Are you looking to enter the prestigious healthcare industry, but don’t know how to without burning a hole in your pockets and spending years on schooling?

Are you also curious about the instruments and tools used around a clinic or a hospital, and how they are sterilized before and after each use?

If you answered yes to those questions, pursuing a career in Sterile Processing might be the best choice for you.

These technicians, aka backstage heroes, are quite simply responsible for cleaning and sterilizing every instrument and tool used around any healthcare environment.

If you’re interested in pursuing this rewarding career, you might also be wondering how much these heroes earn, how their salaries differ across states, and more such questions.

We’re here to help you clear all such doubts.

So put your reading glasses on let’s get right into it.

Sterile Processing Tech School

What is a Sterile Processing Technician and What Do They Do?

A Sterile Processing Technician works in hospitals or clinics, making sure medical instruments are clean and safe to use. They use special equipment to clean and sterilize tools used in surgeries and other medical procedures.

Their role is super important because it helps prevent infections in patients and keeps everyone safe in the hospital. They also keep track of supplies and work closely with doctors and nurses to make sure the right tools are ready for use when needed.

See More: What is a Sterile Processing Technician

Sterile Processing Technician Salary

Now coming to the main question you might be most curious about: how much does a sterile processing technician make annually?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual average income of a sterile processing technician, or a ‘medical equipment prepares’ is $44,940, or $21.61 per hour.

It is important to note, however, that these figures are subject to change according to different influencing factors, such as experience, job location, certifications, and more.

For instance, a sterile processing technician working in the state of California might earn significantly more than a sterile processing technician working in Arizona.

Sterile Processing Technician Salary By State

The salaries for sterile processing technicians vary across each region, state, and city, as we mentioned before.

Let us take a look at how the salaries differ across industries and different states for sterile processing technicians.

First, the top five highest-paying industries for sterile processing technicians include:

  • Management of Companies and Enterprises with an annual mean salary of $62,460 per year.
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine manufacturing with an annual mean salary of $59,720 per year.
  • Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers with an annual mean salary of $55,540 per year.
  • Local Government with an annual mean salary of $54,010 per year.
  • Outpatient Care Centers with an annual mean salary of $51,810 per year.

Now, let’s take a look at the top five highest-paying states for sterile processing technicians across the U.S.:

  • California – $59,490 annually
  • District of Columbia – $58,760 annually
  • Alaska – $52, 870 annually
  • Hawaii – $52,130 annually
  • Massachusetts – $51,080 annually

Looking at these figures, you might be thinking, why not move to one of such higher-paying states?

While that may look like a good option, it is also important to consider the additional costs you might have to bear if you decide to move states. This can include the cost of living, which is usually higher in all of the above-mentioned five states, like accommodation, travel, and so on.

In contrast, let’s also look at the top 5 lowest paying states across the U.S. for sterile processing technicians:

  • Puerto Rico – $24,050 annually
  • Louisiana – $36,240 annually
  • Mississippi – $33,340 annually
  • Oklahoma – $37,580 annually
  • Arkansas – $34,480 annually

Read: Sterile Processing Technician Certification

Sterile Processing Technician Job Outlook

The job outlook for sterile processing technicians looks fairly positive for the next few years. This is because the healthcare industry is constantly growing with the rise of the baby boomer population, and the demand for phlebotomists is also increasing.

According to the statistics reported by the BLS, the projected employment growth is about 8.3% from 2020 to 2030 for medical equipment preparers, which includes sterile processing technicians. This means that there are about 7,900 new job openings for aspirants in this field.

So, becoming a sterile processing tech certainly looks positive for the next decade with a good potential job outlook.

Is Certification Important for Sterile Processing Technicians?

Even though it may not be necessary in most states, getting certified as a sterile processing technician is highly advantageous. It shows they’ve had the right training and know-how to keep medical tools clean and sterile. This is a big deal because it helps make sure patients don’t contact with any pathogens.

Certified technicians also play an important role in compliance with regulatory standards set by organizations like the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). These certifications ensure that technicians not only meet industry standards but also contribute to maintaining a consistent level of quality and safety in healthcare facilities, a fundamental aspect of their role.

And when it comes to pay, certified technicians often get paid more than those who aren’t certified. Plus, being certified can help them move up in their careers to better-paying positions.

Check out Preppy’s Online Certification Training Program for Sterile Processing Techs here>


To sum it up, a sterile processing technician has a great salary potential and job outlook, which depends on things like where they work and how much experience they have. Their pay shows how valuable their work is in making sure patients stay healthy by keeping things sterile.

Read More: What Does a Sterile Processing Technician Do?


How much can an entry-level sterile processing technician expect to make annually?

Entry-level sterile processing technicians can make up to $41,652 on average annually. As mentioned earlier, these figures are dependent on several influencing factors such as job location and certification.

Is becoming a sterile processing technician hard?

Becoming a sterile processing technician can be challenging, but it’s doable. Like any job in the medical field, it requires attention to detail, the ability to follow strict procedures, and a commitment to keeping things super clean and safe.

Technicians need to learn about different tools, and equipment, and how to sterilize them properly to prevent infections. The training can be intensive, and there might be certification exams to pass, but with dedication and focus, many people successfully become skilled sterile processing techs.

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