What does a Specimen Processor do?

Specimen processors work in laboratories and handle specimens including a bacteria culture or a blood sample. They prepare samples for laboratory analysis, collect samples from patients, assist medical staff, and perform data entry. They receive and open specimen bags and enter inventory, patient demographics, and test code into computer systems as part of the setup process. They prepare specimens for laboratory testing and analysis and ensure specimens and requisitions are labeled correctly.

Specimen processors validate requisitions against specimens before scanning them into the system and keeping a watchful eye for outside issues, including potential cross-contamination. Specimen processors must clean and maintain the laboratory and all equipment used, inform patients of the process, and answer any relevant or pressing questions, explaining safe specimen collection. When a patient provides an example, they inform them of any next steps or physician advice. Specimen processors need a high school diploma or equivalency, laboratory experience, and one year of similar work experience.

What responsibilities are common for Specimen Processor jobs?
  • Open specimens and pour off into secondary containers to prepare for analysis and testing.
  • Identify and processes orders for irretrievable body fluid specimens.
  • Data entry of patient information into the computer system for tracking purposes.
  • Manage performance and provide coaching for leader development and success.
  • Assist and instruct in the supervision of specialized technical skills requirements and work performance in the department.
  • Meet key production metrics and quality measures to ensure timely and accurate results.
  • Prioritize, clean, decontaminate, prepare, assemble, and sterilize instrument trays for daily and ongoing surgical needs.
  • Identify and escalate safety issues to lead technician or manager.
  • Perform QA check on items as being placed into case carts.
  • Identify problems area such as inefficiencies, equipment issues, staffing issues, and customer complaints and takes corrective action.
  • Clean and decontaminate patient equipment, sterilizes instruments and supplies using various type of sterilizers.
  • Assemble, inspect, and prepare instruments for proper sterilization methods.
  • Maintain sterile supplies according to facility policy and procedure.
  • Develop staffing models that support service needs and meet departmental budget targets.
What are the typical qualifications for Specimen Processor jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in science.
  • Dexterity and fluency with lab equipment including slides, workstations, and medical instrumentation.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and critical thinking skills.
  • Comfortable making decisions and leading with confidence.
  • Trained to work with pathogens.
  • Will exhibit a positive attitude and willingness to strengthen inner-lab workings.
Work/Life Balance
2.9 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.0 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Specimen Processor make near United States?

$40,443 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Specimen Processor Career Path

Learn how to become a Specimen Processor, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Specimen Processor

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Specimen Processor Insights

Read what Specimen Processor professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Quest DiagnosticsQuest Diagnostics
Specimen Processor
Jul 28, 2021

“This position provided me with much needed skills to start my career in an laboratory setting.”

Quest DiagnosticsQuest Diagnostics
Lab Specimen Processor
Nov 4, 2021

“It’s good and good pay”

Centura HealthCentura Health
Certified Sterile Processing Tech
Oct 31, 2021

“Pay was pretty good and over time pay was nice.”

Clinical Laboratory Accessioner
Jul 24, 2021

“It would be nice to have better pay and clearer paths to increase pay or get promoted.”

Legacy HealthLegacy Health
Central Sterile Processing Technician
Jul 12, 2023

“Everyone gets the same pay raise no matter what do there is no incentive to try harder for some people.”

Banner HealthBanner Health
Certified Sterile Processing Technician
Aug 14, 2021

“If I had to pick something I would have to say better pay of course.”

Northwest LaboratoryNorthwest Laboratory
Specimen Processor I
Jul 30, 2021

“There is usually a surplus of work to do so there is a lot of opportunity for overtime.”

Pathline Emerge Pathology ServicesPathline Emerge Pathology Services
Aug 14, 2022

“Pay is not the best”

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Specimen Processor Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Specimen Processor

The most similar professions to Specimen Processor are:
  • Medical Laboratory Tech
  • Phlebotomist
  • Clinical Laboratory Technologist
  • Medical Technologist

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Specimen Processor Jobs