Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Five year job forecast


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

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


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

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

Build your skills

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.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

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.

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