Sterilising Technician Kaihangarau Whakahoromata

Sterilising technicians clean, sterilise and package surgical instruments and other hospital equipment, soft goods and linen in a sterilisation unit.

The New Zealand Sterile Services Association recommends that sterilising technicians register with them.

Sterilising technicians may do some or all of the following:

  • clean and disassemble surgical equipment and instruments
  • load, operate and empty washing and sterilising machines
  • reassemble and repackage equipment and instruments for different operations
  • ensure sterile instruments and equipment are clean and working properly, and are distributed to hospital surgical wards as ordered
  • answer customer requests for information about the sterile service
  • keep records of sterilised equipment.

Physical Requirements

Sterilising technicians need to have good hand-eye co-ordination.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for sterilising technicians includes work in health administration or health services.

Personal Qualities

Sterilising technicians need to be able to:

  • pay attention to detail
  • follow instructions
  • work as part of a team with other health professionals.


Sterilising technicians need to have knowledge of:

  • sterilising techniques, and surgical equipment and instruments
  • safe working practices including appropriate protective clothing.


Sterilising technicians:

  • usually work rostered shifts and may work weekdays, nights and/or weekends
  • work in the sterilising units of public and private hospitals and clinics.

Sterilising Technicians can earn around $47K-$56K per year.

Pay rates for sterilising technicians varies depending on experience and qualifications. 

  • Sterilising technicians who are working and training usually start on minimum wage.
  • Qualified sterilising technicians can earn up to $56,000 a year.
  • Senior sterilising technicians and those with extra skills or responsibilities can earn between $57,000 and $67,000.

Source: Rest of NZ DHBs, PSA, ‘Allied, Public Health and Technical Multi Employer Collective Agreement’, 2020.

Sterilising technicians may progress to become team leaders or anaesthetic technicians.

Years Of Training

2 years of training usually required.

To become a sterilising technician you need to:

  • gain a position as a trainee sterilising technician
  • study for a New Zealand Certificate in Sterilising Technology (Level 3) from Open Polytechnic. Most sterilising technicians study by correspondence while working and training on the job.
Sterilising Technician