Sterile services technician


Career outlook for sterile services technician

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would make sure that medical equipment is kept clean and safe for use with patients. You might look after items used in hospital wards, clinics or operating theatres.

You would:

  • Collect items from wards, clinics and operating theatres
  • Take apart items for cleaning
  • Clean and sterilise all items
  • Put pieces back together
  • Check that all items work and are clean
  • Deliver sterile items by trolley, to wards and departments
  • Restock supplies of items such as dressings and syringes
  • Operate a steam sterilising machine

You would use specialised equipment to clean large items.

It would be important to follow health and safety rules at all times.

Youcan see more about this role on the Decontamination and sterile services page on the NHS Careers website.

Working conditions


You may be required to work within a 24-hour shift system, operating seven days a week. You may also cover an on-call rota.


This work can be physically demanding and involve lifting equipment and pushing heavy trolleys. You would work in the sterile services department of a hospital, and wear protective clothing such as gloves and face visors. Your working conditions could be humid when operating sterilising equipment.

UK employment status





Self employed


Create a qualification route

We've found some examples of the qualifications that could help you get this job.

Discover my route

Search course options

Thinking about your future? There are lots of courses available that could interest you. Use our course search to explore course options.

Find courses

Search job opportunities

If you're looking for your new career our job search can help you. Discover interesting opportunities and decide your next steps.

Find a job

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Resilience
  • Cooperating
  • Reading
  • Verbal communication
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Managing resources
  • Taking initiative
  • Reliable

Skills Explorer

Your skills can help you choose the career that's right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.

Use the Skills Explorer tool

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but most employers value a good general education. Some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Administration
  • ICT

You will also need

  • Clear handwriting for labelling the packs
  • Basic IT skills
  • Good eyesight for close work
  • No skin problems
  • To be physically fit and strong

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show understanding of the sector and of the requirements for sterile conditions such as Skills for Work Health Sector (SCQF level 4/5) or Laboratory Science (SCQF level 5).

A driving licence.

Explore more information about this job