Sterile Processing

Career OneStop Occupation Profile

Medical Equipment Preparers

Description: what do they do?

Prepare, sterilize, install, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

Also known as:

Instrument Technician, Central Sterile Supply Technician (CSS Technician), Central Processing Technician (CPT), Sterile Preparation Technician, Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST), Central Service Technician (CST), Sterilization Technician, Sterile Technician, Sterile Processing Technician, Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (SPD Technician)

Career video

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Outlook: will there be jobs?

New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

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Projected employment

California United States
2014 Employment
2014 Employment
2024 Employment
2024 Employment
Percent change
Percent change
Annual projected job openings
Annual projected job openings

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Typical wages
Annual wages for Medical Equipment Prepares in California

Location California United States
10% $27,510 $23,610
25% $33,310 $28,060
Median $43,080 $34,400
75% $55,630 $41,860
90% $64,590 $50,620

Education and experience: to get started

People starting in this career usually have:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

  • Sterile Processing Technology/Technician

Typical education

How much education do most people in this career have?

Certifications: show your skills

Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:

  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

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Licenses: do you need one?

Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.
Find license details for your state

Apprenticeships: learn on the job

Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

  • Clean medical equipment.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Operate medical equipment.
  • Prepare medical instruments or equipment for use.
  • Record vital statistics or other health information.
  • Monitor medical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Inventory medical supplies or equipment.
  • Stock medical or patient care supplies.
  • Attend educational events to update medical knowledge.


People in this career often know a lot about:

  • 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.
  • Biology – Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.


People in this career often have these skills:

  • Critical Thinking – Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Monitoring – Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Quality Control Analysis – Testing how well a product or service works.


People in this career often have talent in:

  • Near Vision – Seeing details up close.
  • Problem Sensitivity – Noticing when problems happen.
  • Oral Comprehension – Listening and understanding what people say

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This information was retrieved on 2/10/2018 at 7:43 PM Eastern Time from Occupation Profile at CareerOneStop (, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
Wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program. (
Education information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections. (
Information on Occupational Description, Interests and Tasks comes from the Occupation Information Network. (

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