Medical Instrument Sterilization Technician

A medical instrument sterilization technician works in the central service area of a hospital, outpatient surgical center or outpatient clinic. The central service area is responsible for the correct decontamination and sterilization of medical and surgical equipment/instruments.

Medical instrument sterilization technicians are trained in the cleaning, processing, packaging, distributing, storing and inventory control of sterile goods, instruments, surgical trays and medical equipment.

What is the difference between the certificate and associate degree?

The technical classes of the medical instrument sterilization curriculum are the same for both programs. Students who choose to pursue an associate degree complete additional non-technical coursework to earn an associate of technical studies degree with a major in medical instrument sterilization.

Your pathway to a degree

You can start with an medical instrument sterilization technician certificate, taking classes that directly apply to the associate degree in MIST.:

  • Student Success Seminar
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medical Instrument Sterilization I
  • Medical Instrument Sterilization I/Directed Practice
  • Medical Terminology
  • Medical Instrument Sterilization II
  • Medical Instrument Sterilization II/Directed Practice
  • Introduction to Surgical Terminology/Microbiology
  • Ethics
  • Medical Instrument Sterilization III
  • Medical Instrument Sterilization III/Directed Practice
  • College Composition

Certificate Credits 32

Take these additional courses to earn an associate degree in medical instrument sterilization technician.:

  • Principles of Human Structure and Function (lab)
  • Human Diseases
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Computer Applications for Professionals
  • General Psychology
  • Principles of Microbiology (lab)
  • Effective Speaking
  • Math for Allied Health or Statistics or College Algebra
  • Social Science Elective

Additional Credits 30-31


The career enhancement certificate is for those with one year of working experience in the field. Clinical experience is not required for the career enhancement certificate.

Graduates of Stark State College’s medical instrument sterilization technician program who have earned either a certificate or associate degree are eligible to take the national examination required to become a Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT).