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Sterile services technician

Alternative titles for this job include Decontamination technician

Sterile services technicians clean and decontaminate equipment used in hospital operating theatres, clinics and wards.

Average salary (a year)

£18,005 Starter


£24,157 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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 that may give you an advantage when applying for trainee roles.

Courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science
  • A level Biology or Chemistry
  • T Level in Healthcare Science

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • A levels or equivalent qualifications
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information


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

More Information


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.

More Information

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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • observation and recording skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • 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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress in a decontamination sciences department to assistant manager, service manager or head of department. With additional training you may be able to move into other areas of healthcare or general health service management.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Healthcare Science Assistant Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £13,400.00 Annually
  • Location: Hills Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Courses In England

Applied Science

  • Start date: 01 September 2023
  • Location: London

Applied Science

  • Provider: WEALD SCHOOL, THE
  • Start date: 03 September 2023
  • Location: Billingshurst

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