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Become A Clinical Technician

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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

  • $51,837

    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 jobs

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Clinical Technician Career Paths

Clinical Technician
Staff Nurse Instructor Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Registered Nurse Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Physician Assistant Physician Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Research Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Physician Assistant PRN Medical Technologist
Director Of Laboratory Services
11 Yearsyrs
Nurse Senior Technician Specialist Senior Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Specialist Phlebotomist Medical Technologist
Laboratory Director
10 Yearsyrs
Instructor Lecturer Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Adjunct Instructor Assistant Professor
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Nurse Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nurse Clinical Manager Practice Manager
Practice Administrator
10 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Assistant Director Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Registered Nurse Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Research Coordinator Project Manager General Manager
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Specialist Analyst Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Research Coordinator Clinical Research Nurse Staff Nurse
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Instructor Specialist Warehouse Associate
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Clinical Technician Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    72.1%
  • Male

    25.5%
  • Unknown

    2.4%

Ethnicity

  • White

    78.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    11.0%
  • Asian

    7.6%
  • Unknown

    2.3%
  • Black or African American

    0.9%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    62.3%
  • French

    8.5%
  • Portuguese

    3.8%
  • Russian

    2.8%
  • Italian

    2.8%
  • Hmong

    1.9%
  • Hindi

    1.9%
  • Mandarin

    1.9%
  • Tagalog

    1.9%
  • German

    1.9%
  • Arabic

    1.9%
  • Swahili

    0.9%
  • Swedish

    0.9%
  • Vietnamese

    0.9%
  • Somali

    0.9%
  • Ukrainian

    0.9%
  • Dari

    0.9%
  • Filipino

    0.9%
  • Cantonese

    0.9%
  • Carrier

    0.9%
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Clinical Technician

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Clinical Technician Education

Clinical Technician

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Real Clinical Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director, Clinical Technology Planning Geisinger Medical Management Corp. Danville, PA Sep 19, 2014 $108,035 -
$115,000
Medical and Clinical Labaratory Technologist Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Baltimore, MD Feb 01, 2008 $80,496 -
$84,670
Clinical Technologist-Certified Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seattle, WA Jun 14, 2016 $67,201
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seattle, WA Apr 09, 2011 $60,627
Medical Clinical Technologist Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Santa Barbara, CA Mar 26, 2009 $59,438
Medical Clinical Technologist Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Santa Barbara, CA May 21, 2008 $59,438
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seattle, WA Feb 11, 2013 $58,206
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seattle, WA Jun 11, 2013 $58,206
Clinical Technologist Boston Heart Diagnostic Framingham, MA Sep 10, 2014 $57,507
Senior Clinical Technologist University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Aug 12, 2010 $57,014
Medical and Clinical Labratory Technologist Genzyme Corporation New York, NY May 09, 2008 $55,328
Clinical Technologist Certified Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Kirkland, WA Dec 01, 2015 $54,825
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seattle, WA Jul 02, 2011 $54,700
Clinical Technologist Certified Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Kirkland, WA Dec 01, 2015 $53,761
Clinical Technologist IV University of Rochester Rochester, NY Oct 02, 2009 $52,999
Medical and Clinical Laboratoy Technologists The Children's Hospital Association Aurora, CO Jul 24, 2012 $52,021
Clinical Technologist Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seattle, WA Nov 01, 2012 $51,653
Medical and Clinical Technologist (Laboratory Tech Yoh Services, LLC PA Sep 20, 2014 $48,734
Medical and Clinical Technologist St. Elizabeth Medical Center Utica, NY Aug 12, 2008 $46,874
Clinical Technologist I Children's Hospital Corporation Boston, MA May 29, 2013 $46,821
Medical and Clinical Technologist Desoto County Hospital District Arcadia, FL Oct 01, 2014 $46,592
Medical and Clinical Technologist (Technician I) Yoh Services LLC. PA Sep 20, 2011 $42,016

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Top Skills for A Clinical Technician

PhlebotomyLabSpecimensIVClinicalTechVitalSignsSpecimenCollectionMedicalRecordsSurgeryBloodPressureEmergencySituationsRNDailyLivingCustomerServiceDataEntryCPRDrawingBloodBloodSugarADLBloodGlucoseLevelsTelemetry

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Top Clinical Technician Skills

  1. Phlebotomy
  2. Lab Specimens
  3. IV
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Demonstrate phlebotomy skills in collecting blood specimens for analysis.
  • Retrieved lab specimens and sent them to the lab for RN's.
  • Implement plan of care to meet individualized and developmental patient care outcomes.
  • Trained clinical technologists on approved processes.
  • Monitor the following for patients: Vital Signs and Glucose monitoring.

Top Clinical Technician Employers

Clinical Technician Videos

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians Job Description

Career Advice on becoming a Laboratory Technician by Katherine G (Full Version)

Clinical Laboratory Technician, A.A.S.

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