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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.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Cytogenetic Technologist II||University of California, San Diego||San Diego, CA||May 15, 2015||$90,327|
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Miraca Life Sciences, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Jun 06, 2014||$85,943|
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Miraca Life Sciences, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Jul 18, 2014||$85,943|
|Cytogenetics Technologist II||Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center||New York, NY||May 27, 2015||$83,430|
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Miraca Life Sciences, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Jun 06, 2014||$75,904|
|Cytogenetics Technologist||Miraca Life Sciences, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Jun 07, 2014||$75,904|
|Clinical Cytogenetics Technologist||Phenopath Laboratories, PLLC||Seattle, WA||Jan 02, 2015||$73,045|
|Clinical Cytogenetics Technologist||Phenopath Laboratories, PLLC||Seattle, WA||Dec 22, 2014||$73,045|
|Cytogenetic Technologist I||University of California, San Diego||San Diego, CA||May 15, 2012||$70,837|
|Cytogenetic Technologist||University of California, San Diego||San Diego, CA||Feb 01, 2011||$68,774|
|Cytogenetics Technologist II||Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center||New York, NY||May 01, 2011||$66,847|
|Cytogenetics Technologist||Seattle Cancer Care Alliance||Seattle, WA||Oct 18, 2016||$66,408|
|Cytogenetic Technologist Senior||Genzyme Corporation||Phoenix, AZ||Jun 11, 2010||$65,354 -
|Cytogenetic Technologist III||Genzyme Corporation||Phoenix, AZ||Jun 29, 2010||$65,354 -
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Accupath Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||May 15, 2015||$62,317|
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Esoterix Genetic Laboratories LLC||New York, NY||Oct 08, 2011||$61,942 -
|Cytogenetics Technologist I||Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center||New York, NY||Oct 09, 2010||$60,078|
|Cytogenetic Technologists||Med2Pharm Health Care Solutions Inc.||Bentonville, AR||Sep 16, 2016||$60,000|
|Certified Cytogenetics Technologist||ARUP Laboratories||Salt Lake City, UT||Feb 01, 2016||$57,288|
|Cytogenetic Technologist III||Genzyme Corporation||Vienna, VA||Jan 01, 2010||$56,930 -
|Cytogenetics Technician||Seattle Cancer Care Alliance||Seattle, WA||May 09, 2014||$56,119|
|Cytogenetics Technician||Seattle Cancer Care Alliance||Seattle, WA||Jul 01, 2010||$55,723|
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Esoterix Genetic Laboratories LLC||New York, NY||Sep 19, 2011||$49,650 -
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Genzyme Corporation||Phoenix, AZ||Sep 24, 2010||$49,639|
|Cytogenetic Technologist||University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||Nov 30, 2015||$49,500|
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Mount Sinai Medical Center||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2010||$49,395|
|Cytogenetic Technologist II||Wyckoff Heights Medical Center||New York, NY||May 17, 2010||$48,801|
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Accupath Diagnostic Laboratories Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Feb 24, 2015||$48,672 -
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Accupath Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Feb 24, 2015||$48,672 -
|Cytogenetic Technologist||Accupath Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Jun 10, 2015||$48,672 -
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