Instead, the youngster has been handed his maiden call-up to the Under-21s.
Liverpool winger Sterling, 17, was a shock late addition to the senior party for last month's Group H draw with Ukraine and was being tipped to be selected again for the October 12 clash with San Marino and trip to Poland four days later.
Instead, he has been added to the under-21 squad for their two-legged European Championship play-off against Serbia on the same dates.
Pearce selected Jack Butland - despite the goalkeeper having been a regular in the senior party under Hodgson - emphasising the importance of the do-or-die Serbia matches.
Manchester City's Jack Rodwell and Nottingham Forest's Henri Lansbury were also called up having returned from injury, while there was a recall for Liverpool's Andre Wisdom, who last featured more than a year ago, but made his first-team debut for his club a fortnight ago.
Pearce added: "We have to put as strong a squad as possible out.
"If you don't do that at this stage of the competition, then you can make life very difficult for yourself.
"In the side for our play-off against Romania two years ago, we had nine players who have all gone on to play for the senior team."
Squad: Ben Amos (Manchester United), Jack Butland (Birmingham), Declan Rudd (Norwich), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough); Ryan Bennett (Norwich), Steven Caulker (Tottenham), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Craig Dawson (West Brom), Tom Lees (Leeds), Jack Rodwell (Manchester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Adam Smith (Tottenham), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool); Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Tom Ince (Blackpool), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Jason Lowe (Blackburn), Josh McEachran (Chelsea), Nick Powell (Manchester United), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace); Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Marvin Sordell (Bolton), Andros Townsend (Tottenham), Connor Wickham (Sunderland).