Undeniably, the healthcare system in any part of the world is dependent on sterile processing technicians. They ensure that the equipment and surgical/medical supplies are properly cleaned, processed, prepared, and issued for patient care.
This is essential for patient care as hospitals are home to several germs that come from numerous patients inhibiting the same ward and so on. In fact, surveys reveal that approximately 90,000 hospital patients lose their lives annually due to bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E.coli) and staph to name a few.
So, how much do the sterile processing technicians who look after the sterility of all the medical equipment make per hour? Read on to learn about their pay per hour and annual earning:
Per hour payment of sterile processing technicians
ZipRecruiter notes that the average hourly wage for a sterile processing technician in the USA is $23 per hour. It also observes that the hourly wages go as high as $33.17. On the flip side, they can drop to $12.02 per hour as well.
However, ZipRecruiter notes that the current range of payments for sterile processing technicians ranges between $18 to $26 across the US. For instance, Kaiser Permanente offers sterile processing technicians $22.15 on an hourly basis.
This is as per the national average and falls within the range as well. This average range of payment varies only slightly when factors such as location are taken into account.
Annual salary of a sterile processing technician
The same source, ZipRecruiter highlights that the average yearly salary of a sterile processing technician in the US stands at $47,932. The higher range of the salary stands at $69,000 in a year. However, the lower end nears $25,000.
The range of the annual sterile processing technician salary lies between the range of $38,000 to $54,000 in the country. This annual salary varies slightly across various locations in the US. This can be a difference of no more than $16,000. A case in point is Portland, Oregon where the yearly salary range is $21,550-$47,692.
Other sources say that the salary of a sterile processing technician falls in the range of $23,473 and $48,356. This average estimate somewhat aligns with the estimate pulled out by ZipRecruiter.
Getting started as a sterile processing technician
A sterile processing technician operates the sterilizing equipment, for example, the autoclave that sterilizes gloves, needles, and other equipment. PayScale outlines that each technician has to follow hospital protocols. PayScale indicates that the average hourly pay for these technicians is $15.01.
You can also get a personalized salary report via PayScale based on your location and years in the field. If you are only getting started, you should note that becoming a sterile processing technician does not take as long as other careers in the health industry.
Career colleges offer 10-weeks programs, and community college provides 1-2 years of programs. Once you clear the course with a grade of 70 or above, you will have to pass an SPD examination. This is a written exam that will get you a profitable career in the sterile processing lines.
You will also be required to work for a minimum of one year in the sterile processing department to fulfill a certain number of hours. During this time, you will have to perform various duties before becoming certified through the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).
Opportunities for growth in the field
A sterile processing technician can move into other positions related to his field and grow his salary. You can also grow into the role of a sterile processing manager although that opportunity is rare. The salary for a sterile processing manager soars to $61,000 per year.
Other than that, you can move into other roles such as:
- Sterile processing technologists
- Sterile processing supervisor
- Surgical technician
- Surgical technologist
- Registered nurse
- Licensed practical nurse
- Clinical medical assistant
- Registered nurse, operating room
The career choice is a good fit for you if you are precise, detail-oriented, patient, cautious, analytical, and appreciate hands-on work. The work of a sterile processing technician also requires vigilant reading and following instructions by doctors to make sure that staff and patients are safe and infections are kept at bay.
A sterile processing technician makes well according to the average hourly wage of $23.18 in the US. There are bright chances of growth as well, and it does not take years of study to become a technician.