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Working as a Sterile Technician

Sterile processing technicians prepare, sterilize, install, assemble, or clean all laboratory or healthcare equipment required for surgeries, examinations, and medical procedures. They have to ensure that the equipment, instruments, and supplies are reused safely to prevent infections.

To become a sterile technician, applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent and certification in sterile processing and distribution. They also should possess strong attention to detail, vigilance, and meticulous care on the job. It would be best if they had manual agility and the ability to handle fragile equipment.

As of the present context, the average annual pay for a sterile processing technician in the United States is $48,224 a year or $23.18 an hour, which is the equivalent of $927/week or $4,019/month.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a sterile technician. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.47 an hour? That's $32,173 a year!

What Does a Sterile Technician Do

There are certain skills that many sterile technicians have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, math skills and dexterity.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a sterile technician, we found that a lot of resumes listed 14.1% of sterile technicians included surgical procedures, while 12.8% of resumes included aseptic technique, and 12.3% of resumes included patient care. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the sterile technician job title. But what industry to start with? Most sterile technicians actually find jobs in the health care and pharmaceutical industries.

How To Become a Sterile Technician

If you're interested in becoming a sterile technician, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 26.6% of sterile technicians have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.5% of sterile technicians have master's degrees. Even though some sterile technicians have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a sterile technician. When we researched the most common majors for a sterile technician, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on sterile technician resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a sterile technician. In fact, many sterile technician jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many sterile technicians also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or dental assistant.

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Average Salary$32,173
Job Growth Rate4%

Sterile Technician Career Paths

Top Careers Before Sterile Technician

Cashier
15.0 %

Top Careers After Sterile Technician

Cashier
8.7 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Sterile Technician

Sterile Technicians in America make an average salary of $32,173 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $40,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Salary
$32,173

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Petaluma, CA
Salary Range33k - 51k$41k$41,493
Springfield, MA
Salary Range31k - 45k$38k$37,623
Tacoma, WA
Salary Range29k - 40k$35k$34,521
Highland Park, IL
Salary Range28k - 39k$34k$33,556
Fairbanks, AK
Salary Range29k - 38k$33k$33,264
Bangor, ME
Salary Range30k - 36k$33k$33,158
$19k
$51k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Sterilization Technician
Sterilization Technician
Hero Practice Services
Hero Practice Services
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$33,39201/29/2021
$33,392
Sterilization Technician-Night Shift
Sterilization Technician-Night Shift
Kelly Services
Kelly Services
12/16/2020
12/16/2020
$37,56612/16/2020
$37,566
Dental Sterilization Technician
Dental Sterilization Technician
University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
11/20/2020
11/20/2020
$35,43711/20/2020
$35,437
Sterilization Technician
Sterilization Technician
Gentle Dental North Rocklin
Gentle Dental North Rocklin
11/14/2020
11/14/2020
$25,04411/14/2020
$25,044
Sterilization Technician
Sterilization Technician
Gentle Dental Brentwood
Gentle Dental Brentwood
11/10/2020
11/10/2020
$29,21811/10/2020
$29,218
See More Recent Salaries

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Sterile Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Sterile Technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Sterile Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Sterile Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Sterile Technician Demographics

Gender

female

63.9 %

male

31.1 %

unknown

4.9 %

Ethnicity

White

62.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

18.7 %

Black or African American

9.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.8 %

French

5.1 %

Arabic

5.1 %
See More Demographics

Sterile Technician Education

Majors

Business
11.3 %
Nursing
8.0 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

27.7 %

Bachelors

26.6 %

Associate

19.2 %

Top Colleges for Sterile Technicians

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

2. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

3. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

6. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,099
Enrollment
21,404

7. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

8. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

9. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,184
Enrollment
11,675

10. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,974
Enrollment
35,656
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Sterile Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.1% of sterile technicians listed surgical procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and math skills are important as well.

  • Surgical Procedures, 14.1%
  • Aseptic Technique, 12.8%
  • Patient Care, 12.3%
  • Customer Service, 9.4%
  • Instrument Trays, 6.8%
  • Other Skills, 44.6%
  • See All Sterile Technician Skills

Best States For a Sterile Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a sterile technician. The best states for people in this position are California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and North Dakota. Sterile technicians make the most in California with an average salary of $38,852. Whereas in Massachusetts and Connecticut, they would average $37,988 and $37,612, respectively. While sterile technicians would only make an average of $37,118 in North Dakota, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Sterile Technician Jobs:
60
Highest 10% Earn:
$50,000
Location Quotient:
2.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Sterile Technician Jobs:
76
Highest 10% Earn:
$50,000
Location Quotient:
1.26
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Maine

Total Sterile Technician Jobs:
76
Highest 10% Earn:
$43,000
Location Quotient:
1.97
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Sterile Technician Employers

1. Alcon
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$34,607
Sterile Technicians Hired: 
12+
2. ManpowerGroup
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$30,488
Sterile Technicians Hired: 
11+
3. Sanford Health
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$28,715
Sterile Technicians Hired: 
11+
4. Baxter Regional Medical Center
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$48,415
Sterile Technicians Hired: 
10+
5. Maine Medical Center Research Institute
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$33,859
Sterile Technicians Hired: 
7+
6. United States Department of Defense
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$30,388
Sterile Technicians Hired: 
7+

Sterile Technician Videos

Updated October 2, 2020