A sterile processing technician is at the heart of many healthcare facilities, particularly hospitals.
They ensure that the instruments used by healthcare professionals are clean and sterile.
Without them, severe infections would be commonplace.
Perhaps you are interested in healthcare but squeamish.
Perhaps you love the healthcare field, but you don’t want to interact with patients on a regular basis.
A sterile processing technician career can be a great fit in these cases.
- Steps to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in West Virginia
- Sterile Processing Technician Schools in West Virginia
- Sterile Processing Technician Schools in West Virginia – Summary Table
- Frequently Asked Questions
Steps to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in West Virginia
There are several steps to becoming a sterile processing technician in West Virginia.
It’s important to note that like most states, West Virginia doesn’t require specific training or certification to become a sterile processing technician.
However, you are much more likely to find a job in the field if you go through the steps listed here.
The steps to become a sterile processing technician in West Virginia are:
- Get a High school Diploma or Equivalent
- Choose and Attend a Training Program
- Obtain Certification
- Find an Employer
High School Diploma or Equivalent
Most training programs require a high school diploma or equivalent before attending.
However, some may allow you to begin the program while you are still attending high school.
Choose and Attend a Training Program
Once you have your diploma, you are ready to choose and attend a sterile processing technician training program.
Most of these programs can be completed in 6-12 months.
You may choose to attend an in-person program or study online.
Because West Virginia has no specific requirements, you are free to choose the program that’s best suited for your needs.
However, it’s recommended that the program prepares you for the Central Services Technician Certification, also known as CRCST, through the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association.
Once you’ve completed a sterile technician training program, you are ready to obtain your certification.
While there are several certification organizations, the most respected is the Central Services Technician Certification, overseen by the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association.
We recommend obtaining this certification.
It’s important to note that you can study for the certification independently, without completing a training program.
If you choose this method, you’ll need the books Central Service Technical Manual, ANSI/AAMI ST79, and AORN’s Guidelines for Perioperative Practice.
In addition to passing the certification test, you’ll need 400 hours of hands-on learning.
We recommend completing the hands-on requirement before taking the certification exam because the knowledge gained will help you pass the test.
However, there is another option. You may choose to complete the exam, and then meet the hands-on requirement within 6 months of certification.
If the training program you chose doesn’t have a hands-on component, this can be a good option.
The certification demonstrates you have the technical knowledge needed, which can help you find a job or apprenticeship in the field, which allows you to meet the hands-on requirement.
You’ll need experience in specific areas to meet the hands-on requirement.
- Decontamination (120 hours)
- Preparing & Packaging Instruments (120 hours)
- Sterilization & Disinfection (96 hours)
- Storage & Distribution (24 hours)
- Quality Assurance Processes (24 hours)
- Equipment (16 hours)
Find an Employer
Once you’ve received your certification, you are ready to find employment as a sterile processing technician.
Most sterile processing technicians work in hospitals.
However, there are also job opportunities in dental offices, private doctors’ offices, outpatient surgical facilities, and urgent care clinics.
Sterile Processing Technician Schools in West Virginia
There are a few schools located in West Virginia that offer a sterile processing technician program.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
- Length of Program: 1 year
- Cost: $4,000
- Diploma/degree: Certificate
The Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is located in Willamson, WV.
They also have satellite locations in other areas of the state.
The college offers a sterile processing technician certificate program.
The program is 30 credit hours and takes 1 year to complete.
If you choose to continue your education, you can use these credit hours towards a degree in a related field.
The program costs $4,000.
Financing and financial aid are available for those that qualify.
The hands-on portion of the program qualifies you to become certified as a sterile processing technician after taking the certification exam.
Sterile Processing Technician Schools in West Virginia – Summary Table
Top 1 Schools in West Virginia
|Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College||1601 Co Hwy 52/27, Williamson, WV 25661, USA|
The average salary for a sterile processing technician in West Virginia is $40,660.
The low end of the spectrum is $32,086, while the highest salary is $53,136.
This is lower than the national average.
The national average salary for a sterile processing technician is $45,891.
The lowest salary is $36,214, and the highest is $59,977.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Sterile Processing Technicians in West Virginia
Regional Salary in West Virginia
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are sterile processing technicians in demand in West Virginia?
The field is projected to grow by 7% in the next decade, which is on par with the average growth rate.
There are also many listings searching for sterile processing technicians online.
Is there a fee for certification?
The fee for the CRCST certification is $140.
This must be paid before you take the exam.
You’ll also need to pay a yearly fee of $50 to keep your certification.
Is it hard to pass the sterile processing certification exam
The exam is challenging, with only 75% of those who take the exam passing.
It’s important to be knowledgeable and study before the exam.
Are there continuing education requirements for sterile processing technicians?
You’ll need to get 12 continuing education credits each year.
This allows you to keep your certification, and remain up-to-date in the field.