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Sterile Processing Technician Major

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Sterile Processing Technician

24 Associates's Degrees Annually
#184 in Popularity (Associate's)
$37,990 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Sterile Processing Technician Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many sterile processing technology/technician graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 654
Undergraduate Certificate 377
Associate’s Degree 24

What Sterile Processing Technician Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, sterile processing technology/technician majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Sterile Processing Technology/Technician Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in sterile processing technology/technician should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills for Sterile Processing Technology/Technician Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to sterile processing technology/technician:

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  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Abilities for Sterile Processing Technology/Technician Majors

Sterile Processing Technology/Technician majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

What Can You Do With a Sterile Processing Technician Major?

People with a sterile processing technology/technician degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Medical Equipment Preparers 11.1% $36,240
Surgical Technologists 11.7% $47,300

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Sterile Processing Technician?

24 Associate's Degrees Annually
92% Percent Women
4% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 92% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of sterile processing technology/technician majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1
Black or African American 0
Hispanic or Latino 0
White 22
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 1

How Much Do Sterile Processing Technician Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $37,990 to $49,040 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to sterile processing technology/technician. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Sterile Processing Technician Major  ( 37990 to 49040 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with sterile processing technology/technician require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for sterile processing technology/technician careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 24.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 31.6%
Some College Courses 14.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 22.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 7.6%
Master’s Degree 0.9%

Online Sterile Processing Technician Programs

In 2018-2019, 62 schools offered a sterile processing technology/technician program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 43 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 20 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 2 0
Bachelor’s Degree 1 0
Post-Baccalaureate 43 2
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Sterile Processing Technician Worth It?

The median salary for a sterile processing technology/technician grad is $37,990 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to sterile processing technology/technician.

Major Number of Grads
Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist 8,031
Laboratory Technician 4,117
Laboratory Sciences & Medical Technology 3,100
Other Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science and Allied Professions 785
Renal/Dialysis Technologist/Technician 370
Hematology Technology/Technician 278
Blood Bank Technology Specialist 262
Histologic Technician 252
Histologic Technology/Histotechnologist 109
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technology/Technician 64
Cytotechnology/Cytotechnologist 56
Cytogenetics/Genetics/Clinical Genetics Technology/Technologist 33

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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