical technologist is set to earn more than $47,000 annually – all without a medical degree!

What Sort of Education Is Required to Become an SPT?

Once you’ve enrolled in a sterile processing tech program in your area, you’ll be ready to embark on your educational odyssey. Aside from standard classroom instruction in medical terminology and anatomy, you’ll study techniques about how to sterilize, decontaminate, and control infections in clinical settings.

Once you’ve tackled your classroom studies, you should expect to complete an internship in a real-world setting. You’ll get to work along side experience technicians who will provide expert advice along the way. If you prove your work ethic, professionalism, and skill set, you may even be offered a job before graduating.

Upon graduating from most sterile processing technician programs, you should be eligible to take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam offered by Iahcsmm. Most employers prefer certified technicians, so passing the CRCST exam will put you in a much better position to find employment.

Start Your Allied Health Career Today

Still considering a career as a sterile processing technician? It’s time to jump-start your education. In just under a year you can be ready to join the workforce as a certified sterile processing technician!

The Impact of Technology in Healthcare

The Impact of Technology in Healthcare - AIMS Education

There are no two ways about it: technological developments in healthcare have saved countless patients and are continuously improving our quality of life. Not only that, but technology in the medical field has had a massive impact on nearly all processes and practices of healthcare professionals.

In this article, we look at the benefits and disadvantages of technology in healthcare and their relationship to both patients and professionals alike.

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Surgical Tech Salary and Career Opportunities in the US

surgical tech jobs scrub techs operating room

Choosing a career shouldn’t be brain surgery (okay, sometimes it is brain surgery). An interest in this area, however, doesn’t require a decade of med school to become a surgeon.

The surgical tech career path is a booming area in allied healthcare careers – all without the years of studying, student debt, and responsibility of being a surgeon. What’s more, average surgical technologist salaries and job prospects are both on the rise, especially for entry-level positions.

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21 Reasons to Start a Job in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

21 Reasons to Start a Job in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Tech - AIMS Education

When it comes to diagnostic medical sonography, there’s much more than meets the eye. A doctor might suspect what the patient is suffering from, but sonograms are often key in providing evidence and helping determine the final diagnosis.

As a DMS tech, you’ll use diagnostic imaging technology to give the most detailed images of what’s really going on inside of patients, whether that’s soft tissue structures (like the liver, bladder, or appendix) or even blood flow.

To show you how great this career is, we’ve put together this list of 21 reasons of why sonographers love their work.

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Which Is Better: A Medical Sonography Degree or Certificate?

sonography ultrasound tech field

Wisconsin Tech Colleges / Flickr / CC BY-ND

If you’re looking to be an active part of patient treatment, why not consider the unique and rewarding career of medical sonography? From tracking the progress of a pregnancy to checking for breast cancer, the possibilities are just about limitless.

For prospective medical sonographers (often referred to as ultrasound techs), there are a couple ways to break into this field. You can either study through ultrasound technician certification programs or professional diagnostic medical sonography degree programs. Whichever you choose, both are excellent paths to a lucrative career in the allied health industry.

So what’s the right way for you to become an ultrasound tech?

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8 Healthcare Certificates in 1 Year or Less

8 Healthcare Certificates in 1 Year or Less

If you want to join an allied health career, you can choose to do it fast – or super fast! Depending on the type of certification requirements and where you decide to go to school, some programs can be completed in 12 months or less. This means your whole life could change by this time next year.

Quicker routes to healthcare certification are ideal when want to start work as soon as possible. If you already work in healthcare but are thinking of switching career paths, a shorter training program can help get you there.

We’ve compiled a list of quick certifications that allow fast access to great entry-level jobs, including 6-month certificate programs that pay well!

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The Top 6 Signs a Medical Career Is Right for You

Thinking of pursuing a career in medicine, only to be dissuaded by high student loans and long years at school? While it’s a far less risky (and stable) career move, you still need to make sure you’re suitable for an allied health career. Do you enjoy science as well as helping people? Are you willing to spend a few months to a few years getting your allied healthcare certification?

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Start Your Career as an Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist


If you’re thinking about a career in allied health – and have always found the human brain fascinating – why not consider becoming a neurodiagnostic technologist (NDT)? Whether you know it as an NDT or END technologist, this career is at the forefront of exciting new medical discoveries.

NDTs administer a variety of advanced neurological tests (like electroencephalograms) to gain a better understanding of the brain and nervous system. Their work helps physicians search for clues related to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, migraines, head trauma, sleep disturbances, and more.

With a quick path to the workplace, excellent pay, high demand for trained workers, and a flexible working environment, there are so many reasons to look at a career as a neurodiagnostic technologist!

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Why More Men Should Go into Allied Healthcare

Why More Men Should Go into Allied Healthcare - AIMS Education It’s no secret that over the last few decades, the US job market has moved away from manufacturing to the service sector – this includes careers that might be found in the health, computer services, and retail industry. Undoubtedly, the group most affected by this shift has been working-class men who don’t hold university degrees.

With millions of medical jobs for men up for grabs, healthcare has quickly become an emerging industry. So why aren’t more men taking notice?

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22 Reasons to Become a Pharmacy Tech

Pharmacy Tech, Pills, Medicine

Pharmacy technicians (also known as pharmacy techs) are an integral part of any pharmacy team. You’ve probably already seen these allied healthcare professionals working alongside pharmacists in retail locations, but they can also be found in hospitals and long-term care facility pharmacies.

Pharmacy techs are responsible for filling prescriptions, organizing inventory, processing insurance claims/payments, and working with customers to ensure they understand their medications and their instructions.

Why is being a pharmacy tech so great? We’ve compiled a list of 22 reasons of why you should consider signing up for a pharmacy technician classes today!

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