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Working As A Clinical Technician

  • Processing Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Repetitive

  • $41,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Technician Do

Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Duties

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findings
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians

Both technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do. For example, technologists may prepare specimens and perform detailed manual tests, whereas technicians perform routine tests that may be more automated. Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the general supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers.

Technologists in small laboratories perform many types of tests; in large laboratories, they sometimes specialize. The following are examples of types of specialized medical laboratory technologists:

Blood bank technologists, or immunohematology technologists, collect blood, classify it by type, and prepare blood and its components for transfusions. 

Clinical chemistry technologists prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids. 

Cytotechnologists prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells with a microscope for abnormalities that may signal the beginning of a cancerous growth. 

Immunology technologists examine elements of the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies. 

Microbiology technologists examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms. 

Molecular biology technologists perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests on cell samples.

Like technologists, medical laboratory technicians may work in several areas of the laboratory or specialize in one particular area. For example, histotechnicians cut and stain tissue specimens for pathologists, who are doctors who study the cause and development of diseases at a microscopic level.

Technologists and technicians often specialize after they have worked in a particular area for a long time or have received advanced education or training in that area.

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How To Become A Clinical Technician

Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Technicians usually need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some states require technologists and technicians to be licensed.

Education

An entry-level job for technologists usually requires a bachelor's degree in medical technology or life sciences.

A bachelor’s degree program in medical laboratory technology, also known as a medical laboratory scientist degree, includes courses in chemistry, biology, microbiology, math, and statistics. Coursework emphasizes laboratory skills, including safety procedures and lab management.

The courses may be offered through a university or hospital-based program that students attend during their senior year of college. College graduates who major in other sciences and meet a program’s prerequisites, such as having completed required courses in biology and chemistry or maintaining a certain GPA, also may apply to a medical laboratory science program.

Medical laboratory technicians often complete an associate’s degree program in clinical laboratory science. A limited number of 1-year certificate programs are available from hospitals, and admission requirements vary. The Armed Forces and vocational or technical schools also may offer certificate programs for medical laboratory technicians. Technician coursework addresses the theoretical and practical aspects of each of the major laboratory disciplines.

High school students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical laboratory sciences should take classes in chemistry, biology, and math.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed. Requirements vary by state and specialty. For specific requirements, contact state departments of health, state boards of occupational licensing, or visit The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Certification of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is required for licensure in some states. Although certification is not required to enter the occupation in all cases, employers typically prefer to hire certified technologists and technicians.

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians can obtain a general certification as a medical laboratory technologist or technician, respectively, or a certification in a specialty, such as cytotechnology or medical biology. Most credentialing institutions require that technologists complete an accredited education program in order to qualify to sit for an exam. For more credentialing information, visit the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must understand how to operate complex machinery.

Detail oriented. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must follow exact instructions in order to perform tests or procedures correctly.

Dexterity. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians need to be skilled with their hands. They work closely with needles and precise laboratory instruments and must handle these tools effectively.

Physical stamina. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians may work on their feet for long periods while collecting samples. They may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples for testing.

Advancement

After additional education, work experience, or certification, technologists and technicians may specialize in one of many areas of laboratory science, such as immunology, histotechnology, or clinical chemistry. Some medical laboratory technicians advance to technologist positions after gaining experience and additional education.

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Clinical Technician Career Paths

Clinical Technician
Certified Nursing Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Registered Nurse Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse Team Leader
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Supervisor
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Laboratory Technician Technician
Senior Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Technician Consultant
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Instructor Consultant
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Instructor Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Instructor Executive Assistant
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Executive Assistant Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Executive Assistant Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Staff Nurse Clinical Coordinator
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Team Leader Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Research Associate Project Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Production Supervisor Quality Assurance Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Nurse Clinical Research Coordinator Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Pharmacist Technician Medical Technologist Medical Technologist, Generalist
Medical Technologist Lead
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Monitor Technician 3.5 years
EKG Technician 3.0 years
Health Technician 2.8 years
Clinical Associate 2.7 years
Care Associate 2.5 years
Nurse Technician 2.4 years
Clinical Assistant 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Clinical Technician
Cashier 7.8%
Internship 4.1%
Volunteer 3.1%
Technician 2.4%
Server 2.4%
Top Careers After Clinical Technician
Technician 2.9%
Internship 2.7%
Cashier 2.7%

Do you work as a Clinical Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$41,000
Show Salaries
$28,000
Min 10%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Pfizer
Highest Paying City
Santa Barbara, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does a Clinical Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Clinical Technician in the United States is $42,014 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $28,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $62,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Clinical Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinial Technologists Westcliff Medical Laboratories, Inc. Jun 11, 2010 $72,557
Clinical Technologist-Certified Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Jun 14, 2016 $67,201
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Apr 09, 2011 $60,627
Medical Clinical Technologist Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital May 21, 2008 $59,438
Medical Clinical Technologist Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Mar 26, 2009 $59,438
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Feb 11, 2013 $58,206
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Jun 11, 2013 $58,206
Clinical Technologist Boston Heart Diagnostic Sep 10, 2014 $57,507
Senior Clinical Technologist University of Michigan Aug 12, 2010 $57,014
Medical and Clinical Labratory Technologist Genzyme Corporation May 09, 2008 $55,328
Clinical Technologist Certified Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Dec 01, 2015 $54,825
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Jul 02, 2011 $54,700
Clinical Technologist Certified Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Dec 01, 2015 $53,761
Clinical Technologist IV University of Rochester Oct 02, 2009 $52,999
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Nov 01, 2012 $51,653
Medical and Clinical Technologist (Laboratory Tech Yoh Services, LLC Sep 20, 2014 $48,734
Medical and Clinical Technologist St. Elizabeth Medical Center Aug 12, 2008 $46,874
Clinical Technologist I Children's Hospital Corporation May 29, 2013 $46,821
Medical and Clinical Technologist Desoto County Hospital District Oct 01, 2014 $46,592
Medical and Clinical Technologist (Technician I) Yoh Services LLC. Sep 20, 2011 $42,016

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Top Skills for A Clinical Technician

  1. Laboratory Specimens
  2. EKG
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Documented patient care performed, including vital signs, laboratory specimens obtained, and any observations necessary.
  • Performed wound care, EKG, IV insertion, lab draws, and other clinical duties essential for health care intervention.
  • Maintained patient privacy and confidentiality, and provided quality patient care in accordance with policies and procedures.
  • Observed and recorded blood pressure, respiration, temperature, pulse rates, intake/output and signs of withdrawal.
  • Refined skills for feline phlebotomy, restraint, and administration of oral, subcutaneous, intramuscular and intravenous medications.

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Top 10 Best States for Clinical Technicians

  1. Maine
  2. North Dakota
  3. Connecticut
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Michigan
  6. New Jersey
  7. Hawaii
  8. Massachusetts
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Delaware
  • (150 jobs)
  • (128 jobs)
  • (268 jobs)
  • (56 jobs)
  • (601 jobs)
  • (700 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)
  • (570 jobs)
  • (121 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)

Clinical Technician Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,004 Clinical Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Clinical Technician Resume

View Resume Examples

Clinical Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

69.0%

Male

25.1%

Unknown

5.9%
Ethnicity

White

60.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

13.5%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.9%

French

6.6%

Portuguese

4.2%

Mandarin

3.0%

Russian

3.0%

Cantonese

2.4%

Hmong

1.8%

Hindi

1.8%

Italian

1.8%

German

1.8%

Japanese

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Tagalog

1.2%

Chinese

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Swahili

0.6%

Swedish

0.6%

Somali

0.6%

Ukrainian

0.6%
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Clinical Technician Education

Schools

Northern Virginia Community College

17.6%

Valencia College

9.5%

George Mason University

7.3%

University of Central Florida

6.1%

Central Georgia Technical College

5.9%

Cuyahoga Community College

5.6%

University of the District of Columbia

5.0%

Middlesex County College

4.2%

Everest Institute

3.9%

Southwest Tennessee Community College

3.9%

Raritan Valley Community College

3.6%

Prince George's Community College

3.4%

Fox Valley Technical College

3.4%

Monroe Community College

3.4%

Central Carolina Technical College

3.1%

Bryant and Stratton College

3.1%

Ashford University

2.8%

University of Washington

2.8%

Union County College

2.8%

Middle Georgia State University

2.8%
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Majors

Nursing

27.2%

Medical Assisting Services

13.2%

Business

7.0%

Medical Technician

6.4%

Biology

6.3%

Health Care Administration

5.4%

Psychology

5.1%

Nursing Assistants

3.8%

General Studies

3.4%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.6%

Pharmacy

2.6%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

2.2%

Health Sciences And Services

2.2%

Kinesiology

2.1%

Management

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Education

1.6%

Chemistry

1.6%

Public Health

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

30.8%

Associate

25.4%

High School Diploma

14.5%

Certificate

10.8%

Diploma

8.0%

Masters

7.6%

License

1.9%

Doctorate

0.9%
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Top Clinical Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Clinical Technician Employers

Clinical Technician Videos

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Updated May 18, 2020