How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Montana

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If you’re interested in starting a medical career but don’t have the time, money, or patience to become a doctor or nurse, a sterile processing technician may be a fantastic career.

They help sterilize medical instruments and equipment in a hospital or doctor’s office to keep patients and physicians safe.

In Montana, training for this position is relatively simple but can ensure you start your career right.

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Steps to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Montana

Montana sterile processing technicians must earn national certification to find a job, as the state does not provide local certification programs.

The most common certification is Certified Sterile Processing Management or CSPM, though Certified Registered Central Service Technician or CRSCT is also available.

Earning a Certification

A sterile processing technician must have a high school diploma or GED before they start their certification.

Up-to-date vaccination is often required by many firms, as well as passing a criminal background check and a drug screening.

Then, you must find a training program.

A typical certification training program includes in-depth classes that teach you sterile processing skills and procedures.

You’ll also learn about sterile processing theories and get practical skills in sterilization and disinfection.

These typically break down into multiple different classes.

Decontamination and Instrument Prep

You’ll spend 120 hours learning about decontamination procedures, including how to sterilize equipment properly.

These courses include hands-on classes and bookwork, which helps to give you a complete understanding of this career.

Then, you take another 120 hours in preparation and packing of instruments.


During your course, you’ll also spend 96 hours in sterilization and disinfection, learning about how to properly protect equipment and tools.

You’ll not only learn about sterilization and disinfection theories but get practical and hands-on experience working with these tools.

Storage, Distribution, and Quality Assurance

You’ll also take 24 hours in storage and distribution and quality assurance.

These courses teach you how to properly store your sterilization equipment and how to provide high-quality service to your patients.

These steps ensure that you are prepared for this job’s unique demands.

You also take 16 hours of separate equipment courses.

The National Certification Test

After finishing your training program, you must sit for the national exam and pass.

The test includes various practical and theoretical questions that ensure you understand this career.

Now, you can begin looking for a sterile processing tech job in Montana.

Check out job boards, and online postings, or even apply for an internship or externship to transition to this job quickly and efficiently.

Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Montana

Though there are no universities or training facilities that provide sterile processing tech careers in Montana, national online programs can help you get certified.

There are a few different options to pick from here, each with different benefits.

Ashworth College

Ashworth College Logo

Ashworth College provides a fast-paced sterile processing training program that takes place over three semesters.

During your classes, you’ll learn how to decontaminate medical tools, identify pathogens, store items properly, and work with physicians.

It preps you for the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association certification exam and costs around $1,399 to $1,499 for the whole course.

Penn Foster

Penn Foster Logo

Penn Foster provides a 7-11 month program that includes flexible courses in sterile processing tech.

You’ll learn HIPAA privacy rules, master various practices, and procedures, identify microorganisms, and master various medical terminology.

After finishing, you can sit for the HSPA certification exam.

Courses cost around $1,199, though payment plans and discounted prices are available.

Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Montana – Summary Table

Top 2 Schools in Montana

School NameAddress
Ashworth College5051 Peachtree Corners Cir #200, Norcross, GA 30092, USA
Penn FosterOnline Only


Montana processing sterile technicians can make a reasonable wage, depending on where they live and the scope of their training.

Understanding available salaries can help you decide if this career is right for your needs.

Expected Salary for Montana Sterile Processing Technicians

Expect a low salary of about $32,828, an average of $41,601, and a high of $54,365 for sterile processing technicians in Montana.

This compares favorably to the national average, which is $45,891, the low of $36,214, and the high salary of $59,973.

That’s because Montana often has a lower cost of living than many other states, making this career very affordable for those in this state.

It is one of the better medical career options, as there is a high demand for this position in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and even dental facilities.

Increasing your pay requires developing experience in the field, achieving higher education, and progressing to better hospitals.

Focus on major Montana cities, like Billings and Indian Springs, to find a job that will likely pay you more money.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Sterile Processing Technicians in Montana

City NameSalary
Great Falls$33,610
Miles City$36,140
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Montana

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Billings, MT110$40,190$19.32$52,760$28,860
Missoula, MT30$40,080$19.27$54,830$27,590
* 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 Keep My Certification Up to Date Every Year?

Keeping your certification current is important because it ensures that you can keep operating.

While Montana law is a little less strict than in other areas, you need to keep your certification current with the year.

This step requires taking tests to keep your status up to date.

How Much Does It Cost to Stay Current?

Sterile processing technicians typically pay $125 for their certification and re-certification costs.

These fees include the cost of taking the test and getting it graded by state officials.

Try to get it done early so that you remain certified and don’t get stuck and unable to work while your certification is processed.

Do Sterile Processing Techs Make Good Money Compared to Other Montana Jobs?

Compared to other states, Montana sterile processing techs will make less per hour.

The $17.91 pay rate is below the state’s average of $18.

However, many of the highest-earning jobs in Montana are seasonal, meaning pay can be sporadic.

Sterile processing technicians work year-round for steadier pay.

What Facilities Hire Sterile Processing Technicians in Montana?

Montana hospitals, including Providence St. Patrick in Missoula, Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs, and Fort Harrison VA Medical Center in Fort Harrison, all need sterile processing technicians.

Submit your application to these facilities after earning your certification to find a job.

Note that facilities like dental offices or urgent care wards may also need sterile processing techs.

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