How to Become a Sterile Tech in 5 Easy Steps

Sterile techs play a vital role in keeping medical facilities clean and safe. If you’re interested in becoming a sterile tech, here are 5 easy steps to get you started.

Checkout this video:


If you’re interested in becoming a sterile tech, also known as a surgical technologist, there are a few things you need to do. First, you’ll need to complete an accredited educational program. Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll then need to pass a national certification exam. Finally, you’ll need to get licensed in the state in which you wish to practice.

What is a Sterile Tech?

A sterile tech, also called a surgical technologist, is a medical professional who assists in surgeries and other medical procedures. They are responsible for making sure the operating room is clean and sterile, and that the sterile field is maintained throughout the procedure. They also play a role in preparing the patient for surgery, by scrubbing their skin and inserting catheters and other devices.

Sterile techs must have excellent attention to detail, as they must maintain sterility at all times. They must also be able to work well under pressure, as surgeries can betime-sensitive and chaotic. If you are interested in becoming a sterile tech, follow these five easy steps:

1. Get a high school diploma or equivalent. You will need at least a high school diploma or equivalent to enter most training programs for surgical techs. Some schools may require you to have taken certain courses, such as math or science.

2. Complete an accredited training program. There are many different accredited training programs for surgical techs, so you will need to research which one is best for you. Most programs take about nine months to complete, and some may offer internships or externships as part of the program.

3. Earn certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). The NBSTSA offers multiple certification options for surgical techs, so you will need to choose the one that is right for you based on your experience and education level. You will need to pass an exam to earn your certification.

4. Get licensed in your state (optional). While not all states require sterile techs to be licensed, some do have licensure requirements in place. If you plan on working in a state that requires licensure, you will need to complete their specific requirements before you can begin working.

5. Find a job in a hospital or outpatient facility that performs surgery. Sterile techs can find employment in many different types of medical facilities, but most work in hospitals or outpatient facilities that perform surgery on a regular basis. Once you have found a job that interests you, apply and interview for the position like any other job seeker would.

The 5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Sterile Tech

If you’re looking for a new career that is both challenging and rewarding, consider becoming a sterile tech. Sterile techs play a vital role in the healthcare industry by ensuring that surgical instruments are properly sterilized. The job is challenging, but it can be very rewarding. Here are the five easy steps to becoming a sterile tech.

Step One: Research

The first step to becoming a sterile tech is to research the field. This means looking into what sterile techs do, the work environment, job outlook and salary range. Once you have a good understanding of what the profession entails, you can decide if it is the right fit for you.

Step Two: Complete a Training Program
The next step is to complete a training program that will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to work as a sterile tech. Many community colleges and technical schools offer programs that can be completed in as little as six months.

Step Three: Earn Certification
Once you have completed your training program, the next step is to earn certification from a professional organization such as the National Board of Sterile Processing and Distribution (NBSPD). Certification shows employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to work in the field.

Step Four: Find a Job
The fourth step is to find a job in a hospital or other healthcare facility that uses sterile techs. Many facilities require sterile techs to have at least one year of experience before they will be considered for hire.

Step Five: Maintain Your Certification
The final step is to maintain your certification by taking continuing education courses and staying up-to-date on new developments in the field. This will help you keep your skills sharp and show employers that you are committed to your career.

Step Two: Education

Earning a certificate or degree in sterile processing technology is the second step tobecoming a sterile tech. Although not all employers require certification, many do.

Earning a certificate can be done in as little as nine months,while earning a degree may take two years or more. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer sterile processing certification programs. Programs typically include coursework in sterilization methods, infection control, medical terminology, and safety procedures. Some also offer clinical rotations in which students gain hands-on experience working in sterile processing departments.

Step Three: Certification

After completing a postsecondary education program, the next step to becoming a sterile processing technician is to earn certification. Certification for sterile processing technicians is not required in all states, but many employers prefer or require certification.

Earning certification shows that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the job and is dedicated to their career. There are several certification options available for sterile processing technicians. The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) offers the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) credential. To earn the CRCST, individuals must pass an exam that covers topics such as decontamination, sterilization, high-level disinfection, and infection prevention.

The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) also offers a certification for sterile processing technicians called the Certified Central Service Technician (CCST). To earn the CCST credential, individuals must pass an exam that covers topics such as sterilization methods, decontamination practices, and understanding test instruments. Both the CRCST and CCST credentials must be renewed every four years through continuing education or retesting.

Step Four: Experience

The fourth step to becoming a sterile tech is to get some experience in the field. This can be done in a number of ways, such as working as a sterile processing technician in a hospital or other medical facility, or by shadowing a sterile processing technician to learn more about the job. While not required, gaining some experience in the field will help you better understand the duties and responsibilities of a sterile tech and give you a better chance of success when taking the certification exam.

Step Five: Maintaining Certification

To maintain certification, sterile processing technicians must complete continuing education credits (CECs). The link below will take you to the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) website where you can learn more about CEC requirements.


In conclusion, becoming a sterile tech is a great way to enter the medical field. With the right training and certification, you can begin your career in this field and make a difference in the lives of others.

Scroll to Top