A sterile processing technician sterilizes, packages, and stores medical materials and surgical equipment, decontaminates settings, and ensures a clean and sterile environment for surgeries and medical procedures. In the US, a sterile processing technician earns just over $40,000 per year, similar to the US dollar equivalent salary in Australia at AU$53,000 ($40,746 USD).
Annual earnings in Canada are more than C$41,000 ($32,027 USD), while those in New Zealand and the UK earn roughly NZ$45,000 ($28,069 USD) and £23,000 ($27,253 USD), respectively. On the lower end of the pay scale are South Africa at R139,000 ($9,827 USD) and India at Rs379,000 ($5,864 USD). This guide looks at salary variances by geographic region, work experience, and work setting.
How Much Does a Sterile Processing Technician Make per Year?
Hourly and annual wages for sterile processing technicians in select countries worldwide are found in the chart below.
|Sterile Processing Technician Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
Factors that Influence the Sterile Processing Technician Salary
While geographic region heavily influences earnings for sterile processing technicians, so do work experience and work setting. Additional information on earning potential and a career as a sterile processing technician are found in this guide.
1. Geographic Area
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in US
In the US, sterile processing technicians earn an average annual salary between more than $31,000 for entry level positions to nearly $50,000 for senior level positions. On average, all experience levels see an average annual salary of $40,000 per year, or $19 per hour. Some employers offer bonus incentives that can add more than $500 in additional income.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in Canada
Sterile processing technicians in Canada see yearly pay in excess of C$41,000, while hourly wage earners receive about C$20 per hour. Bonus earnings can add another C$500 or more to total income. Newly trained sterile processing technicians earn an average starting salary of more than C$32,000 per year compared to more than C$51,000 upon reaching the senior level.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in UK
As a sterile processing technician in the UK, average earnings are between more than £18,000 per year for entry level positions and more than £29,000 for senior level positions. Among all experience levels, the average pay exceeds £23,000 per year, or £11 per hour, plus an additional £300 or more in potential bonus earnings.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in Australia
The average annual compensation for sterile processing technicians in Australia is well above AU$53,000, plus an additional AU$700 in bonus incentives. Hourly wage earners see roughly AU$26 per hour. Those early in their careers can expect nearly AU$42,000 per year, increasing with experience to well over AU$66,000 annually upon reaching senior level status.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, sterile processing technicians see an average annual income of about NZ$45,000 with an additional NZ$600 in bonus pay. Those receiving an hourly wage receive about NZ$21 per hour. As an entry level sterile processing technician, starting yearly pay is about NZ$35,000, while senior level employees receive about NZ$56,000 annually.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in India
Sterile processing technicians in India earn more than Rs379,000 per year, or Rs182 per hour. Some opportunities for bonus income are available, potentially boosting overall pay another Rs5,000 or more. Newly trained sterile processing technicians receive nearly Rs302,000 per year, increasing with experience to more than Rs480,000 annually.
Sterile Processing Technician Salary in South Africa
Annual compensation for sterile processing technicians in South Africa averages roughly R139,000 plus R1,800 or more in bonus income. Hourly wage earners receive R67 per hour. Entry level pay is about R110,000 per year, while senior level positions garner nearly R175,000 in yearly earnings.
With additional experience, the difference between entry level and senior level pay for sterile processing technicians can grow from 59% to 61%. While annual earnings in the US are among the highest, senior level pay is about $19,000 more per year, representing an increase of 61%. Australia also sees higher pay for this career, and the growth rate is about 57%, equating to about AU$24,000 more per year. In South Africa and India, where annual pay for this position is lower, senior level employees earn roughly 59% more than their entry level counterparts.
Sterile processing technicians work in a variety of work settings, including hospitals, surgery centers, physician and dental offices, and laboratories. While there is little variance by work setting in salaries for sterile processing technicians, those employed in for-profit organizations and those privately owned likely see higher earning potential and opportunities for bonus pay that may not be available to their colleagues working in nonprofit, publicly-funded organizations.
Sterile processing technicians typically work full-time schedules, although there are ample opportunities for part-time employment. Standard work hours are often Monday through Friday during normal business hours; however, those employed in hospitals or settings where 24-hour care is provided may work evenings, weekends, and holidays in emergency situations. As surgeries are often scheduled in the early mornings, schedules may involve more early mornings with earlier ends to the work day.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Full-time sterile processing technicians often receive a benefits package that includes healthcare coverage and paid time off for vacations, sick time, and holidays. Some employers offer bonus incentives, and while these payments do not dramatically add to overall income, they can provide some supplemental earnings. Part-time employees may be ineligible for benefits and bonuses or may receive a smaller package level.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates 13% growth between 2016 and 2026 in the need for sterile processing technicians. This growth is expected due to an increase in medical procedures that comes from an aging population, improved medical technology, and an increased access to healthcare. To work as a sterile processing technician, an associate’s degree is typically necessary with on-job training in specific procedures.
Sterile processing technicians earn lower incomes compared to some healthcare employees, but the pay is reflective of the level of education and training required for this career. Earnings can be further enhanced through bonus and benefit packages that are typically offered to full-time employees. Future need for this position is expected to grow in the coming years and support income levels while providing sufficient job opportunities.