Your Mother Always Wanted You to Be a Doctor, but You Just Don’t Like Blood?
A sterile processing technician is given reusable equipment and supplies after they’ve been used. They separate the items by type, taking them apart if necessary for a thorough cleaning. If any are broken or damaged, the technician throws them away safely. Most items have to be physically cleaned with equipment similar to a dish washing machine, then sterilized in a steamer known as an autoclave. Processing technicians act as storekeepers, keeping track of all inventory records on their equipment and supplies. They sort out orders for procedures or surgeons, arranging trays of instruments, equipment and supplies and send them out to the correct department.
In May 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated an approximate wage of $15.52 for sterile processing technicians, or $32,361 every year. At the entry level, the lowest paid equipment technician earned around $21,300 every year, or $10.20 an hour. The top 10% earned $45,631, or $21.95 an hour.
Wages for these technicians varied according to location and workplace. Technicians based in Massachusetts earned the country’s highest wage, an average of $40,300 every year. Alaska, Nevada, Hawaii and California gave above-average wages. At the other end of the scale, Alabama was the country’s lowest-paid, at $24,641 every year. General hospitals were the most standard workplace, paying an average of $32,431. Special hospitals paid around $36,321, while outpatient clinics paid $34,531.
A sterile processing technician learns their craft via on the job training or short-term certificate courses at a community college. Technicians who wish to advance in the industry can get a professional certification from the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management or get a degree in health care and be a supervisor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that 17% employment growth for these technicians is expected from now to 2020.