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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|
|Manager, Medical Technology Planning & Implementation||NYU Langone Health System||New York, NY||Nov 17, 2016||$115,000|
|Manager, Medical Technology Planning & Implementation||NYU Langone Health System||New York, NY||Jun 20, 2016||$115,000|
|Medical Technologist||Feather River Hospital||Paradise, CA||Jan 06, 2016||$110,006|
|Medical Technologist||Wrangell Medical Center||Wrangell, AK||Dec 15, 2016||$101,367|
|Medical Technologist||Enloe Medical Center||Chico, CA||Jun 15, 2016||$92,602|
|Medical Technologist||Enloe Medical Center||Chico, CA||Mar 28, 2016||$92,602|
|Medical Technologist||Bartlett Regional Hospital||Juneau, AK||Mar 24, 2016||$83,584|
|Medical Technologist||Desert Regional Medical Center||Palm Springs, CA||Jul 13, 2015||$83,480|
|Medical Technologist II||Bartlett Regional Hospital||Juneau, AK||Dec 01, 2016||$81,661|
|Medical Technologist||New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network, Inc.||New Providence, NJ||Mar 24, 2016||$79,188|
|Medical Technologist||Bartlett Regional Hospital||Juneau, AK||Jul 13, 2016||$76,981|
|Medical Technologist||Bartlett Regional Hospital||Juneau, AK||Sep 28, 2016||$76,981|
|Medical Technologist||Bartlett Regional Hospital||Juneau, AK||May 10, 2015||$74,923|
|Medical Technologist||Bartlett Regional Hospital||Juneau, AK||Aug 07, 2016||$74,923|
|Medical Technologist||Humboldt General Hospital||Winnemucca, NV||Jan 06, 2016||$53,456|
|Medical Technologist||The Methodist Hospital||Houston, TX||Aug 01, 2015||$53,421|
|Medical Technologist||Dimmit Regional Hospital||Carrizo Springs, TX||Sep 26, 2016||$53,365|
|Medical Technologist||Shannon Medical Center||San Angelo, TX||Sep 20, 2016||$53,248|
|Medical Technologists||Othello Community Hospital||Othello, WA||Jan 22, 2015||$53,227|
|Medical Technologist II||Columbus Regional Hospital||Columbus, IN||Mar 31, 2016||$53,219 -
|Medical Technologist II||Columbus Regional Hospital||Columbus, IN||Apr 30, 2016||$53,219 -
|Medical Technologist||Lower Umpqua Hospital District||Reedsport, OR||Jan 05, 2016||$47,980|
|Medical Technologist||Mercy Hospital||Valley City, ND||Sep 26, 2016||$47,959|
|Medical Technologist||Lubbock County Hospital District||Lubbock, TX||Jan 21, 2015||$47,959|
|Medical Technologist||Interpath Laboratory||Boise, ID||Mar 20, 2015||$47,902|
|Medical Technologist||Florida Health Sciences Center, Inc.||Tampa, FL||Jan 05, 2015||$47,882|
|Staff Medical Technologist||Trinity Health||Minot, ND||Dec 14, 2016||$47,876 -
|Medical Technologist||Hiawatha Community Hospital||Hiawatha, KS||Jan 02, 2016||$47,840|
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Medical Laboratory Technician, Career Video from drkit.org