Sterile Processing / Central Service is an emerging occupation and will expand as health-care becomes more specialized.
Employment of Sterile Processing technicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2010 as the volume of surgery increases. The number of surgical procedures is expected to rise as the population grows and ages. Technological advances, such as fiber optics, laser technology, robotics and interventional radiology will also introduce new surgical procedures and equipment.
Hospitals will continue as the primary employer of Sterile Processing / Central Service technicians, although some employment growth is expected in offices and clinics of physicians, including ambulatory surgical centers, as well as nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
With additional training, some technicians advance to senior technicians, who provide technical and functional supervision to other central service personnel.
Median annual earnings of Sterile Processing / Central Service technicians in 2006 were $30,568. Salaries ranged from $24,450 to $36,604.
The above information is from the Mayo Clinic website: http://www.mayo.edu/mshs/cst-career.html
For more information, please also visit the U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Surgical Technologists.