Medical Equipment Preparers
31-9093.00

Prepare, sterilize, install, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

Sample of reported job titles: Central Processing Technician (CPT), Central Service Technician (CST), Central Sterile Supply Technician (CSS Technician), Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST), Instrument Technician, Sterile Preparation Technician, Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (SPD Tech), Sterile Processing Technician (Sterile Processing Tech), Sterile Technician, Sterilization Technician

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Operate and maintain steam autoclaves, keeping records of loads completed, items in loads, and maintenance procedures performed.
  • Clean instruments to prepare them for sterilization.
  • Record sterilizer test results.
  • Organize and assemble routine or specialty surgical instrument trays or other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed.
  • Examine equipment to detect leaks, worn or loose parts, or other indications of disrepair.
  • Report defective equipment to appropriate supervisors or staff.
  • Maintain records of inventory or equipment usage and order medical instruments or supplies when inventory is low.
  • Stock crash carts or other medical supplies.
  • Start equipment and observe gauges and equipment operation to detect malfunctions and to ensure equipment is operating to prescribed standards.
  • Check sterile supplies to ensure that they are not outdated.
  • Attend hospital in-service programs related to areas of work specialization.
  • Disinfect and sterilize equipment, such as respirators, hospital beds, or oxygen or dialysis equipment, using sterilizers, aerators, or washers.
  • Purge wastes from equipment by connecting equipment to water sources and flushing water through systems.
  • Deliver equipment to specified hospital locations or to patients' residences.
  • Install and set up medical equipment, using hand tools.
  • Assist hospital staff with patient care duties, such as providing transportation or setting up traction.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 72% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 67% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 59% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure — 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 51% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 47% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Very important results.”
  • Physical Proximity — 47% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Deal With External Customers — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 49% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 36% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Consequence of Error — 40% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 31% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 28% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 44%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 31%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 15%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

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Interests

Interest code: RCI
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$18.37 hourly, $38,220 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
58,700 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
7,900
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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