Prepare for Your Annual Review: Sterile Processing

Selendra Barefield
7 min readSep 9, 2022


Selendra Barefield B.S, CRCST, CHL, CIS

September 09, 2022

One would assume that exerting effort, performing well, and achieving results would ensure a favorable annual review and a respectable pay raise. That may be true for some businesses. However, in many organizations, performing well is not enough to ensure a respectable raise. On the other hand, you might receive a wage consistent with your accomplishments if you invest some of the same energy into ensuring that the right people know you’re doing a good job. In this article, we will discuss a few ways you can start preparing for your annual review and ask for the raise that you deserve.

Warning: Prepare for your annual review before the end of the year. Warning! This material is for top performers and top performers to be. This material is not for slackers. Slackers will be embarrassed by their boss if they ask for a raise at the end of the year. Slackers should be surprised they have a job at the end of the year.

In this Annual Review Worksheet, you will:

  • Identify what you want
  • Gather supporting data
  • I will ask you a few questions to get started.

What do you want?

Take time to sit back and think about this question. Do you want a flexible schedule, autonomy, a promotion, or additional responsibility? Take a piece of paper and write down at least ten things you want. Yes, ten. You can narrow it down later. Don’t take a day or two; sit back now and jot down ten things you want. Don’t be afraid to dream big!

Be specific. If you want more money, how much money do you want? An extra $2 per hour? That's an extra $320 per month for full-time workers. Is that enough? If you plan on asking for a raise, you will need to prove you deserve it. This will require gathering data.

Where is your data to back it up?

If you want a pay increase, you need to know what the market is willing to pay for your experience, skills, education, etc. Ask yourself, "How much are people being paid for the same job title or responsibilities that you have?" Do they have the same education and experience?

Start by asking individuals with similar education and experience as you. I know it’s a touchy question, so maybe you can ask them the pay "range." You can ask the question on Facebook; I see people doing it all the time. Next, find reliable sources to collect your data. I have a website with eight reliable resources. Pay Tools Click Here


  1. Will your employer pay you more money for additional certifications or a degree? If so, how much more? Maybe this is a question for your Human Resources Department.
  2. Have your job duties increased since your last annual review? For example, were you hired as a Technician, and now you’re training new employees, ordering instruments, holding meetings, etc.? What are the additional responsibilities?

If you answered yes, it’s time to take to the streets. In addition to using the website link above, you can search Google, Indeed, Monster, and Facebook Job Groups. I will give you a tip, Government jobs like Universities and Veterans Affairs (V.A.) have pay ranges on their websites. Both organizations have Sterile Processing Departments.

The Job Post

You must understand how to decipher the job posting. The information in the post has a direct impact on how much the company is willing to pay. The job posting will have a few basic components; the job title, description, education, and experience requirements. You may have room to negotiate higher pay if they require or prefer the following:

  1. Certification
  2. Degree
  3. Years of experience.
  4. A long list of duties that require you to spend a great deal of time at work. For example, a manager who's required to be available 24 hours, or a supervisor who’s also the educator and coordinator.

How much are you worth? Many times, we don’t know our worth. As a result, we settle for pay and positions that are below our skills. We show up to work, get the job done, and go home. We don’t realize that we are above average, above our pay grade, and above our job title. We get it done. If this is you, ask your co-workers what you do exceptionally well. Ask yourself, have your education, experience, and duties changed since you were hired? Did you originally apply for a job that didn’t require everything you now have? Use the feedback from your co-workers and the reassessment of yourself to update your resume. I have a link for resumes too. Resume Ready Link.

What are your accomplishments? For example, I created a Facebook group for my department. The Facebook group was created to share industry-related news and videos. Have you increased the workflow by rearranging the wrap station or creating a priority cart?

What are your weaknesses? What mistakes have you made? This is important because you will be able to articulate how you were able to solve problems and overcome your weaknesses. We want to show them you are self-aware.

Why do you deserve a pay increase?

  • The local market has increased pay
  • Your job duties have increased
  • You have a new certifications or degree

Remember, you will need to justify asking for a pay increase.

Let’s increase your skills. I have five easy ways you can increase your skills before your next annual review.

Suggestion 1. Start networking with people in your field that are where you want to be. For example, if you’re in a supervisor’s role and want to move into an educator’s role, connect with educators. This will give you the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at their challenges, victories, and opportunities. You can use that information to start acting like an educator now.

Suggestion 2. Join groups: Mastermind groups, leadership groups, human resource groups, etc. The purpose is to increase your knowledge and skills in areas that interest you.

Suggestion 3. Show that you are an expert. Learn everything that you possibly can about one subject. They say, “if you know 10% more than the average person, you’re an expert”. Who are "they?" I have no idea, but I like the concept.

Suggestion 4. Take an online course. There are lots of free and cheap resources out there. For example, Udemy has free and low-cost courses. If you want to be better at negotiating, take a course. If you want to learn Excel, take a course.

Suggestion 5. Travel as a Sterile Processing Technician. This is a great way to increase your skills and knowledge. You will have the opportunity to see so many different things. In my opinion, traveling for one year is equal to two years of experience. You see and learn a lot.

Time to ask for it. Ask for a position that does not exist. It sounds crazy, but if you are solving problems or taking care of a need, you are adding value. For example, if you:

  • Handle most or all of the vendor sets
  • Vendor come to you for questions
  • You have all the contact information for the vendors

Guess what? You are solving a problem and satisfying a need. You are a Vendor Coordinator. If you get the title without the pay, it’s still a win-win for you. Why? You can use the Coordinator's job title to negotiate your pay elsewhere. BOOM!

ASK for Pay and More

  1. Ask for pay for performance or a bonus. This can work if a big project takes place or you have a track record of making things happen.
  2. Ask for new projects now so that you can build your skills and make an impact before your annual review. You will use this to negotiate a higher wage.
  3. Ask for additional vacation time, PTO, a flexible work shift, a split shift, 3/12 or 4/10s. Ask for PRN so you can find another job but keep the one you have.
  4. Ask for cell phone subsidies or a paid trip to the HSPA conference.
  5. Ask them to pay for industry-related memberships or workshops?

Listen, we all want to get paid, which is why you must prepare for your annual review in advance.

Warning. Just because you prepared for the review doesn’t mean you will get any of the things you asked for. However, be creative, and ask for more than just money. Ask for things that will save you money.

Check out this website to get an idea of the employee benefits you can ask for during your negotiation. Employee Benefits. If you want more information like this, please check out my social media group, Sterile Processing Grapevine, and the links below.





Selendra Barefield

I have worked in SPD for 11 years. My roles have been, technician, traveler, lead tech, supervisor, educator and recruiter.