The year 2017 brings forth for the sterile processing technicians a median salary with an average of $34,392 per year, according to the salary data surveys posted by PayScale. The starting hourly wage payment for these professionals was comprised between $12 per hour and up to $17 per hour, and with experience it could climb up to $24 per hour. These estimations tended to vary also according to the place of work and the specific employer.
How much does a Sterile Processing Technician make?
The income of a sterile processing technician was described lower than the average, these professionals obtaining a median annual salary that reached only at $32,262 per year.
There is no exact salary information for the sterile processing technician salaries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics since in their surveys they were grouped with other medical equipment preparers. In their opinion, the earnings for medical equipment preparers in May 2016 where estimated at a median annual wage that reached at $33,034 per year.
The starting hourly wage payment for these professionals was comprised between $12 per hour and up to $17 per hour, and with experience it could climb up to $24 per hour. These estimations tended to vary also according to the place of work and the specific employer. Most individuals that were working as sterile processing technicians with a full-time schedule could have expected to have full-time benefits such as paid holidays as well as health insurances.
Salary of a Sterile Processing Technician in 2016
The starting point in this career is estimated only at $24,256 per year with an opportunity to climb up to $49,199 per year. The granted bonuses start at $0.66 and can go up to $1,988 while the profit sharing reaches at $4,010 per year. This will lead in the end at a total payment that starts at $22,652 per year and goes up to $43,147 per year.
There are certain factors that influence a sterile processing technician salary such as the geographical location in the state in which you are, the years of experience as well as the specific type of employment. To the geographical location contribute as well other particular and specific factors such as the costs of living and the living expenses in that area or region. The vast majority of professionals that are working in this profession according to the surveys are women rather than men.
When it comes to the level of experience, an entry-level sterile processing technician with up to 5 years of work and practice earns around $29,010 per year. At the same time, a professional with up to 10 years of work in this field takes home around $33,010 per year. Those who are considered to be experienced with up to 20 years of experience gain around $35,010 per year, while the veterans with more than 20 years of experience in the field earn an income that reaches at $37,010 per year.
The national average for the incomes of sterile processing technicians is estimated all across the United States to reach at $30,764 per year. According to each geographical location there are differences in the earnings of these professionals. Large paychecks are offered in cities such as Portland with earnings that are above the national average reaching at a total median payment of $40,408 per year, followed by Boston that grants these professionals earnings that reach at $39,030 per year, as well as Philadelphia with median average incomes estimated at $37,539 per year.
On the other side below the national average can be found cities such as Atlanta that grants incomes that reach only at $30,506 per year, as well as Richmond with a provided median payment that gets around $27,792 per year. Lastly, there is also Tampa that offers only $30,414 per year.
Sterile Processing Technician salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom
In Canada, the average annual income for a sterile processing technician is comprised between C$24,794 per year and up to C$50,855 per year. The hourly payment for a starting hourly wage ranges between C$11.85 up to C$24.78 per hour. To the annual income paycheck a bonus will also be added, and that bonus is estimated at about C$300.51.
In Australia, the yearly income for these professionals that are already on the third level has an average that ranges between AU$51,475 per year and up to AU$54,546 per year with the possibility to be increased at an annual income that will range between AU$64,319 per year and up to AU$69,877 per year. The hourly wage in this profession varies between AU$13.01 and up to AU$20.05 per hour.
In the UK, the average expected income for a sterile processing technician reaches at around £14,079 per year while the median income is estimated to be at £13,234 per year, with an hourly average that gets at £7.05 per hour. One of the main factors that contributes in this country to an increase is the age. For instance, a sterile processing technician that is in his 20s can expect at an income of around £10,560 per year, while on in his or her 30s will take home around £13,798 per year. The earnings have a stable and constant increase, leading those who are in their 40s or 50s to earn around £16,332 per year.
Sterile Processing Technician Career
What is a Sterile Processing Technician?
A sterile processing technician is considered to be one of the vital healthcare workers. Why? Because without them doing their job, the patients will not receive any of the surgical assistance and a lot more, meaning that individuals will lose their lives based on untreated medical conditions or from causes of infections. The job duties and tasks impact and affect almost every department within any modern hospital as well as surgical center.
These professionals are responsible with the sterile process and with the cleaning of tens of thousands of used and reused surgical instruments, as well as other supplies that are medical. All these medical instruments after the process of sterilization that is being done in a special department of the medical institution, are placed back into their appropriate sets and without any hesitation they will be safely reused on new patients. Usually the supplies that are reusable are designed to come with their own instructions about the maintenance and the cleaning process.
Job description of a Sterile Processing Technician
Each sterile processing technician might have various and different responsibilities and work duties according to the area of the central service department in which they were asked to work in. There is plenty of common ground due to the rotation that they are planned to do through different areas. Most of these areas share common tasks – even though these professionals might not perform all of them in the same day.
The typical job duties will involve tasks such as the decontamination process that is applied to the used surgical instruments as well as other medical supplies or devices. On the same line they have to make sure that the inspected items that were decontaminated are clean, and be able to operate and maintain the required decontamination equipment such as the special automatic washers. The next in line is the process of assembling the clean items and packing them into appropriate sets, as well as instrument trays.
Other responsibilities that sterile processing technicians fulfill are sterilizing the gathered trays of instruments, keeping records that have detailed information of the items that went through the process of cleaning, sterilizing and storing as well as keep records explaining the maintenance of the equipment. At the same time make sure that the sterilized supplies do not become outdated, remove any waste from the equipment that was used as well as report any malfunction that can occur with the equipment, organize the sterilize medical supply or supplies, and various other duties that are linked with this career field.
Working in this profession includes a set of skills that are a necessity in order to fulfill well the tasks and the job. A sterile processing technician is the main responsible person for knowing how to use a variety of special tools and how to sterilize equipment such as steam autoclaves, bar-code readers as well as gas and chemical sterilizers. They need to be able to use in a proper way the PPE or else known as the personal protective equipment that usually includes rubber gloves, face shields and gowns.
These professionals need to be able to follow any given instructions, as well as know how to use the computer software for supplying the chain management and for the database. With all the changing technology and the work regulations, sterile processing technicians must be well informed and keep the pace.
How to become a Sterile Processing Technician?
If your dream is to become a sterile processing technician then you should check out all the educational steps required to get to your first job as one, as well as the details of this job. These professionals are that part of the medical team that are involved in controlling any infection to burst out in a medical workplace.
Like in any other requirements, the first one is to have completed high-school and have your degree or the equivalent of it – the GED – along with some solid classes in science. Most of the sterile processing technician programs are to be found in various institutions such as career or community colleges, or even you can choose the option for online classes.
The length of the studies varies according to the accredited chosen program and the facility. For instance some of the career colleges offer sterile processing technician programs that can last up to 10 weeks, while the community colleges provide students with programs that last between 1 and 2 years.
Other sterile processing technicians programs are based on the traditional curriculum of instructions that are combined with the practical part that usually includes a hands-on training. This practical part is usually being held in various medical facilities such as surgery and medical centers or hospitals. For a better understanding of what each of these programs entail, check out some of the industry oriented websites or with the school programs that are provided in your region.
Checking out various program options you’ll find out that their curricula for courses varies from a school to another. However – in general lines – you’ll discover that your classes are likely to have integrated courses on subjects that include medical fundamentals such as: control of the infection, anatomy and physiology as well as medical terminology and microbiology. The basics of the sterile processing can include various activities such as disinfection, the decontamination of tools and processes, the safety protocols, standards as well as regulations, assembling of the instrumental trays that are surgical, the low and the high temperature that sterilization methods require, as well as others.
The experience that you gather on the job is crucial, but you can start by getting this through jobs or by enrolling into an official certification program. The last step after graduation is to obtain your certification. Currently there are only two states: New York and New Jersey that require by law that these professionals must have a certification while in many other job openings gaining certification is one of the employers’ requirements.
There are two types of certifications for sterile processing technicians that can be obtained. One is the CBSPD or else known as the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution while the other one is the IAHCSMM or else known as the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management. Each of these certifications has different requirements that are to be fulfilled so before getting in all the process, make sure that you find out all the information you need for passing the exam.
Work Environment and Schedule
There are plenty of working options for sterile processing technicians from medical facilities such as hospitals, surgical clinics or centers, up to physician’s and dental offices, or working environments that are specialized such as animal hospitals or pediatric medicine or biotech. These professionals in a majority of cases are assigned with different roles each day, so they don’t have time to get bored since each day is a new one.
The working environment is usually one that is fast-paced, innovative and constantly changing. On a general line, the working environment is located outside the operating room, even though it will vary according to each facility.
The shifts vary greatly according to each working environment but mainly there are to be taken into account three shifts that are usually offered by a majority of available positions. Typically the shifts start at 7:30 or even earlier at 6:30, depending on the facility and it can last up to 3:30 p.m. or last up to 2:30 p.m. The second shift can start up at 3:00 p.m. and end up at 11:00 p.m., while the last one can start at 11:00 p.m. and last up to 7:30 a.m. The job duties will continue all throughout the day and night, each Sterile Processing Technician taking over where the previous one left the job in subsequent shifts.
Pros and cons of being a Sterile Processing Technician
Like in any other job, you’ll find out that there are advantages and disadvantages of the career. For instance, becoming a sterile processing technician includes only a few educational steps and requirements that means that in no time you’ll be out there putting in practice everything that you’ve learned or you’re about to learn. Depending on the state and the region as well as the employer, you might need only your high-school diploma, the rest of it being taught at the working site.
Another pro involves the opportunity of being part of a surgical team where you’ll get to help a lot of patients to feel better. At the same time, this can be classified as a huge reward that will be kept in the minds and the hearts of those who you offered the constant help to. In this career field there are a lot of advancement opportunities that are standing right at your door. With further training and a correct educational career path, you can become a surgical technologist.
When it comes to the job outlook, the employment growth announced over the next years has a projection of 14% that is good since there will always be openings in this career field. On the other side there are also the drawbacks that arise such as a median income that is quite low. The median income for 2016 reaches at $34,392 per year, meaning that half of the individuals that are working as Sterile Processing Technicians will make less while another half above. Mainly the earnings that are received in this profession are taken into account based on several influential factors.
The job duties can involve a lot of time heavy lifting, so you’ll have to be in a fit shape for such a responsibility, as well as the fact that you’ll be working a lot of hours around blood. If you think that you have the tenure for this and the guts and you would really like doing such a job then nothing else will stop you from fulfilling your dream. Another con involves the working hourly schedule that will include standing on your feet for a long period of time.
Conclusion on the Sterile Processing Technician Salary
Many of the earnings in this profession vary according to several factors that usually affect the costs of living and the living expenses in each particular area.
Even though the earnings are not that high working in this environment conditions, if you truly like it is worth it. You don’t have to worry that much about the educational path since the steps that you need to follow are not hard and it’s easy to find the right information that you need. A sterile processing technician plays a key role in controlling the environment in which other healthcare providers are working, offering all the time a safe, clean and protected working environment. Thus, working as one of these professionals will ensure that you feel important, being of a positive impact on others.