If you have ever watched the medical TV series Grey's Anatomy, the medical technologist is the person who the doctors go to when they request a lab test. They are the hidden superstars, conducting medical laboratory tests and analysis, providing physicians with information for preventing, diagnosing, and treating disease.

The medical technologist is involved in processing clinical samples, performing laboratory procedures, undertaking bench work, assessing supplies and reagents as well as managing inventory control systems. Besides that, they also assist in ensuring quality control in data and testing results.

A medical technologist is required to have a bachelor's degree that is medical or science-related as well as at least one year of clinical laboratory experience. They earn, on average, $24 per hour. This role suits an individual who enjoys conducting laboratory research and being a vital support role for healthcare personnel.

What Does a Medical Technologist 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.

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How To Become a Medical Technologist

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.

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Medical Technologist Job Description

Medical technologists work in the laboratory of a hospital or clinic where they provide services related to the collection and analysis of patient samples like blood, body fluids, or tissues using different tools and methods. They are knowledgeable in handling different machines and analyzing the results provided by the machines that process samples.

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Medical Technologist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Medical Technologist

Medical Technologists in America make an average salary of $53,249 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $68,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $41,000 per year.
Average Medical Technologist Salary
$53,249 Yearly
$25.60 hourly

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Roles and Types of Medical Technologist

The role of a medical technologist includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general medical technologist responsibilities:

  • Perform stat and routine moderately and highly complex clinical laboratory testing on biological specimens, using both manual methods
  • Demonstrates knowledge of human growth and development, assessment, range of treatment,
  • Use education, experience and analytical judgment to perform duties in the clinical laboratory in a prompt, efficient,

There are several types of medical technologist, including:

Pharmacist Technician


Pharmacy technicians make sure prescriptions are filled appropriately with the correct dosage and even correct medication in the package. They also make sure the right customer receives the right prescription.

You can find a lot of pharmacist technicians working in a pharmacy but some find work in drug stores, grocery stores, hospitals, and even general merchandise stores. No matter where you'll be working, you'll probably be required to work a full-time schedule of 40 hours.

Since you'll be standing up the majority of the day, you might find it helpful to buy some really comfy shoes. And before you apply, make sure you, at least, have a high school diploma under your belt, if not also a post-secondary education program. Regardless, you will receive some on-the-job training, so you won't be released to filling prescriptions until you have learned to do so.

  • Average Salary: $36,090
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Laboratory Technician


As a laboratory technician, you get to do all the nitty gritty work, like collecting samples. But you also get to study and take part in conducting tests. So it's not all nitty gritty, at least.

The majority of your day as a laboratory technician will be spent in a lab, surrounded by bodily fluids, chemicals, and organic matter. If any of that makes you squirmish just thinking about it, then it's not too late to turn back.

Employers prefer that you have a bachelor's degree before pursuing a position as a laboratory tech, but associate degrees are also welcome. Before you start, you'll need to rack up a few years of experience in lab work. It probably wouldn't be a good thing if you blew up the lab on your first day.

  • Average Salary: $40,038
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Certified Pharmacist Technician


Certified pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists. They assemble and hand out medicine for prescriptions and provide information about usage and dosage. This is not the kind of job that you can just figure out as you go. You need appropriate education to be hired, and you need to prove it with a certification.

This probably will not come as a surprise, pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies. Okay, the special ones work in hospitals or ambulances, sometimes in government agencies, or private settings, serving special groups, like nuclear pharmacies. Or you can just ditch the customer service aspect of the job entirely and go for handmade preparation of medications in compound pharmacies.

For better or worse, pharmaceuticals is a modern-day gold mine. This position is normally full-time with regular hours, and on average, you earn $32,700 a year, but it can easily open doors to higher-paying positions as well.

  • Average Salary: $37,059
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Medical Technologist Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active medical technologist jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where medical technologists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Medical Technologist Jobs By State

Medical Technologist Education

Medical Technologist Majors

15.0 %

Medical Technologist Degrees


62.8 %


16.9 %


5.7 %

Top Colleges for Medical Technologists

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




2. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition




3. University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




7. University of South Florida

Tampa, FL • Private

In-State Tuition




8. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Medical Technologist

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Medical Technologist diversity

Medical Technologist Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among medical technologists, 68.5% of them are women, while 31.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among medical technologists is White, which makes up 53.2% of all medical technologists.

  • The most common foreign language among medical technologists is Spanish at 57.4%.

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Best States For a Medical Technologist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a medical technologist. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Washington, California, and Hawaii. Medical technologists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $79,790. Whereas in Washington and California, they would average $69,535 and $68,095, respectively. While medical technologists would only make an average of $67,418 in Hawaii, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Idaho

Total Medical Technologist Jobs: 504
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Alaska

Total Medical Technologist Jobs: 169
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. California

Total Medical Technologist Jobs: 7,380
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Medical Technologists

How Do Medical Technologists Rate Their Jobs?


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Medical Technologist Reviews

Dec 2022

I like working in the Microbiology and Virology area. I have 35 years experience in those areas


I really like everything about being a Medical Technologist. Is a great profession

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Medical Technologist Videos

Becoming a Medical Technologist FAQs

Do Medical Technologists Make Good Money?

Yes, medical technologists make good money. The average medical technologist makes around $60,000 a year, ranging between $27,500 to $88,000 a year. The large difference in earning potential seen for medical technologists is related to the location of the job, the type of medical technologist, and the number of years on the job.

How Do You Become A Certified Medical Technologist?

To become a certified medical technologist requires a bachelor's degree, practical experience, and certification and licensing.

One way to become a medical technologist is to enroll in a medical laboratory technology degree program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

How Long Does It Take To Become A Medical Technologist?

It takes five years to become a medical technologist. The period it takes to become a medical technologist may vary among individuals depending on their dedication to completing the educational and clinical experience needed.

Is It Hard To Be A Medical Technologist?

Yes, it is hard to be a medical technologist. To become a medical technologist requires a 4-year degree and depends on passing a state licensing exam (depending on the state).

What Are Careers In Medical Technology?

X-ray technicians, medical coding specialists, and medical technologists are careers in medical technology. Here are descriptions of each of these careers and others in medical technology:

What Jobs Can Medical Technologists Do?

The jobs that medical technologists can do include running tests, process samples, and provide information about patients' conditions to doctors.

Many medical technologists work on the side of the hospital that isn't commonly seen by patients. Almost 50% of medical technologists work in hospitals, 20% work in diagnostic labs, and 10% in doctors' offices.

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