What Will You Become?
Iowa Western Community College

Sterile Processing Certificate

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall Only
Program Length: 1 Semester
Award: Certificate

Completed Online: Both
Completed in the Evenings: Day & Online
Pathway: Career Path
Career Cluster: Health and Sciences
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus

About the Program

In just one semester you can be on your way to working as a certified Sterile Processing Technician. If you are well-organized, pay close attention to detail, and have an interest in healthcare, this might be a great career for you.

In this program you will gain valuable hands-on experience and acquire fundamental knowledge of surgical instruments, quality control processes in cleaning and safety, sterilization techniques, and the critical role played by Sterile Processing Technicians in surgical procedures.

Sterile Processing Technicians work to ensure that all medical instruments in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are clean, sterile, and safe to use. Technicians use machines and follow strict procedures to clean and sterilize the equipment, and then examine instruments for defects, prepare instrument trays, and distribute sterile supplies to the medical professionals who use them.

Career Information

The Sterile Processing Certificate program of study is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of this four-month certificate. The certificate program prepares students for careers as Sterile Processing Technicians. Graduates of this program are eligible to write the Surgical Instrument Specialist Certification Exam (CSIS) and the Technician Certification Exam (CSPTD).

Career Coach

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Demonstrate the application of principles of sterile techniques.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology in the role of a sterile processing technologist.
  • Demonstrate competence in instrument/supply decontamination and safety.

Average: $19.00
Entry Level: $16.08
Experienced: $22.61

* Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database.

* Because career opportunities associated with this degree are so varied, salaries vary considerably as well. To explore careers and gather specific salary information, we encourage you to visit the following website: IHaveaPlanIowa


* The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. The information provided here describes the graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information regarding gainful employment for the most recent academic year (as of July 1).