Sterile Processing Technician Salary in USA 2024

sterile processing technician
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Do you wish to pursue a career in the highly esteemed healthcare industry but are stuck on how to go about it without going bankrupt and spending long years in school? 

Do you also wonder how the equipment and tools utilized in hospitals or clinics are sterilized before and after each use?

If yes, this post will explore all you need to know about sterile processing technicians (SPTs), their salary structure, how they differ across states, pursuing a career in the field, and a lot more.

To start with, think of sterile technicians as heroes who work backdoors; and those in charge of sterilizing and cleaning every tool and instrument used in any healthcare setting.

Now sit back, and let’s dive right in!

What Is A Sterile Processing Technician?

A sterile processing technician otherwise known as a distribution or central sterile processing technician is a healthcare professional tasked with sterilizing,  cleaning, and preparing medical tools and equipment.

Their duties revolve around upholding cleanliness standards, preventing infections, and ensuring the well-being of both patients and healthcare personnel are safe through sterile tools.

What Do They Do?

The role of sterile processing technicians can’t be overemphasized because of their precision and dedication to ensuring the seamless operation of healthcare facilities. Moreover, without their thorough and assiduous work, the healthcare sector will be compromised as a result of the risk of infections.

Below are a few of the vital roles played by the technicians:

1) Thorough Cleaning and Purification: Sterile technicians purify and disinfect medical tools making sure they are free of impurities and myriads of biological matter that are not visible to the sight.

2) Sterilization: A sterile processing technician makes use of specialized equipment like a steam sterilizer otherwise called an autoclave. This process entails the use of high-pressure gas, steam, or other sterilization methods to get rid of viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

3) Equipment care or maintenance: This involves inspecting and maintaining already sterilized tools to ensure they work fine by carrying out routine checks or tests to authenticate the efficacy of the sterilization process.

4) Inventory Control: Another role of SPTs is keeping records of inventory or supplies and ensuring sterile tools and equipment are readily available for medical procedures.

Other roles involve: 

  • Adhering to strict guidelines for ensuring medical tools are sterile and safe for use.
  • Collaboration with other medical practitioners such as nurses, and surgeons for the provision of sterile equipment.

Sterile Processing Technician Salary

I believe you can’t wait to know how much a sterile processing technician makes annually.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, technicians make an average annual earnings of $44,940, or $21.61 per hour.

Nevertheless, note that these amounts are subject to change due to some contributing factors like job location, certifications, and level of experience among others.

That is, a Sterile technician working in Arizona might earn more than the one that works in New York. 

SPT Salary By State

As stated above, the salaries for sterile processing technicians differ across each city, state, and region.

Before analyzing the salary structure and how it varies, first, take a look at the top five most paid sectors for SPTs:

  • Local Government gives an average annual salary of $54,010.
  • Outpatient Care Centers offer $51,810 per year.
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises pays an average of $62,460 annually.
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine production offers an annual mean salary of $59,720.
  • And lastly, Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers provide an average salary of $55,540 per annum.

The table below confirms that the salary structure of sterile processing technicians varies across states. While the states with high pay salaries might seem like an enticing option,  it is also crucial to think of the extra costs involved if you consider switching states. This entails cost of living, accommodation, and travel costs which are usually higher in all of the five top-paying states.

Top Five Highest-paying States Across U.S. with Their Annual SalariesTop Five Lowest-paying States Across U.S
1) California – $59,490Oklahoma – $37,580
2) District of Columbia – $58,760Louisiana – $36,240
3) Alaska – $52, 870Arkansas – $34,480
4) Hawaii – $52,130Mississippi – $33,340
5) Massachusetts – $51,08Puerto Rico – $24,050
salary structure of sterile processing technicians varies across states

How To Become Or Get Certified As A Sterile Processing Technician

The following step-by-step process will walk you through how to become a certified sterile technician should you consider taking a career in the prestige field.

Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma Or GED

The last requirement to kickstart your career toward becoming a sterile processing technician is to pursue a high school education or obtain a general education development.

Step 2: Enroll In a Training Program Tailored To Sterile Processing

This type of program equips you with the required skills to become a certified SPT.

Step 3: Exposure to hands-on experience Via Internships or Externships

That is, you gain practical exposure in an actual healthcare sector which presents you with the opportunity to practicalize all you have studied in your training.

Step 4: Certification

Receiving certification will not only enhance your job prospects but also display your abilities and competency in managing sterile instruments and following due protocols.

The most recognized and easily attainable certification for aspiring sterile processing technicians is the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) certification. 

This is presented by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) which verifies an individual’s skills and expertise in sterile processing. Moreso, it further endorses that such individuals meet certain standards in managing and sterilizing medical tools and equipment.

 Benefits Of Becoming a Sterile Processing Technician

  • High demand and employment stability 
  • Opportunity for career advancement 
  • Attractive salary and enticing incentives 
  • Constant learning and skill enhancement 
  • Diverse work settings (such as outpatient clinics, hospitals, government health centers, etc)

Sterile Processing Technician Skills And Job Requirements

To excel in the STD field, candidates need to possess some specific skills and qualifications that should reflect on their resumes.

Some of these are:

  • Be able to identify the best methods for harmful waste disposal, controlling infection, and emergency alertness
  • Effective handling of surgical tools, medical equipment, and devices 
  • Have organizational expertise to efficiently meet supply demands
  • Proper operation of medical tools used for decontamination and sterilization
  • Have the strength to maintain a stationary state during a shift and be able to move items weighing about 25-30 pounds.
  • Proficiency in using databases to screen infection control measures as required
  • Good verbal and written communication skills to engage with members of the care team and keep error-free records

The amount of expertise required to excel in the SPT career varies. However, in a situation where there are more skilled technicians working during every shift,  new candidates with limited experience will be able to learn essential skills on the job. 

Also, technicians who have worked in the field for over two years are ideal for roles that require working alone or supervising other technicians.

Please note that the skills section on your resume is as vital as the experience section, so ensure it is professionally all you can do. From findings, about 20% of sterile technicians input patients on their resumes, alongside some soft skills like mechanical skills and organizational skills.

Nevertheless, if you need the service of a professionally structured resume that gives a job guarantee, please contact Fasthire

Sterile Processing can be likened to a team sport that demands speed, precision, strength, and respect for your teammates. Therefore, hospitals, surgery centers, and others could not function without Sterile Processing.


Best paid Skills and Qualifications for Sterile Processing Technician 

1) Sterile Processing Manager:

They are those in charge of sterilizing surgical tools and equipment. Other roles include:

  • Supplies verification to ensure they are well-packed
  • Keeping operating rooms equipped
  • Manage inventory
  • Educate new staff on how to decontaminate surgical tools 
  • Purifying healthcare equipment, and 
  • Upholding proper documentation

Salary structure: $59,500-$102,000 annually 

2) Sterile Processing Technologist

Salary range: $68,000-$82,500 annually 

3) Instrument Room Technician

Salary range: $35,500-$80,500 per year

4) Central Sterile Technician

Salary range: $41,500-$66,000 per year


  • Perform disinfection and sterilization procedures for hospital equipment and instruments. 
  • Packaging medical utensils and supplies to ensure they are placed in the designated department.

5) Sterile Supply Technician

Salary structure: $38,000-$59,500 per year

6) Instrument Technician Sterile Processing

Salary: $42,500-$55,500 annually 

7) Sterile Tech

Salary: $35,000-$50,000 per year

8) Sterile Prep Technician

Salary structure: $42,000-$48,500 per year

9) Surgical Instrument Technician

Salary: $30,000-$48,000 annually 

10) Sterilization Specialist

Salary range: $35,500-$44,000 per year

11) Sterilizer

Salary: $36,500-$41,500 per year

12) Sterilization Technician

Salary range: $32,000-$41,000 per year

13) Sterilizer Operator

Salary: $31,000-$33,000 per year

Top Companies Hiring Sterile Processing Technicians in the USA

Sterile processing technician salary range per region

  • Nebraska – $72,150
  • Indiana – $71,413
  • Mississippi – $71,292
  • Massachusetts – $70,683
  • Wyoming – $69,992
  • New Jersey – $69,316
  • Montana – $69,108
  • North Carolina – $69,108
  • Arizona – $50,242
  • Arkansas – $50,000
  • Colorado – $48,919
  • Texas – $45,470
  • Missouri – $44,720
  • Nevada – $42,536
  • Minnesota – $39,782
  • North Dakota – $35,100
  • South Dakota – $33,638
  • Vermont – $85,956
  • Hawaii – $85,904
  • Kansas – $80,925
  • Kentucky – $78,728
  • Maine – $77,792
  • New Hampshire – $77,549
  • South Carolina – $73,351
  • West Virginia – $68,952
  • Tennessee – $68,250
  • Rhode Island – $68,068
  • Iowa – $67,600
  • Michigan – $67,600
  • Ohio – $66,196
  • Idaho – $65,520
  • Oklahoma – $65,520
  • Alaska – $64,293
  • Utah – $64,116
  • Wisconsin – $64,116
  • Georgia – $63,382
  • New York – $61,729
  • Delaware – $60,450
  • California – $59,727
  • Pennsylvania – $59,644
  • New Mexico – $59,592
  • Washington – $59,218
  • Maryland – $58,396
  • Alabama – $57,896
  • Virginia – $55,120
  • Oregon – $54,881
  • Connecticut – $54,631
  • Florida – $54,567
  • Louisiana – $53,882
  • Illinois – $52,401

Top Highest Paying Cities for Sterile Processing Technician Jobs

The salary structure for sterile processing technician jobs in the following cities is above the national average. 

The number one city topping the list is Surry, followed by VA, with Berkeley, CA, and Deer Park

This implies that having average salaries above the national average gives rise to opportunities for economic advancement. Therefore, changing locations as a Sterile Processing Technician will be extremely rewarding.


In a nutshell, a sterile processing technician has a very attractive salary structure and job outlook. However, there are some determining factors at play such as location, work experience, and so on.

Ultimately, considering a career in SPT is indeed worthwhile. And it is fair to say their pay displays how significant their role is in ensuring patients stay healthy by keeping medical tools sterile.



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