How to become a sterile services technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could do a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science or A level Biology or Chemistry. This may give you an advantage when applying for a trainee job after you finish.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science

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You could start by taking a healthcare science intermediate apprenticeship or higher apprenticeship for healthcare science associates.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

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You can get some work experience by volunteering in the NHS. This could help if you apply for an apprenticeship or a job.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got some of the relevant skills and experience needed for this role.

There are no set requirements but you'll usually need good literacy and numeracy skills. Some employers may ask for GCSEs or equivalent.

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Professional and industry bodies

You could join organisations like The Institute of Decontamination Sciences for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in sterile services from Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • knowledge of English language
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As part of your day-to-day duties, you could:

  • collect re-usable medical and surgical instruments and devices from wards, clinics and operating theatres
  • take apart pieces of equipment to clean
  • clean and sterilise equipment
  • put equipment back together when sterilised
  • check that all instruments are clean and working properly
  • deliver sterile supplies by trolley to wards and departments
  • restock supplies of items like dressings, needles and syringes
  • operate a steam sterilising machine

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and humid.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to assistant manager, service manager, head of department or general health service management.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Healthcare Science Apprentice

  • Wage: £11,000.00 Annually
  • Location:

Courses In England

Certificate in Applied Science

  • Start date: 03 September 2021
  • Location: Aylesbury


  • Start date: 07 September 2021
  • Location: Oldham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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