As the population ages, so too does the need for professionals who can diagnose medical conditions and confirm critical issues regarding health care. Medical lab technicians (MLTs) collect samples of various bodily fluids and tissues. They perform tests on those samples to diagnose diseases and other medical problems. MLTs can be found working in hospitals, medical labs, and private physician's offices.

California medical lab technician programs are a great way to receive the training needed to take advantage of a growing, in-demand profession. In order to practice, medical lab technicians in California must meet the academic requirements for licensure in the state. Those searching for training programs will find a number of different options located throughout the state of California.

Medical Lab Technicians picture    Medical Lab Technicians image

California Medical Lab Technician Schools

Prospective students can find medical lab technician programs in California at community colleges and nursing schools. Remember it is important to choose a training program that meets the licensing requirements of the State of California prior to enrollment. Students who complete these academic programs will also need to pass the required examinations prior to licensing. Here are a few examples of California medical laboratory technician schools:

  • DeAnza College: The 112-acre campus of DeAnza College has served students in the Bay Area since 1967. Located in Cupertino, the school offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs. Some of the school's most popular majors include accounting, business, nursing, and computer information systems. The medical laboratory technician program prepares students to sit for their national board examination and earn licensure in the state of California. Graduates of the program are awarded an Associate's degree.
  • Folsom Lake College: Folsom Lake College has 3 campus locations which serve students in Sacramento and El Dorado counties. The medical lab technician program is accredited by the California Department of Public Health as well as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Completing the program qualifies graduates to earn an Associate's degree and sit for their licensing exam.
  • Southwestern College: Offering more than 300 Associate's degrees and professional certificates, Southwestern College is the only college located in southern San Diego County. In addition to the degree granting programs, area professionals can find a wealth of continuing education courses offered at the school. The fully accredited medical lab technician program consists of both classroom and hands-on learning experiences. Classroom events are held on-campus while clinical experiences take place at local hospitals and clinical labs. MLT students will be prepared to find gainful employment as medical lab technicians after passing their national board exams.
  • Saddleback College: The medical lab technician program at Saddleback College is a two-year training program which results in an Associate's degree for graduates. Students will obtain both academic knowledge and practical skills training in medical laboratory theory and techniques. Located in Mission Viejo, California, Saddleback College has been serving southern Orange County since 1961. In addition to the medical lab technician program, the school offers more than 300 degree and certificate granting programs. Students may participate in a number of different clubs, honors programs, or study abroad opportunities.

California Medical Lab Tech Programs

Successful medical lab techs should be interested in helping others through a career in the health care industry. Prospective students usually have an interest in subjects like biology and chemistry.

Because medical lab technicians in California must be licensed to practice, many MLT training programs cover similar subjects. These courses prepare students to successfully complete the required licensing exams. Some course topics include:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Intro to Health Technologies
  • Medical Lab Techniques and Skin Punctures
  • Phlebotomy
  • Clinical Chemistry
  • Urinalysis
  • Hematology
  • Medical Laws and Ethics
  • Sterilization Techniques
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Microbiology

California medical lab technician programs provide students with the academic and practical training required to become an MLT in the state. Since MLTs collect and analyze samples of various bodily tissues and fluids, the ability to operate scientific equipment is a must. Medical lab technicians should be detail oriented and have the ability to spend long hours on their feet. After gaining work experience and acquiring the proper training, licensed medical lab techs may wish to specialize in certain areas.

Additional Requirements for Medical Lab Techs in California

Medical lab technicians in California are usually required to earn an Associate's degree, although proof of the required academic credits earned while pursuing other degrees may be enough to earn a license. Graduates of medical lab tech programs must also pass the national licensing exam as well as a quiz on California state laboratory laws and regulations. Practical clinical training is also required. License renewal is required every two years and must be accompanied by the proper fees and documentation of completed continuing education credits.


  1. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
  2. Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), California Department of Public Health, https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/lfs/Pages/MedicalLaboratoryTechnician(MLT).aspx
  3. Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), Folsom Lake College, http://www.flc.losrios.edu/academics/medical-laboratory-technician
  4. Medical Laboratory Technician Department, DeAnza College, https://www.deanza.edu/mlt/index.html
  5. Medical Laboratory Technician Program, Southwestern College, https://www.swccd.edu/index.aspx?page=95
  6. Medical Laboratory Technician Program, Saddleback College, https://www.saddleback.edu/hs/medical-laboratory-technician
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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More California Medical Lab Schools

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

School Name
Highest Award
San Luis Obispo
Los Altos Hills
Loma Linda
Doctorate & First Professional
Long Beach
Los Angeles
Mission Viejo
San Francisco
Santa Rosa

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Medical Lab Technicians

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for California. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Medical Lab Technicians

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Medical Lab Technicians relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Metro Area
Annual Median Salary
Bakersfield 350 $40,550
Fresno 290 $50,500
Hanford 60 $46,160
Corcoran 60 $46,160
Chico 70 $47,830
El Centro 40 $33,300
Oxnard 220 $51,020
Thousand Oaks 220 $51,020
Ventura 220 $51,020
Redding 60 $35,820
Riverside 1000 $41,920
San Bernardino 1000 $41,920
Ontario 1000 $41,920
Sacramento 1170 $50,850
Roseville 1170 $50,850
Arden 1170 $50,850
Arcade 1170 $50,850
Salinas N/A $38,220
San Diego 2320 $46,850
Carlsbad 2320 $46,850
Los Angeles 7180 $41,480
Long Beach 7180 $41,480
Anaheim 7180 $41,480
Merced 30 $37,850
Modesto N/A $47,350
Santa Cruz 100 $56,930
Watsonville 100 $56,930
Santa Maria 130 $64,200
Santa Barbara 130 $64,200
Santa Rosa 300 $44,900
San Francisco 2330 $55,940
Oakland 2330 $55,940
Hayward 2330 $55,940
Stockton 200 $42,240
Lodi 200 $42,240
San Jose 900 $53,480
Sunnyvale 900 $53,480
Santa Clara 900 $53,480
Vallejo 170 $58,650
Fairfield 170 $58,650
Visalia 70 $44,500
Porterville 70 $44,500
Yuba City 90 $37,570
San Luis Obispo 50 $42,640
Paso Robles 50 $42,640
Arroyo Grande 50 $42,640

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