Traveling sterile processing technician in action, maintaining and sterilizing medical equipment.

The Top 10 Cities for Traveling Sterile Processing Tech Salaries

May Baker
June 20, 2023

Today’s healthcare depends on traveling medical professionals to deliver competent care. If a hospital is short-staffed or needs to reach rural areas in a crisis, positions like traveling sterile processing techs are necessary to help people receive the care they need. If you're considering a travel assignment, what can you expect with a travel sterile processing technician salary?

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What is a traveling sterile processing technician
  • What is the average salary of a traveling sterile processing technician
  • Which cities pay the most
  • What factors influence a traveling sterile processing technician’s salary

What is a Traveling Sterile Processing Technician?

A traveling sterile processing tech is a healthcare professional that travels to different healthcare facilities to maintain and sterilize medical equipment. Their primary responsibility is ensuring that medical centers maintain a high level of hygiene and safety standards, and assisting with regulatory and compliance issues. Equipment and tools are sterilized with various machines, like ultrasonic cleaners, steam autoclaves, or gas plasma sterilizers, so having experience and training in operating them is a requirement.  

Infection control is a foundational requirement in any medical setting, so sterile processing techs are vital to other healthcare workers performing their roles. Sterile processing techs have little to no patient contact and often operate in a Central Supply Department. They may also be referred to as Central Service Technicians.  

Your duties include disassembling, inspecting, cleaning, disinfecting, and repacking tools and equipment. Common equipment includes surgical instruments, IV pumps, respiratory equipment, vital sign machines, and more. After sterilizing and repackaging or wrapping equipment, techs may restock supply rooms for future use.  

What is The Average Traveling Sterile Processing Technician’s Salary?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual wage for medical equipment preparers, which includes traveling sterile processing techs and other professionals that involve “sterilizing, installing, or cleaning healthcare equipment,” was $41,480 as of May 2022. ZipRecruiter reports a more recent travel sterile processing tech salary of $62,336 annually, $1,198 per week, or $30.00 per hour.  

Advantis Medical offers travel sterile processing tech assignments in multiple states, all with weekly wages above $1,600 - much higher than ZipRecruiter reports.  

Traveling allows you the flexibility and freedom to choose where you want to work. The most populated areas often offer the highest rates but also have higher cost of living expenses. The top 10 cities in the U.S. with the highest average travel sterile processing salaries are listed below.  

City and State Yearly Salary
Fremont, CA $77,177
San Jose, CA $74,156
Diamond Ridge, AK $73,868
Oakland, CA $73,581
Jackson, WY $73,568
Vallejo, CA $72,288
Hayward, CA $71,955
Seattle, WA $71,908
Santa Barbara, CA $71,344
Yonkers, NY $71,232
Accurate as of 04/25/2023

What Factors Influence a Traveling Sterile Processing Technician's Salary?

Your years of experience, education, certifications, and place of employment are all factors that affect your pay rate.

Job Title & Type

Your job title and specialty as a travel sterile processing tech may influence your pay. According to ZipRecruiter, job titles with the highest paying salary for sterile processing techs are:  

  • SPT Travel - $94,247
  • Sterile Processing Manager - $84,275
  • Sterilization Specialist - $80,350
  • Vice President Sterile Processing Technician - $79,069

Due to flexibility requirements and frequent relocation, travel positions tend to pay more than permanent staff positions. ZipRecruiter reports that in all states except one, permanent sterile processing techs make under $60,000 per year.  

Job Growth

The BLS predicts a 17% growth for medical equipment preparers between 2021 and 2031, higher than all medical and nonmedical occupations. With over 7,700 new jobs each year, the opportunities for sterile processing techs are booming. Travel opportunities remain in demand because they offer a flexible solution for clinics or facilities experiencing staff shortages or an increase in medical conditions that require specialized equipment.

Place of Employment

Travel sterile processing techs work in any healthcare facility with equipment that needs sterilization. BLS statistics report these work environments as the most popular for this position:


  • Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers - 37%  
  • Hospitals (state, local, and private) - 12%  
  • Ambulatory healthcare services - 9%  
  • Rental and leasing services - 5%  
  • Health and personal care stores - 5%  

Education, Experience, Training, and Certification

Most sterile processing technicians have an Associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology. Since each piece of medical equipment requires different repair and sterilization techniques, a technician with experience with a wide array of equipment is most beneficial.

Compared to other traveling healthcare positions, there aren’t any specific certifications that sterile processing technicians must have. The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation offers different credentials, like a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET). Other options are the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) or the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA). Employers may offer higher compensation based on additional training or certifications.

Your ability to work flexible schedules, operate in multiple settings, and sterilize an array of medical tools will land you higher-paying travel jobs. Travel sterile processing techs who communicate well with other team members and have a strong attention to detail can expect success in their traveling careers.

Advantis Medical offers competitive pay packages, housing, and medical coverage for allied health travelers. Log into AdvantisConnect to begin your adventure as a travel sterile processing technician.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some benefits of becoming a traveling sterile processing tech?

  • Exploring new places and cultures  
  • Receiving additional benefits like housing, travel compensation, and health insurance  
  • Opportunities to enhance skills with diverse populations  

How do I become a traveling sterile processing tech?

To become a travel sterile processing tech, an Associate's degree in biomedical equipment technology is recommended. There are also non-degree programs for sterile processing.  

What is the average traveling sterile processing tech salary?

The average traveling sterile processing technician’s salary is $62,336.

What are similar careers to traveling sterile processing techs?

Sterile processing technicians may choose to enter related professions as a Surgical Technologist (ST), laboratory technician, EKG technician, or other imaging technician.

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