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Frequently Asked Questions


You must be a high school graduate or equivalent to enter the program. You will also be asked to verify that you are free from communicable disease and should be able to lift 30 pounds. It is highly recommended that you be eligible for English 846 or its equivalent.

Prior to starting classes, students admitted to the program are required to complete a satisfactory physical examination, immunization documentation verifying freedom of communicable disease, a social security referenced background check, and drug test. Typically, a student that has had a felony conviction in the last seven years would not be accepted for a hospital externship.

How to Get Started:

  • Complete a Skyline College Application.
  • Admission to the Central Service Technology Program is by Special Application Only.  All application materials must be returned between the open application period to be considered for the program. Notifications will be mailed within 30 days from the end of the application period.
  • There are no academic prerequisites, however, success in this field requires effective communication skills.


Above the registration fees, there are costs for books, name tags, background check, drug screening, physical exam, and immunization screenings.

Three semesters in length spanning just over 9 months. The first two classes are conducted at Skyline College with the final semester providing 192 hours of clinical practice in a hospital.

In the first semester, lectures and labs cover Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Sterilization and Disinfection, surgical instruments, safety, and regulations.

In the Second semester, you will practice procedures for instrument processing.

In the last semester, you will be assigned to a Central Service Department in a hospital or Surgery Center. In the CS Department, you will get practice in methods of Decontamination, Assembly, and Sterilization, as well as the Distribution of instruments, equipment and supplies. You will be expected to practice at least 6 hours per day, 30 hours per week so you will need to have flexible hours. Because the locations of the hospitals span the Bay Area, you will need reliable transportation.

Your knowledge of English needs to be equivalent to 10th grade level. You will need to pass a physical exam which would also show you are immune to Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chickenpox and you are free of active TB. You will need to pass a Social Security‐referenced background check and drug screening. These forms will be mailed to you.

Registration fees are approximately $529. Textbooks, parking, the Background Check and the Physical exam bring the costs up to about $1,100+/‐ for the whole program.

In the Bay Area, CS techs can start at about $22 to $24 per hour. Within a year, CST’s can make over $26/ hour.

Hospitals, Clinics, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, and even in the Biotechnical Industry.

  1. Apply to Skyline College.
  2. Then go to the Central Service Technology website application page, complete the application, and submit it.
Twenty‐five students are randomly selected and another 15 are placed on the Waiting List. Notifications and the forms for the Background Check and Drug screening are mailed to Accepted and Wait‐listed applicants.