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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
Top Careers Before Laboratory Supervisor
Top Careers After Laboratory Supervisor
Hispanic or Latino11.6%
Black or African American0.8%
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University of Phoenix19.6%
Michigan State University7.5%
George Washington University5.7%
University of Florida5.1%
Texas A&M University5.1%
Pennsylvania State University4.6%
University of Houston4.4%
Virginia Commonwealth University4.2%
Community College of the Air Force4.2%
University of Pittsburgh -4.2%
University of Cincinnati3.8%
North Carolina State University3.8%
Ferris State University3.5%
Oklahoma State University3.3%
Southern Illinois University Carbondale3.3%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro3.3%
Ohio State University3.3%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Laboratory Supervisor||A.W.M. Corp.||Islandia, NY||Jul 14, 2013||$140,000|
|Clinical Laboratory Supervisor||Oncocyte, Inc.||Alameda, CA||Nov 28, 2016||$130,000|
|Clinical Laboratory Supervisor--Toxicology Division||Md Spine Solutions, LLC||Reno, NV||Sep 20, 2016||$130,000|
|Clinical Laboratory Supervisor||Ultimate Care Inc.||Lake Worth, FL||Jul 24, 2012||$101,026|
|Supervisor, Lab||Intertek USA Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 14, 2014||$95,056|
|Laboratory Supervisor-Genomic Testing||Stanford Health Care||Palo Alto, CA||Sep 11, 2015||$92,268 -
|Laboratory Supervisor||Salem Hospital||Salem, OR||Jan 08, 2016||$88,927 -
|Supervisor, Immunohematology Reference Laboratory||Bloodworks||Seattle, WA||May 15, 2015||$86,000|
|Clinical Laboratory Supervisor||Ultimate Care Inc.||Fort Pierce, FL||Feb 26, 2015||$85,904|
|Clinical Laboratory Supervisor||Ultimate Care Inc.||Fort Pierce, FL||Feb 18, 2015||$85,904|
|Laboratory Supervisor I||Dianon Systems, Inc. (A Labcorp Company)||Shelton, CT||Sep 23, 2012||$85,562 -
|Laboratory Supervisor||Berg Diagnostics LLC||Natick, MA||Feb 01, 2012||$83,000|
|Lab Supervisor||Owens-Illinois, Inc.||Perrysburg, OH||Oct 04, 2011||$71,698 -
|Lab Supervisor||Jabil Circuit, Inc.||Memphis, TN||Oct 19, 2015||$70,741|
|Stability Laboratory Supervisor||DR. Reddy's Laboratories, Inc.||Bristol, TN||Jul 11, 2011||$68,000|
|Lab Supervisor||St. Jude Children's Research Hospital||Memphis, TN||Dec 10, 2016||$67,808 -
|Lab Supervisor||New York University School of Medicine||New York, NY||Jan 08, 2015||$67,053|
|Lab Supervisor||New York University School of Medicine||New York, NY||Aug 01, 2015||$67,053|
|Laboratory Hematology Supervisor||Shiel Medical Laboratory||New York, NY||Jul 13, 2011||$67,000|
|Lab Supervisor||Haemonetics Manufacturing, Inc. (Sub. of Haemoneti||Covina, CA||Sep 23, 2013||$56,000 -
|Research Laboratory Supervisor||Children's Hospital Corporation||Boston, MA||Apr 18, 2016||$55,286|
|Pre-Clinical Lab Supervisor||Rush University Medical Center||Chicago, IL||Jul 01, 2015||$55,000|
|Technical Laboratory Supervisor||Hamilton Hospital||Olney, TX||Jun 23, 2015||$54,580|
|Textile Specialist/Laboratory Supervisor||SGS North America Inc.||Fairfield, NJ||Mar 09, 2014||$54,340|
|Medical Lab Supervisor||Hematogenix Laboratory Services LLC||Tinley Park, IL||Mar 21, 2011||$53,928|
|Medical Lab Supervisor||Hematogenix Laboratory Services LLC||Tinley Park, IL||Mar 14, 2011||$53,928|
|Research Laboratory Supervisor||Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA||Dec 09, 2013||$52,010|
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