Sterile Processing Technician Certification 

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Grant Aldrich

If you want to start your career as a Sterile Processing Technician then you must get certified. 

Getting certified is a crucial step towards a successful Sterile Processing Technician career, you’ll be in a league of your own.

So, what is getting certified, which certification should you choose, what are the eligibility or requisites, what does a certified tech do, how can you get certified, and finally, is getting certified worth it; we’ll discuss all of that in this article. 

So, keep reading!

What is getting Certified? Difference Between A Sterile Processing Technician Certificate And Certification

While exploring opportunities in the field of Sterile Processing Technology, you might come across terms like “certificate” and “certification.” However, it’s essential to understand the distinction between these two terms and their implications for your career.

When you search for Sterile Processing Technician programs, whether online or at colleges, you’ll often encounter programs that provide a Sterile Processing Technician certificate.

Many mistake this certificate for certification, but it’s crucial to recognize that it signifies the completion of a training program rather than an official certification.

A certificate of completion, a degree, diploma, or certificate, is awarded upon finishing the training program, indicating that you’ve successfully completed the coursework. This certificate acknowledges your readiness to advance in your career as a Sterile Processing Technician.

Opting for an accredited training program from a college, university, or online program enhances your credibility in the eyes of employers, signaling that you’ve received proper training and are fully prepared for the role.

On the other hand, a certification is a professional credential that you earn after you pass a standardized exam through a recognized organization.

A certification is a formal recognition of your skills and expertise in sterile processing, attained by passing a standardized exam administered by a recognized certifying organization.

So, a certificate acknowledges your completion of a training program, but a certification validates your competence and proficiency through a standardized examination.

To become certified as a Sterile Processing Technician, you must pass a certification exam conducted by a certifying organization such as the HSPA or the CBSPD. For instance, passing the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam by HSPA signifies that you’ve met the standards and possess the necessary skills for the role.

A certification demonstrates your proficiency; it shows you have the right kind of training, you know about your role, and you’re fully prepared for that. It carries more weight in the industry.

Employers often prefer certified Sterile Processing Technicians because certification demonstrates a higher level of expertise, your commitment to excellence in the field of sterile processing, and adherence to industry standards.

Read -> What is a Sterile Processing Technician?

What do you need to become eligible for certification?  

To become eligible for certification as a Sterile Processing Technician, individuals typically need to meet specific educational, experiential, and examination requirements set forth by the certifying organization.

While the exact eligibility criteria may vary depending on the certifying body, common prerequisites for certification as a Sterile Processing Technician include:

Education or Experience

To become a certified Sterile Processing Technician, you have 2 routes. The first route is, you could get some on-the-job training and gain experience for about 1 to 2 years. 

With this, you meet the first eligibility.  

But since that takes longer time, students opt for the second route, i.e., education.

For that, you must have completed a formal training program in Sterile Processing Technology from an accredited institution, on-campus or online.

These programs typically cover essential topics such as sterilization techniques, infection control, medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology.

The duration of these programs may vary but often ranges from several weeks to a year.


-> Sterile Processing Technician Requirements

-> How to Become a Sterile Processing Technician?

Hands-On Clinical Experience

In addition to formal education, candidates may need to acquire a certain amount of hands-on experience in the field of sterile processing.

This practical experience may be gained through internships, externships, or entry-level positions in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, or surgical centers.

Hands-on experience is crucial for applying theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios and developing proficiency in sterile processing procedures.

Certification Examination

Candidates must successfully pass a comprehensive certification examination administered by the certifying organization to demonstrate their knowledge and competency in sterile processing practices.

The examination typically covers a wide range of topics, including sterilization methods, decontamination techniques, infection control principles, medical terminology, and regulatory guidelines.

The format and content of the examination may vary depending on the certifying body but often consist of computer-based multiple-choice questions.

By fulfilling these eligibility requirements you can become eligible for certification as a Sterile Processing technician. 

Now, do Industry Veterans recommend any fully online, self-paced Sterile Processing Technician Certificate Program?  

Yes, they do.

Preppy’s Sterile Processing Technician Certificate Program Online

As the demand for skilled SPTs continues to grow, finding a quality training program is essential for those looking to enter this vital field.

Enters the scene – Preppy’s Sterile Processing Technician Certificate Program. They offer an exceptional online training option designed to meet the needs of modern students.

Here’s what you can expect with Preppy’s Online SPT training program:

100% Online, Self-Paced Learning

Preppy’s program is fully online, allowing students to complete their coursework at their own pace. This flexibility is ideal for individuals balancing work, family, and other commitments. The self-paced nature of the program ensures that students can progress through the material as quickly or as slowly as they need, accommodating different learning speeds and schedules.


The program is backed by Auburn University, a respected, non-profit institution with a 150-year history. This accreditation ensures that the education provided meets high standards of quality and is recognized in the healthcare industry.

University Certificate of Completion

Upon completing the program, students receive a certificate from the reputed, non-profit, Auburn University. This certification adds significant value to their credentials, making them more competitive in the job market.

Externship Placement

Preppy’s program includes an externship placement close to where the student lives. This hands-on experience is crucial for gaining practical skills and real-world experience, which are essential for career readiness in the sterile processing field.

Become Ready for Certification Exams

The curriculum is designed to prepare students for nationally recognized certification exams, such as the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) exam. Being certified enhances job prospects and is often a requirement for employment in many healthcare facilities.

Also Read:

-> CRCST Certification

-> CSPDT Certification

-> Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Affordable Tuition

At just $1,599, the program is competitively priced, making it accessible to a broad range of students. This affordability reduces the financial burden often associated with higher education, allowing students to start their careers without significant debt.

Faster Completion

The program can be completed in less than four months. This accelerated timeline allows students to enter the workforce quickly, responding to the urgent need for qualified SPTs in healthcare settings.

So, if you too, just like hundreds of others, want to start your SPT career faster, at an affordable rate, from the accredited, non-profit Auburn University, and get a university certificate from the same, then enroll in Preppy’s Sterile Processing Technician Certificate Program.

Types of Certifications for Sterile Processing Technicians

When pursuing certifications in Sterile Processing Technology, it’s essential to focus on nationally recognized certifications rather than state-specific ones.

Nationally recognized certifications offer broader recognition, ensuring that your credentials are valid across various healthcare facilities throughout the US.

This approach eliminates the need to obtain additional state-specific certifications, streamlining the certification process for aspiring Sterile Processing Technicians.

However, if you’re interested in pursuing specific certifications beyond the nationally recognized ones, you can do so after obtaining a nationally recognized certification. Hospital-specific or state-specific certifications can complement your primary certification and enhance your qualifications in specialized areas.

These additional certifications can be relatively easy to earn once you’ve obtained a nationally recognized certification, providing you with further validation of your skills and expertise.

There are several recognized certifications available for Sterile Processing Technicians, each offered by different certifying organizations.

Here are some of the most common types of certifications for Sterile Processing Technicians:

Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST)

Sterile Processing Technician Training

The CRCST certification is offered by the HSPA (Healthcare Sterile Processing Association), previously known as the IAHCSMM (International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management). 

This nationally-recognized certification is the most popular certification among aspiring Sterile Processing Technicians nationwide and it requires passing an exam covering various aspects of sterile processing.   

Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT)

The Certification Board offers CBSPD certification for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD), this certification exam evaluates knowledge in sterilization, infection control, and equipment handling.

Certified Healthcare Leadership (CHL)

This certification from the HSPA is for professionals in leadership roles within sterile processing departments.

Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS)

This certification is also from the HSPA, and it focuses on advanced knowledge and expertise in handling specialized medical instruments.

Certified Endoscope Reprocessor (CER)

This certification is specifically for professionals dealing with the cleaning and disinfection of endoscopes, this certification ensures expertise in maintaining these specialized medical tools.

So, these are the many types of certifications for Sterile Processing Technicians. Each certification has its own set of eligibility requirements, examination formats, and recertification criteria, but all provide Sterile Processing Technicians with a recognized credential that enhances their professional credibility and career opportunities in the field of sterile processing.

Also Read:

-> Sterile Processing Technician Course

-> Sterile Processing Technician Programs

-> Sterile Processing Technician Certificate Program

-> Sterile Processing Technician Training Program Cost

How to get certified as a Sterile Processing Technician?

Now, assuming you are eligible for the exam, these are the potential next steps to obtain a certification.

Step 1 -> Meet eligibility requirement.

Step 2 -> Choose a certification.

Since CRCST is the most popular certification for Sterile Processing Technicians we’ll talk about that. But if you are interested in other certifications you can check about them in their respective websites.

Step 3 -> You need to create an account at the HSPA’s official website and then register for the exam.

Step 4 -> Fill out all the details asked and pay the exam fee of $125.

Step 5 -> Schedule the exam according to your preference, pick the date and time slot.

Step 6 -> Prepare for the exam. If you have enrolled in an online program you could revisit the lessons and retake them. Also, use other study materials.

Step 7 -> Sit for the exam, you have 3 hours, so attempt all the 150 questions, and positively wait for the result.


Now, talking about the CRCST exam – It is a 3-hour-long computer-based MCQ exam with 125 scored questions and 25 unscored pre-test questions.

Now, for the 125 scored questions each holds 1 point. To pass the exam you must get a score of 70%. 

If you are wondering, if the exam is hard, that’s not true. As per the HSPA, there were 8,056 students taking the CRCST exam in 2021, and out of those 75% passed the test. So that’s not so hard.

With that being said; there’s no denying the fact that it all boils down to your preparation. So, prepare well.

What does a Certified Sterile Processing Technician do?

A Certified Sterile Processing Technician plays a crucial role in the healthcare system by ensuring that medical instruments and equipment are properly cleaned, sterilized, and prepared for use in patient care.

  • They meticulously clean and decontaminate medical instruments and equipment, removing any organic and inorganic residues, blood, tissue, and other contaminants. This process is essential for preventing the transmission of infections and ensuring patient safety.
  • They operate specialized sterilization equipment, such as autoclaves, to sterilize cleaned instruments and equipment. Following strict protocols and guidelines, they ensure that instruments are properly sterilized, eliminating any harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and spores.
  • After sterilization, they assemble sterile instrument sets and packages according to specific procedures and guidelines. They ensure that instruments are properly arranged and packaged to maintain sterility and facilitate easy access during medical procedures.
  • They are responsible for managing inventory levels of sterile supplies and instruments, including ordering, organizing, and restocking supplies as needed. They track inventory levels, monitor expiration dates, and ensure that healthcare providers have the necessary tools and equipment for patient care.
  • They participate in quality assurance activities, such as monitoring sterilization processes, conducting equipment maintenance and performance checks, and documenting sterilization and decontamination activities. They ensure compliance with regulatory standards and guidelines to maintain high standards of quality and safety.
  • They collaborate with other healthcare professionals, including surgeons, nurses, and central sterile supply staff, to ensure the timely delivery of sterile instruments and equipment for medical procedures. Effectively communicating with team members, they address any concerns or issues related to sterile processing and instrument availability.

Overall, Certified Sterile Processing Technicians play a critical role in maintaining the sterility of medical instruments and equipment. Their attention to detail, adherence to protocols, and commitment to quality contribute massively to the safety and well-being of patients undergoing medical procedures.

Read -> What Does a Sterile Processing Technician Do?

Is getting certified worth it for Sterile Processing Technicians?

There is no one-word answer to it. All we can do is, put out some facts and it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it for you or not.

However, deciding to get certified as a Sterile Processing Technician requires careful consideration of various factors, including career goals, employment opportunities, and personal preferences.

While certification is not mandatory for all Sterile Processing Technician positions, there are several compelling reasons why it may be considered worthwhile:

Enhanced Employability

Obtaining certification as a Sterile Processing Technician can significantly enhance your employability and make you a more competitive candidate in the job market.

Many employers prefer or require certification as a validation of proficiency and competency in sterile processing practices. Having a nationally recognized credential like a CRCST can open doors to a wider range of job opportunities and increase your chances of securing employment in healthcare facilities.

Career Advancement

Certification can pave the way for career advancement opportunities within the field of sterile processing. Certified Sterile Processing Technicians may have access to higher-paying positions, supervisory roles, or specialized areas of practice within healthcare organizations.

The top Sterile Processing Technicians can earn around $60,000 a year. This is a huge pay cheque.

Professional Recognition

Certification serves as a mark of professional recognition and establishes your credibility as a competent and qualified healthcare professional. It demonstrates to employers, colleagues, and patients that you have met industry standards and possess the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in sterile processing.

That brings respect and trust.

Personal Fulfillment

Certification represents the culmination of your education, training, and hard work in the field of sterile processing. It validates your expertise and validates your dedication to professional growth and development. Knowing that you have achieved a recognized credential can boost your confidence and motivation in your career.

For many individuals, obtaining certification as a Sterile Processing Technician can bring a sense of personal fulfillment and accomplishment.

So, if all these reasons fascinate you, which actually should, then certification is very much worth it.

But as we have been saying, to get certified you need to prepare well. And to do that, you need to enroll in the right kind of training program.

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The Right Sterile Processing Technician Training Program

Online EKG Classes

A sterile Processing Technician training program could be called as the right program for you if it meets certain criteria.  

– The program should be 100% Online, self-paced, and from an accredited source. 

– You should get a university certificate for your training.

– You should get fully prepared for the CRCST certification exam.

– You should get real-world work experience at a local healthcare facility.

– Finally, the program should be affordable and should finish faster.

Now, the big question here is, does such a right Sterile Processing Technician program even exist?

Well, it does. Preppy’s Sterile Processing Technician Certification Program. 

And with it, you get all of the things we just mentioned at an insanely low price of $1599, and, you can become job-ready in as little as 180 days.  

So, if you want to become job-ready as a Sterile Processing Technician faster at an affordable price, then check out Preppy’s Sterile Processing Technician Certification Program. 


We hope this article could enlighten you about getting certified as a Sterile Processing Technician, which certification you should choose, eligibility, duties of certified techs, how you can get certified, and if that’s even worth it.

If you feel you should get certified, then, you should first enroll in the right training that prepares you for the CRCST certification exam, and then prepare well for the certification exam. 

To know more about the right training program check out Preppy’s Sterile Processing Technician Certification Program.  


-> Sterile Processing Technician Exam

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-> Sterile Processing Technician vs. Surgical Technologist

-> How Long Does it Take to Become a Sterile Processing Technician?

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Grant Aldrich

Preppy was founded by higher education expert, Grant Aldrich, who’s work on college affordability and accessibility has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader’s Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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