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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.
Average Length of Employment
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Hispanic or Latino11.7%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix20.7%
Savannah College of Art and Design6.8%
University of Cincinnati6.1%
Full Sail University5.4%
Academy of Art University4.4%
George Washington University4.1%
Art Institute of California - Inland3.7%
Western Michigan University3.7%
University of Central Florida3.4%
Old Dominion University3.4%
George Mason University3.4%
University of Houston3.4%
Florida International University3.4%
Southern New Hampshire University3.4%
Rock Valley College3.1%
Michigan State University3.1%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Generalist (Quant)||S.A.C. Capital Advisors, L.P.||New York, NY||Feb 28, 2011||$135,000|
|Instructor, Pediatric Generalist||Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center||El Paso, TX||Nov 01, 2012||$110,000|
|Functional Generalist||Kraft Heinz Foods Company||Chicago, IL||Feb 22, 2016||$108,685|
|Product Generalist||Hey, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Sep 01, 2013||$100,000|
|Product Generalist||Herelabs, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Sep 01, 2013||$100,000|
|Marketing Generalist||Bill Me Later, Inc.||Timonium, MD||Sep 05, 2013||$100,000|
|Product Generalist||Hey, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Aug 01, 2014||$100,000|
|Product Generalist||Hey, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Jul 09, 2014||$100,000|
|3D Generalist||Trollack & Company, Inc.||New York, NY||Feb 16, 2015||$85,000|
|Animator, CG Generalist||Tonko House Inc.||Berkeley, CA||Sep 13, 2016||$70,616 -
|3D Generalist||Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design, LLC.||New York, NY||Sep 14, 2012||$70,000|
|Accounting Generalist||M & C Hotel Interests, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 30, 2016||$66,784|
|Consultant I, Generalist||Blackboard Inc.||Washington, DC||Sep 23, 2010||$65,000 -
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|Dental Generalist||Dental Group of Beverly Hills||Beverly Hills, CA||Oct 01, 2012||$60,982|
|Dental Generalist||Dental Group of Beverly Hills||Beverly Hills, CA||Oct 01, 2009||$60,502|
|3D Generalist||Deluxe Media Creative Services Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 10, 2014||$52,175|
|3D Generalist||Deluxe Media Creative Services Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 12, 2013||$52,175|
|Global Communications Generalist||Lenovo (United States) Inc.||Morrisville, NC||Oct 01, 2014||$51,650 -
|Students With Disabilities-Generalist||New York City Department of Education||New York, NY||Nov 01, 2010||$45,530|
|Students With Disabilities-Generalist||New York City Department of Education||New York, NY||May 15, 2012||$45,530|
|Students With Disabilities-Generalist||New York City Department of Education||New York, NY||May 01, 2011||$45,530|
|Students With Disabilities-Generalist||New York City Department of Education||New York, NY||Sep 01, 2010||$45,530|
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