How Much Does a Sterile Processing Technician Make?

Sterile processing pertains to the cleaning, inspection, and disinfection of devices used in medical procedures. The sterilization department works behind the curtains to ensure that the equipment and devices used in medical procedures are clean and safe to use for critical medical procedures. This is one of the significant responsibilities of the healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses for conducting safe and secure surgeries and other medical procedures.

The sterile processing technicians in these departments work in a high-stakes environment, as they are responsible for the safe and secure procurement of instruments used in several medical processes. The question is – How much can a Sterile Processing Technician make? Before that, let’s talk about:

The need for sterilizing medical equipment and technicians

According to a recent estimate at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 1.7 million U.S. citizens are affected by “Hospital-acquired infections” every year, and 25% of those are associated explicitly with surgical site infections.

Medical workers over the years have been practicing intensive care while handling sterilization to prevent hospital-acquired infections. This ensured a lower rate of patients acquiring such infections, but there is still a lot that must be done to make it safer, especially in times of COVID-19 pandemic. Precision, adept skills, attention to detail, and a focused approach are essential for fixing errors and preventing hospital-acquired infections, especially for sterile processing professionals.

Scope of pursuing a career in sterile processing

How Much Does a Sterile Processing Technician Make

Sterilization is an effective way of reusing medical equipment and instruments, which is otherwise an expensive proposition in an already costly industry. Therefore, sterilization of medical equipment is preferred all across the globe, which in turn marks it as an essential part of surgical and other medical procedures. Technicians with an adept skillset of sterilizing equipment are sought after by some healthcare institutes and hospitals.

Excelling and moving up the ladder is relatively easy in this field compared to other medical procedures that require years and years of in-depth research and study to stand out at the entry-level. Most sterile processing technician programs require a high school diploma for entry-level courses.

Good performance at the entry-level will catalyze the growth of sterile processing professionals towards acquiring managerial and other supervisory positions. Sterilizing technicians and professionals advance into supervisory roles, like lead tech or department managers, to excel in their entry-level positions.

With the medical field being one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States, there will be plenty of sterile processing technician jobs in the medical field. As the fear of Covid-19 persists, the requirements for sterile technicians have increased exponentially, and the area offers an excellent prospect for the future.

The roles in which sterile technicians and professionals operate

Apart from the opportunity to work at hospitals, surgery centers, and various laboratories, a qualified and skillful sterile technician can take up any of the following roles:

  • Sterile processing supervisor
  • Sterile processing technologists
  • Surgical technician
  • Registered nurse
  • Licensed practical nurse

Sterile Processing Technician Salary – Entry Level

As per Glassdoor, the average sterile processing technician salary at an entry-level position varies from $40,000 to $52,000 per year. Indeed, the average salary for a sterile processing technician is $26.96 per hour in the United States.

Certification and Courses

certified sterile processing technician salary

  • There are several colleges and universities in the United States that offer programs in sterile processing. Sterile processing technician training program costs differ from state to state, while the average tuition fees of these programs range between USD 12K to 25K.
  • There are quite a few sterile processing online courses available for students and candidates interested in the field. Sterile processing technician certificate program cost for online mode is relatively less than the college and university programs.
  • In the current COVID-19 pandemic, desirable candidates have opted for online sterile processing technician training rather than taking up the program at colleges physically. PTTI is catering to that need of the students. However, they consider a mix of online/classroom training and hands-on college training when the situation is better.
  • Although you can get a sterilizing professional technician’s job with just a high school diploma, sterile processing certification will land you a well-paying job in a quick time as most of the states usually prefer hiring technicians who are certified.
  • Certified sterile processing technician pay is higher than an uncertified sterile technician in almost every U.S. state.

Final notes

Even though the work done by sterile professionals has always been vital in the smooth functioning of the medical industry, the onset of COVID-19 has made it even more critical. It has helped us realize the importance of personal hygiene, protection, and awareness of the surroundings regarding the spread and transmission of diseases.

The scope of jobs in sterile processing and central services is bound to grow. It is a beneficial option for students venturing out in the professional world and other candidates interested in the medical industry. Moreover, Sterile processing is a well-paying career in the healthcare industry. You can get good hands-on training through a sterile processing technician school for fulfilling your dreams.

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