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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)

£22,000 Starter


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 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 Sterile services technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


Courses which may give you an advantage when applying for trainee roles 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 Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship or a Healthcare Science Associate Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship.

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 might have an advantage when looking for jobs if you have volunteering experience in a healthcare setting.

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, in English and maths.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join 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

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 a sterile services technician, you could:

  • collect, clean and sterilise equipment
  • check that all instruments are clean and working
  • deliver sterile supplies 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 become a supervisor or manager in a decontamination sciences department.

With further 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

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  • Wage: £22,383 a year Annually
  • Location: Dudley Road, Birmingham

Courses In England

Applied Science

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: London

Applied Science

  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Leeds

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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