How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Illinois

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Sterile Processing may not be the most well-known career, but Sterile Processing Technicians are a key part of any hospital, medical center, or clinic.

They’re the ones who organize and distribute medical tools, keeping them sanitized and decontaminated so they’re ready to go for medical procedures.

If you live in Illinois and you’re interested in becoming an SPT, read on to find out how you can start your healthcare career — without ever having to go to medical school.

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Get information on Sterile Processing Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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How to Become an SPT

In Illinois, you don’t need certification or a degree to work as a Sterile Processing Technician, but it’s still highly suggested you pursue some to get a decent job.

After all, your application will be up against many other candidates, some of whom will have training or experience, and they’ll be more likely to get the job over someone without any.

Luckily, you can pursue certification through the HSPA, which has been certifying people since 1971.

The Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA)

You can obtain your certification through one of the HSPA’s four levels of certifications:

  • Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) – the base-level certification for SPTs
  • Certified Endoscope Reprocessor (CER) – an endoscope-specific certification
  • Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS) – an advanced instrument certification
  • Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL) – a certification for SPT management

In order to apply to take the test, you’ll need to submit an application and pass a criminal background check.

Then, once you’ve been accepted, you’ll get the materials you’ll need to study: online courses, content outlines, reference materials, and the HSPA’s Certification Handbook.

Certification lasts a year, and you can renew it via a $50 renewal fee and providing evidence of continuing education courses.

Sterile Processing Schools in Illinois

Illinois has a wealth of available Sterile Processing courses to help prepare you for your certification test.

Here are details on a few, but all available schools are included in the table below!

Triton College

Triton College offers a Sterile Processing Technician Certificate which directly prepares you for the HSPA’s CRCST test.

The program includes courses on theory, training in a lab, and supervised clinical experience at local healthcare facilities.

In order to apply for the program, you must be admitted to Triton College, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass a criminal background check without any disqualifying convictions.

You must also complete your American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers certification, pass a drug screening, and any other things required by the clinical site to which you are assigned.

You can only be accepted to the program during the Fall semester, and it consists of 6 courses in total.

Malcolm X College

Malcolm X College’s Sterile Processing program includes in-person classes lab training and off-site clinical training. 

The course prepares students for entry-level Sterile Processing jobs, and warns that those who pursue this career “may be exposed to fumes, chemicals, cold, noise, radiation, blood/body fluids, and infectious diseases.”

Applications are admitted both for Fall and Spring semesters as the course is one semester in total length.

To be eligible, you must be admitted to Malcolm X College, be at least 18, and undergo a criminal background check which you are responsible for paying for.

Illinois Central College

Illinois Central College’s Central Sterile Service Technician Program is only three courses (10 credit hours in total) and allows students to learn in campus labs before they embark upon any sort of clinical training.

Full-time students can expect can take two semesters to complete the course, and the program costs about $1,550 in total. 

However, only 15 students are admitted per class, so it is a competitive course.

The program is eligible for both Federal financial aid and ICC’s scholarships.

College of DuPage

College of DuPage’s Central Sterile Processing Distribution Technician Program actually includes the HSPA’s “professional standards, guidelines, and competencies” directly in their course materials. 

Its 12-credit program can be completed in just one semester, as it’s only four courses in total.

The program is first-come first-serve, so applying as soon as possible is highly recommended.

School Name Address
Triton College 2000 Fifth Ave River Grove, IL 60171
Malcolm X College 1900 W. Jackson Chicago, IL 60612
Illinois Central College 1 College Drive East Peoria, IL 61635
College of DuPage 425 Fawell Blvd. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Midwestern Career College 203 N. LaSalle Street Chicago, IL 60601
Elgin Community College 1700 Spartan Drive Elgin, IL 60123
Harper College 1200 West Algonquin Road Palatine, IL 60067
Parkland College 2400 West Bradley Avenue Champaign, IL 61821
Oaktown College 1600 E. Golf Road Des Plaines, IL 60016
Kishwaukee College 21193 Malta Road Malta, IL 60150
Prairie State College 202 S. Halsted St. Chicago Heights, IL 60411


The average yearly salary for Sterile Processing Technicians in Illinois is $46,459.

With time and experience, though, you could make upwards of $51,000.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Chicago $47,698
Rockford $44,528
Aurora $47,294
Naperville $46,822
Peoria $43,673
Springfield $42,787
Joliet $46,487
Elgin $46,926
Waukegan $45,181
Cicero $47,698

Regional Salary in Illinois

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bloomington, IL30$39,360$18.92$51,180$33,650
Carbondale-Marion, IL40$38,290$18.41$47,360$30,350
Champaign-Urbana, IL70$38,560$18.54$47,000$31,200
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI1,490$44,970$21.62$58,690$36,130
Peoria, IL110$36,870$17.73$45,800$31,740
Rockford, IL70$37,940$18.24$45,090$31,560
Springfield, IL80$38,450$18.48$45,690$31,370
* 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 be certified to operate as a Sterile Processing Technician in Illinois?

No, the state of Illinois does not require certification for Sterile Processing Techs, however certification is highly recommended to improve your chances at being hired.

How much can I make as a Sterile Processing Technician in Chicago?

Sterile Processing Techs in Chicago make $47,698 a year on average, but they can make as much as $53,166 with training and experience.

How many programs are there for Sterile Processing training in Illinois?

Illinois has a ton of available courses — 11 in total at present spanning the state.

Sterile Processing Technician Info by State

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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