Sterile processing technicians in the United States make on a mean basis $35,690. Their counterparts in Canada earn on average C$45,000 ($33,360 USD), while those in the United Kingdom garner between £15,250 ($19,654 USD) and £22,500 ($28,998 USD). The mean sterile processing technician salary comes in at AU$54,637 ($40,652 USD) in Australia, while the salaries in New Zealand run from NZD$31,000 ($22,151 USD) to NZD$54,000 ($38,585 USD).
Read below how work setting, experience, and geography affect pay.
How Much Does a Sterile Processing Technician Make?
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Sterile Processing Technician Salary Determinant Factors
Sterile processing technicians clean and otherwise prepare medical instruments and equipment for use in surgeries, examinations and other medical services.
Pay depends to a considerable extent on the country of work. Countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand run health care systems supported predominately by government agencies and boards. In these countries, scales and agreements define salaries. In the United States, providers have more leeway in establishing the pay of their technicians, so the type of facility will have a say in earnings.
Sterile Processing technicians can improve pay, especially in some locations, with experience and seniority.
1. How Much Does a Sterile Processing Technician Make by Country?
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in the US
In the United States, “Sterile Processing Technicians” come under the umbrella of “Medical Equipment Preparers.” These workers earn a mean salary of $35,690. The median pay stands at $34,410. One-fourth of medical equipment preparers make above $41,860 and those in the 90th percentile bring earn above $50,620.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in Canada
The mean pay is C$45,000 for sterile processing technicians in Canada. Total pay runs from C$35,844 to C$51,718.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in the UK
Sterile services technicians in the United Kingdom see pay between £15,250 and £22,500 per year.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in Australia
Sterile processing technicians have a mean pay of AU$54,637 in Australia. This translates to an hourly wage of AU$26.
Under the country’s Fair Work Commission, the minimum salary for instrument technicians is set at AU$783.30 per week as of July 2016.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the salary range for sterilizing technicians start at NZD$31,000 and peak at NZD$54,000. According to SalaryExpert, the mean rests at NZD$44,095.
2. How Much Does a Sterile Processing Technician Make According to Experience?
Experience does not yield significant pay increases in the United States and Canada, but can yield more pay for those in especially the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
For technicians in the United States, the entry-level median is $29,000. Five years of experience creates a $34,000 median figure, while an additional five years means a $1,000 rise in the median pay. Late-career occupants in the field see a median pay of $37,000.
In Canada, those with more than 20 years of experience, achieve seven percent above the average.
For new technicians in the United Kingdom, salaries run between £15,250 and £18,000. At the “Experienced” level, technicians fetch as little as £16,750 and as much as £19,750. Mean earnings for “Highly-Experienced” technicians, who serve as managers or supervisors, reach £22,500.
Australian sterile processing technicians have an entry-level salary of AU$39,395. With eight years of experience, pay rises to AU$89,969.
New Zealand’s sterilising technicians start at NZD$31,000 and step up to NZD$49,000 after ten years on the job. With more skills and duties, earnings can span between NZD$46,000 and NZD$54,000.
3. How Much Does a Sterile Processing Technician Make According to Work Environment?
In the United States, sterile processing technicians in “Outpatient Care Centers” make on average $37,780. The mean stands at $36,260 for those in “General Medical and Surgical Hospitals,” $37,660 in “Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools,” $39,830 in specialty hospitals, and $36,040 in “Offices of Physicians.”
For technicians in New Zealand and Australia, geography plays more of a role than the specific type of medical facility. In these countries, awards and agreements set pay scales as a general rule. New Zealand’s District Boards of Health employ most sterilization technicians in the country.
Generally, sterile processing technicians work full-time, though some workers may pull part-time shifts.
Approximately 78 percent of medical equipment preparers in the United States log 40 hours per week, while 13 percent work less than 40-hour weeks. In Canada, roughly one in four workers in “Other Assisting Occupations in Support of Health Services,” which includes sterile processing technicians, occupies part-time status.
The work setting generally defines the shifts. In physicians’ offices, technicians should report for day times and weekdays. If an office provides evenings or weekend service, some technicians may work beyond normal business hours. In hospitals and other round-the-clock facilities, the shifts more likely will encompass nights and weekends so that physicians and nurses can have continuous access to sterile equipment.
Sterilization technicians in the United Kingdom work on 24-hour/7 day shifts. This means that the technicians have at least one 24-hour period off-duty per every seven days.
Bonuses and Benefits
Bonuses for sterile processing technicians in the United States span from $100 to $1,983. Benefits from profit-sharing plans can tally to $5,000.
In Australia, bonuses come in at AU$825, while the figure is NZD$586 in New Zealand. Technicians in Canada can look forward to a mean bonus of C$542, while those in the United Kingdom enjoy bonuses averaging £307.
Demand for sterile processing technicians should remain strong. Medical facilities rely on these workers to maintain sterile and healthy environments for patients. Unclean and otherwise defective instruments and surroundings place patients at risk of disease. While the need is abundant, the size of the applicant pool, especially in less populated areas, may temper somewhat employment rates in the field.
As of 2014, the United States had 52,000 “Medical Equipment Preparers.” By 2024, U.S. employment in the field should rise by 14 percent, translating to 18,100 projected job openings.
In New Zealand, seekers have “average” prospects of finding sterilization technician jobs. This results mainly from the small size of the profession in New Zealand. Auckland may afford greater opportunities because of the number of positions and high job turnover rate in that province.
Sterile processing technicians count within the larger “Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers” category in Australia. Job openings in the sector could exceed 50,000 by 2020.
On the whole, sterile processing technician pay sits below many other medical and health professions. In some areas, experience does not bear the fruit of significantly higher pay. For technicians in other places, longevity and more senior roles may improve earnings.
Given the awareness of potential hazards such as infections in medical facilities, hiring opportunities should prove healthy especially where health providers abound.