What Does a Sterilization Tech Do?

A sterilization tech is responsible for the sterilization of surgical instruments and equipment.

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A sterilization tech is responsible for operating autoclaves, which are machines that use steam to sterilize medical instruments. They also set up machines for surgical procedures and maintain a sterile environment in the operating room.

Sterilization techs must be able to work quickly and efficiently under pressure. They must also follow strict regulations to ensure that instruments are properly sanitized.

If you are interested in becoming a sterilization tech, you will need to complete a training program. Once you have completed your training, you will be able to take the certification exam.

What is a Sterilization Tech?

Sterilization techs are responsible for operating sterilization equipment in order to clean and disinfect tools, products, and materials. They typically work in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and clinics, but may also work in dental offices, veterinary clinics, and other facilities that require sterile conditions.

Sterilization techs must have a strong attention to detail in order to ensure that all items are properly sterilized. They must also be able to follow instructions carefully and adhere to strict safety protocols. In some cases, sterilization techs may be responsible for maintaining records of the items that have been sterilized.

The job outlook for sterilization techs is positive, with an expected growth of 12 percent from 2018 to 2028. The median annual salary for this position was $35,720 in 2018.

The Duties of a Sterilization Tech

A sterilization tech is responsible for cleaning and sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment. They also set up surgical trays, prepare patients for surgery, and maintain sterile fields during surgery. After surgery, they may assist in the recovery room.

Prepping the instruments

A sterilization tech is responsible for the cleaning and sterilization of surgical instruments and other medical equipment. They play a vital role in ensuring that patients are safe from infection and that medical staff have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

Sterilization techs typically work in hospitals, but may also work in outpatient surgery centers, dental offices, or other health care facilities. They typically report to a surgical services manager or supervisor.

The duties of a sterilization tech vary depending on their employer, but may include tasks such as:

– Inspecting instruments for signs of wear or damage
– Assembling surgical instruments for sterilization
– Operating sterilization equipment such as autoclaves
– Maintaining records of sterilized instruments and equipment
– Restocking shelves with sterilized instruments and supplies
– Performing basic maintenance on sterilization equipment

Operating the sterilization equipment

A sterilization technician is responsible for operating the sterilization equipment in a hospital or clinic. They must ensure that the equipment is set up properly and that all of the necessary supplies are available. They also need to monitor the progress of the sterilization process and make sure that it is completed correctly.

Maintaining sterilization records

Sterilization techs must maintain accurate and up-to-date sterilization records. This includes documenting each load of items that is processed, as well as the cycle parameters used. The records must be easily accessible to all staff members. Techs may also be responsible for maintaining the sterilization equipment and ensuring that it is functioning properly.

The Qualifications of a Sterilization Tech

A sterilization tech is a medical professional who is responsible for sterilizing medical instruments and equipment. Sterilization techs must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and must complete a training program or on-the-job training. They must also pass a certification exam.


The first step to becoming a sterilization tech is to have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Many employers prefer candidates who have some postsecondary education, and some may require certification. There are many ways to become certified, but most involve completing an accredited program and passing an exam.

While in high school, students can take classes that will better prepare them for the rigors of working in the medical field. Classes in biology, chemistry, and anatomy will give students a solid foundation on which to build their sterilization tech career. Many community colleges offer certification programs that take about one year to complete. These programs typically include courses in medical terminology, infection control, and safety procedures.


There are no formal educational requirements to become a sterilization tech, but most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a training program and/or have prior experience working in a healthcare setting. Many community colleges offer certification programs that can be completed in as little as four months, and some schools offer associate’s degree programs in sterilization technology.

Most certification programs include coursework in infection control, safety procedures, and the use of sterilization equipment. Sterilization techs must complete a written exam and may also be required to demonstrate their skill in using sterilization equipment. Some states require sterilization techs to be licensed or registered; requirements vary by state.

The Work Environment of a Sterilization Tech

Sterilization techs work in a clean and well-lit environment. They are usually responsible for sterilizing medical instruments and keeping the work area clean. Most of the time, sterilization techs work in hospitals or clinics.


Sterilization techs work in a variety of settings, but the majority are employed in hospitals. They may work in the operating room, in labor and delivery, or in other areas of the hospital where sterilization is needed. In smaller hospitals, they may be responsible for sterilizing all of the surgical instruments. In larger hospitals, they may specialize in a particular type of instrument or area.

Sterilization techs typically work full time, and their hours may include evenings, weekends, and holidays. They may work overtime to meet the demands of their job.

Dental Offices

Dental offices are usually small, fast-paced environments. There may be a lot of noise from the dental equipment, and the office may be busy and full of people coming and going. You’ll need to be able to work well under pressure and keep up with the fast pace.

Outpatient Surgical Centers

In an outpatient surgical center, you will find a variety of medical professionals working together as a team. The work environment is usually fast-paced and exciting. You will be required to work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other surgical techs. There may be times when you are called upon to work overtime or on weekends.

The Salary of a Sterilization Tech

The average salary for a Sterilization Technician is $14.54 per hour in the United States. experience and certifications can earn a sterilization tech much more than the average hourly rate. The highest paying skills associated with this job are Compliance Management and Regulatory Compliance.

The Job Outlook for a Sterilization Tech

A sterilization tech is a medical professional who is responsible for ensuring that surgical equipment and instruments are properly sterilized. This position is vital to the successful operation of any medical facility, as it helps to prevent the spread of infection and disease.

The job outlook for a sterilization tech is very positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for this profession will grow by 19% between now and 2026. This is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.


Sterilization techs are important members of the healthcare team. They play a vital role in preventing the spread of infection by sterilizing medical instruments and equipment. If you are interested in this field, you will need to complete a sterilization tech training program.

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