Sterile Processing & Distribution
College Credit
& Degrees


1. What exactly is a Sterile Processing & Distribution Technician?
Sterile Processing and Distribution Technicians (SPDT) decontaminate, sterilize, assemble, package, inspect and prepare sterile instruments for surgery, emergency rooms, and intensive and critical care units. They manage inventory, order supplies, and inspect and maintain equipment.

2. Must a Sterile Processing & Distribution Technician be certified?
Cleveland area hospitals and surgery units strongly prefer that SPD Technicians become

3. What is the typical salary for a SPDT?
The average starting salary for SPD Technicians in the Cleveland area is typically in the range of $10-$13.00 per hour.

4. Where can I obtain employment?
SPD Technicians are employed in the Central Services, Materials Management and Surgical Departments of hospitals, clinics and dental offices.

5. How long is the program? Can I complete the program on a part-time basis?
The SPD portion of the program is 2 semesters long, 4 SPD courses total. The Program starts each Fall Semester and is completed in May. It is considered a full-time program. The prerequisite courses must be taken before entering the program. General certificate requirements may be taken on a part-time basis prior to entering the program or after completion of the SPD portion of the program.

6. Can I transfer credits from another college or university?
Generally yes, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their academic counselor after their transcripts have been forwarded to the College. The Registrar’s Office will review and evaluate the transcripts.

7. I already have credits; can I complete the program in less than one year?
The Sterile Processing & Distribution Program is a 9-month program; you cannot complete the SPD course work in less than 9 months or 2 semesters.

8. How many students do you accept each year?
We accept 16 students to the SPD Program per year, contingent upon available clinical sites.

9. When does the SPD Program start?
The SPD Program only begins in the Fall Semester of each academic year.

10. Is the program offered in the evening or on weekends?
Can I work while attending?
The SPD Program requires attending both day and early evening classes during both semesters. A two (2) day a week, fifteen (15) week daytime clinical experience is required to complete the program. It is possible to work while attending the program if you have completed some of the courses within the program (in addition to the courses required for entering the program), and if your place of employment allows flexible hours.

11. How much does the program cost?
30 credit hours are needed to complete the program. At just over $92 per credit hour, the tuition
cost is approximately $2,800. You pay only for the credit hours for which you are enrolled each semester. If you have completed some of the courses at Tri-C, or transfer credits from another college, the cost will be less because there are fewer credit hours left to fulfill. If a student needs remedial courses to become eligible, the cost will be slightly higher depending on the number of extra courses needed. Additional expenses include a $10-20 fee for courses in which there is a laboratory section. Textbooks vary in cost, but plan to spend an average of $75 per book per class. Total approximate cost for the program is $3,560.

12. Is Financial Aid available?
Generally yes. Students may qualify for the usual federal or state programs. Further inquires may be directed to the Tri-C Financial Aid Dept. by calling 216-987-4100.

13. When should I submit an application to the SPD Program?
ONLY submit your Health Careers Application after all Prerequisite Courses have been completed and grades for each course have been posted on your Tri-C transcript. Incomplete applications will be returned to the student. There are limited spots for this program. Completion of the Prerequisite Courses does not guarantee acceptance into the program for the current academic year. Students are admitted to the Sterile Processing Program in the order in which all completed application packets are received. Deadline to apply to the program for the upcoming Fall Semester is June 30th.

14. How will I know if I have a spot in the Sterile Processing & Distribution Program for the upcoming Fall Semester?
Accepted students will receive a “Letter of Acceptance” via the mail from the Program Manager.

15. What Prerequisite Courses are required for the Sterile Processing & Distribution Program?
* ENG-1010             College Composition I
* MATH-0950           Beginning Algebra I
* MA-1020                Medical Terminology I

16. What GPA is required for the Sterile Processing & Distribution Program?
Applicants must achieve a minimum of 2.00 cumulative grade point average (based on a 4.0 scale) with no course having a grade lower than ‘C’ for the prerequisite courses listed or their Tri-C transfer equivalent.

17. Is there any reason I may not be accepted into the program aside from not meeting the Program Entrance Requirements?
Yes. All students enrolled in health career programs that require students to complete clinical experiences outside the College must complete and pass a background check that includes finger printing and Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) records search.

Please visit for more information.

18. Where can I find more information or who can I speak to if I have other questions?
Beth Stokes, Program Manager / 216-987-6146 /

How to reach us

Beth Stokes 
Program Manager 
Metro Campus
MHCS 126-E
2900 Community College Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-3196

Health Careers Enrollment Center
Cuyahoga Community College
Metropolitan Campus-MHCS 126 
2900 Community College Avenue
Cleveland OH 44115-3196

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