How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Alabama

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Medical careers in Alabama are often some of the highest-paying positions in the state.

For example, a sterile processing technician has a very strong pay-per-training ratio, meaning you don’t have to train long to make good money.

So if you’re interested in starting a medical career in this state and don’t want to spend much money preparing for it, this might be a great career to consider.

Training is relatively streamlined and includes hands-on courses.

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Steps to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Alabama

Alabama currently has no set requirements for sterile processing training.

For example, you may apply for this job right out of high school and get on-site training from a hospital.

However, having an associate’s degree in a medical field or a national certification is usually preferred.

The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management can provide certification if you pass their exam.

In addition, training programs in Alabama help prepare you for their extensive test and include detailed information about this career path.

Getting Certified

If you’re interested in getting a national certification from the IAHCSMM, it is essential to follow the steps below.

They’ll not only ensure that your process goes smoothly but minimize any complications you may experience:

  • Earn a High School Diploma or GED: You’ll need this basic educational foundation to start your certification process. Find your certificate and make a copy to display when applying for these courses. Doing so can streamline this process and improve your acceptance chances.
  • Pass a Background Test: You must pass a background check, including a drug test, to finish one of these programs. Typically, they’ll provide you with information about how to get these tests and will process the information for you. Once you pass, you can start.
  • Complete the Program: A typical sterile processing technician training program may include hands-on training and multiple hours of coursework. These include proper sterilization procedures, how to store your equipment, and patient management steps (in case you interact with them).
  • Finish an Internship or Externship: An internship or externship includes hands-on work in a hospital or healthcare facility. For example, you’ll learn how to process and sterilize equipment and make sure it is safe. You’ll also learn more about how these facilities operate.
  • Complete the Certification Test: After completing your training program, you can take the certification exam. This test occurs at an IAHCSMM-approved facility, including the schools listed below. Once you pass the exam, you can get your certification directly from IAHCSMM.

Note that you may also earn an associate’s degree in medical assistance if you want to start this career.

Often, it covers things like sterilization, and you may focus on that path in your degree.

However, many Alabama training programs are much quicker than an associate’s degree.

Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Alabama

At least two schools in Alabama provide training for sterile processing technician careers.

They focus on getting you certified for this position and include hands-on training options.

But, just as importantly, they can ensure that you fully understand the unique demands of this career path.

Jefferson State Community College

Jefferson State Community College Logo

Jefferson State Community College provides an in-depth program that helps prepare you for this job.

It includes infection control, sterile processing, aseptic techniques, inventory management, and much more.

In addition, you’ll get classwork that helps prepare you for the theoretical training of this career.

You’ll also complete a clinical rotation with 103 hours of hands-on training.

After completing this program, you can apply for the certification examination, as the clinical course will count toward internship and externship hours.

It should take a few months to complete this program.

Southern Union State Community College

Southern Union State Community College Logo

Southern Union State Community College provides a 10-15 week program for sterile processing tech.

You’ll learn about quality assurance, specialty procedures, inventory management, sterilization methods, and much more.

After completing, you must finish 400 hours of hands-on internship time.

Thankfully, the school will help you find an internship or externship that meets these demands.

However, you must complete these hours within six months of finishing the program or while taking it.

Then, you can sit for the national exam and earn your certification.

Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Alabama – Summary Table

Top 2 Schools in Alabama

School NameAddress
Jefferson State Community College4600 Valleydale Rd, Birmingham, AL 35242, USA
Southern Union State Community College750 Roberts St, Wadley, AL 36276, USA


Alabama sterile processing technicians make an average of $43,000 every year.

The lowest pay for this profession is about $33,939, and the highest is $56,194.

All three are below the national average ($45,891), low ($36,214), and high ($59,973) but still well within the higher end of many careers in Alabama.

Just as importantly, your training is quicker, meaning you won’t pay so much to begin your job.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Sterile Processing Technicians in Alabama

City NameSalary
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Alabama

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Birmingham-Hoover, AL350$34,720$16.69$41,210$29,120
Huntsville, AL90$34,430$16.56$50,190$25,000
Mobile, AL80$32,720$15.73$39,550$29,130
Tuscaloosa, AL40$33,300$16.01$41,340$24,650
* 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

Do I Need to Get a New Certification Yearly?

Though you don’t need a certification to begin your technician career, earning one can help you stand out and make more money.

In addition, keeping it active yearly ensures that you stay on top of the latest trends in sterilization tech and allows your employer to trust your skills more.

How Much Does My Certification Cost?

Typically, a certification will cost around $125.

This includes paying for the test, even if you don’t pass it.

If you fail, you can always retake your certification test, though it is best to wait a month or so to study more for the exam and ensure you don’t fail again.

How Well Does This Job Pay Compared to Other Alabama Careers?

While the $43,000 average salary for this career is low compared to the $66,000 salary average for Alabama, it is essential to remember that this level is increased due to major universities in the state.

For example, football coaches at the University of Alabama make millions of dollars annually, which significantly inflates the average salary.

Where Can I Get a Sterile Processing Technician Job in Alabama?

You may find a job in this field at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, Huntsville Hospital, Ascension St. Vincent’s, DCH Regional Medical Center, and other facilities in the state.

For example, dentists and general doctors may also need these technicians.

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