How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Virginia

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The medical field is only widely represented by doctors or nurses.

But, a huge chunk of what keeps the industry running is also professionals like sterile processing technicians.

They work in the shadows but their contributions are equally important in the field.

They make sure that medical equipment and instruments are disinfected and ready to be used.

If you have ever wanted to work in the medical field, being a sterile processing technician might be a good choice for you.

And, if you are a Virginia resident, it is important that you know what steps you should be taking to get into this line of work.

After you are done reading this blog, you will be familiar with the process of becoming a sterile processing technician in Virginia.

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Steps to Become a Sterile Processing Technician in Virginia

Like most of the states in the U.S., you do not need to hold a license in order to work as a sterile processing technician in Virginia.

That being said, employers can have certain requirements and most usually prefer you to have prior work experience.

Let us walk you through the process.

Step 1: Get Your Education and Work Experience

A high school diploma or equivalent is a must, no matter where you work.

Even if you want to get formal training in sterile processing, you need a high school education before that.

After that, the next step is to enroll in a school that offers courses and hands-on training in sterile processing.

Fortunately, there are several schools in Virginia that can prepare you for this field.

Even though it is not mandatory for you to get this training, it is highly recommended for two reasons.

It prepares you for the field and introduces you to sterilization procedures.

Secondly, it improves your chances of getting hired since employers prefer someone who has adequate knowledge.

The next thing you can do is gain some work experience.

Prior experience is a very common requirement that a lot of employers demand in this field.

For that, you can get into internships, where you will learn how to clean and sterilize instruments, perform inventory checks, and most importantly, how to stop the spread of infection.

Step 2: Get National Certification

In Virginia, there is no state-wide requirement for you to have certification in sterile processing.

That said, it is a smart idea to get licensed since employers prefer it and it helps you climb up the career ladder.

When you enroll in a course for sterile processing techniques, it will prepare you for the certification exams.

Here are the national certifications you can opt for:

To get the license, you have to sit for the exams and pass them.

Once you get licensed, remember that you have to renew it every year.

Plus, there might be other requirements to get licensed, such as passing background checks and drug tests.

Once you get licensed, you can start applying for jobs.

Look out for job boards, contact hospitals or clinics, and see if they have any openings.

Sterile Processing Technician Schools in Virginia

Virginia boasts several schools that offer formal training in sterile processing.

A minimum requirement you need to have before you can take these courses is having a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Here are the top schools in Virginia that you can get into:

Reynolds Community CollegeReynolds Community College

Reynolds Community College offers a course in Central Technician and prepares you for the CRCST certification exam.

It also prepares you for entry-level jobs.

From this course, you will get 400 hours of clinical experience and the best part is that this course is available to full-time and part-time students.

The estimated tuition for this course is $3,332.

Fortis CollegeFortis College

Fortis College also offers a course in sterile processing that equips you with theoretical knowledge and practical lab work.

It also offers placements so that students can acquire hands-on expertise and skills.

The graduates can work in hospitals, dentist’s offices, clinics, and so on.

Piedmont Virginia Community CollegePiedmont Virginia Community College

Another option is Piedmont Virginia Community College, which offers a specialized training program with 400-hour clinical experience.

Once you are done with this course, you can sit for the CRCST exam.

You will get to know how to maintain a sterile setting and industry practices.

Here are some of the other schools that you can choose for a sterile processing technician program:

Southwest Virginia Community CollegeSouthwest Virginia Community College

Blue Ridge Community CollegeBlue Ridge Community College

Chester Career CollegeChester Career College

School Name Address
Reynolds Community College 1651 E Parham Rd, Richmond, VA 23228, United States
Fortis College 4151 Executive Pkwy Suite 120, Westerville, OH 43081, United States
Piedmont Virginia Community College 501 College Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22902, United States
Southwest Virginia Community College 1195 Edgewater Dr, Grundy, VA 24614, United States
Blue Ridge Community College 180 W Campus Dr, Flat Rock, NC 28731, United States
Chester Career College 751 W Hundred Rd, Chester, VA 23836, United States

Sterile Processing Technician Salary in Virginia

It’s totally natural to be curious about how much you might earn if you land the job.

On average, people in this line of work pull in around $45,000 a year in the state.

But keep in mind, these numbers can fluctuate depending on a few things, like your years of experience, any extra certifications or specialties you have, and where you end up working, whether it’s a hospital, clinic, or some other healthcare spot.

The more experience you gain, the higher your chances of having an increased salary.

Plus, the location you are working in also plays a role in your salary.

There are city-specific or region-specific differences as well.

For instance, the average annual salary in Arlington is $51,086, while it is $43,450 in Newport News.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Virginia Beach $43,328
Norfolk $42,675
Chesapeake $42,621
Richmond $44,769
Newport News $42,911
Hampton $42,911
Alexandria $50,452
Portsmouth $42,675
Roanoke $41,901
Lynchburg $41,569

Regional Salary in Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Harrisonburg, VA50$38,230$18.38$45,330$34,100
Lynchburg, VA50$37,140$17.86$46,330$30,080
Richmond, VA230$40,600$19.52$48,240$33,340
Roanoke, VA100$39,570$19.02$43,960$31,350
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC590$39,030$18.77$46,520$31,770
* 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

What Kind of Certifications Should I Get For Being a Sterile Processing Technician in Virginia?

You can get two kinds of national certifications for sterile processing.

They are the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) and the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

Is Getting a Job As a Sterile Processing Technician Difficult in Virginia?

No, it is not difficult to get a job as a sterile processing technician in Virginia since the competition is not as high as in other medical job roles.

The more experience and certifications you have, the better your chances of landing a job.

Which Region in Virginia Pays the Most for the Role of a Sterile Processing Technician?

The annual average salary of these professionals in Arlington is the highest at $51,086.

However, it also depends on the employer you are working for.

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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