Sterile Processing Technician

Sterile Processing Technician
Sterile Processing Technician Program Details

The Sterile Processing Technician certificate program provides students with the knowledge and skills required to work as an entry-level sterile processing technician (also known as a surgical processing technician or central service technician). The primary responsibility of a sterile processing tech is to ensure that a clean and sterile healthcare environment is maintained at all times. This is primarily achieved through the process of decontaminating and sterilizing all surgical instrumentation and equipment.

Students enrolled in this program will learn various sterilization techniques, including the proper method for decontaminating and sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment. They will also gain a solid understanding of microbiology and infection control. Other topics covered in this program include surgical terminology, human anatomy, surgical instrumentation, sterile processing, and safety & risk management. Students will also learn about federal and state guidelines, including HIPAA.

The training includes a combination of didactic and lab hours, as well as a 400-hour clinical internship. AIMS Education has a dedicated surgical lab that provides the perfect environment to train students and allow them to practice their psychomotor skills. The practical experience gained during the clinical internship will help reinforce those skills. At the conclusion of the internship, all AIMS graduates will be required to take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam offered by IAHCSMM.

Clinical Internship

The Sterile Processing Technician program requires students to complete a mandatory 400-hour clinical internship. Students will be placed at a clinical site by the AIMS Internship Department. The internship is designed to provide practical training in a real work environment; students will have a mentor who trains and guides them. Students are not permitted to begin the internship until all required classroom and lab hours are completed.

AIMS Education has clinical affiliations with numerous healthcare facilities throughout New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Students will be placed at one or more of these affiliated sites and must complete their clinical hours based on the schedule provided by the school. Internship schedules are based on the availability of clinical sites. All students (Day and Evening) must be prepared to complete their internship during normal business hours (Monday through Friday). The majority of clinical sites do not allow students to complete clinical hours in the evening or on the weekend.

Employment for Sterile Processing Technicians

Sterile processing techs are employed in the Sterile Processing, Central Supply, and Sterile Supply Departments of hospitals. Employment opportunities can also be found in surgical centers, outpatient clinics, and physicians' offices. Some employment possibilities include sterile processing technician, central supply technician, and central service manager.

Certification / Registry Exam Eligibility

Sterile Processing Technician graduates will be eligible to take the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam offered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).  Graduates who pass the exam will earn the CRCST credential.

Eligibility requirements for the CRCST credential are solely determined by IAHCSMM, and are subject to change at any time. IAHCSMM is an independent organization. AIMS does not guarantee certification/registry exam eligibility.

Program Length
  • 650 clock hours
  • Classroom instruction and lab - 250 hours
  • Clinical internship - 400 hours
  • The day program can be completed in approximately 9 months.
  • The evening program can be completed in approximately 11 months.
Comprehensive Education and Training
  • Surgical Terminology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Surgical Instrumentation
  • Sterile Processing
  • Microbiology
  • Infection Control
  • Safety & Risk Management
Employment Opportunities
  • Sterile Processing Technician
  • Surgical Processing Technician
  • Central Service Technician
  • Central Sterile Technician
  • Central Supply Technician
  • Processing Technician
Minimum Admission Requirements
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Passing score on the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (administered at AIMS)

Key Information



Start Date

Jul 6, 2020 (Day)


9 - 11 Months*


Monday - Thursday
9:00am to 2:00pm



Other Financial Assistance


* Evening programs take longer to complete than day programs.

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