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Become A Specimen Technician

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Working As A Specimen Technician

  • Processing Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Repetitive

  • $38,970

    Average Salary

What Does A Specimen Technician Do At Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency

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* Examples of work that may be performed:
* Assist patients with the collection of urine specimens
* Temp specimens and communicate out of range results to counselors
* Log specimens
* Enters data using a computer keyboard
* Transport specimens
* Assist with patient flow in lobby
* Assist with supply storage
* Assist with clerical tasks
* Other duties may be assigned to meet the business needs of the organization including:
* Completes entry-level special projects as directed by staff
* Provides back-up support in directing incoming calls and visitors
* Stocks paper and supplies in common areas on a daily basis
* Searches for information contained in files or on a computer database

What Does A Specimen Technician Do At University of Virginia Health System

* Enters written and receives electronic orders for Laboratory requests into Laboratory Computer System
* Ensures all specimens received meet specimen acceptance critera
* Operates Pneumatic Tube System (PTS)
* Investigates, documents, and resolves problems or complaints
* Processes Laboratory specimens
* Serves as trainer and role model for new Speciment Management Technicians and health care professional students
* Demonstrates knowledge of quality, safety, and compliance programs
* Performs area-specific support activities

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How To Become A Specimen Technician

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.


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.


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.

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Specimen Technician jobs

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Specimen Technician Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Tagalog

  • Arabic

  • Ukrainian

  • Turkish

  • Russian

  • Hmong

  • Polish

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Specimen Technician

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Specimen Technician Education

Specimen Technician

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Top Skills for A Specimen Technician


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Top Specimen Technician Skills

  1. Specimen Types
  2. Laboratory Analysis
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Identified problems with specimen types such as locating missing information and verifying information.
  • Prepare incoming specimens for laboratory analysis by unpacking and labeling the specimens to the appropriate tests needed.
  • Arrange slides for distribution to pathologists, data entry, and problem solving.
  • Affixed barcode labels to original specimen containers and/or pour off containers.
  • Perform data entry for physician requisitions and update patient information.

Top Specimen Technician Employers

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Specimen Technician Videos

Medical Laboratory Technician, Career Video from drkit.org

The laboratory Specimens Processing

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians Job Description