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Medical lab technicians perform laboratory tests that help detect, diagnose and treat diseases. Medical lab technicians collect and test blood and urine samples and keep records of test results. They typically work under the supervision of physicians, laboratory managers and laboratory technologists, and they are trained to work with infectious specimens.

Medical Lab Technicians picture    Medical Lab Technicians image

Medical Lab Technician Schools

The following medical lab technician schools offer the training necessary to enter the field, and are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences:

  • College of the Ablemarle: This college in Elizabeth City, North Carolina offers a medical laboratory technology program that trains students to enter the field as a medical technologist.
  • The Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science: This program, part of the Metropolitan State University of Denver, provides students with bachelor's degrees in medical laboratory science.
  • Kennesaw State University: This university in Georgia offers a phlebotomy technician program, which trains students to collect quality blood samples.
  • Ohio State University: The College of Medicine at this state university provides students with a bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science.
  • The University of Connecticut: This large university offers undergraduate degrees in the medical laboratory sciences that include clinical specialties in hematology, immunology, microbiology, and more.

Medical Lab Technician Education Requirements

An associate degree or certificate is typically required for medical laboratory technicians. Community colleges offer associate degrees for medical lab technicians, and vocational schools, the Armed Forces and some hospitals offer certificates.

To meet the medical lab technician education requirements, students myst typically complete core medical classes, general education essentials and hands-on laboratory practice. Some basic courses you might find in a training program for medical technicians include:

  • Microbiology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Computer literacy
  • Laboratory residency

Coursework in a medical laboratory technician training program is designed to give you the fundamentals of clinical training plus the targeted instruction you need to accurately complete and interpret tests.

Medical Lab Technician Certification and Licensing

In addition to completing coursework, securing professional certification helps prove your competence and dedication to the career. A general certification is available for technologists and technicians who pass the exam, and specialty certification is available is such areas as cytotechnology or medical biology. Many employers prefer to hire laboratory personnel that have been certified by a recognized professional association. The following associations offer certification for medical laboratory technicians:

  • Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology
  • American Medical Technologists
  • National Credentialing Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts

Licensing may also be required in some states. A technologist needs a bachelor's degree and must pass an exam in order to be licensed.

While no medical lab technician training program or certification can guarantee a career in the field, hiring managers often prefer to take on technicians with formal training experience. Working your way through a formal training program helps increase your knowledge and improve your odds of employment in hospitals, laboratories and doctor's offices.

Medical Lab Technician Resources

Sources:

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
  2. American Association of Bioanalysts, Board of Registry , http://www.aab.org/aab/default.asp
  3. American Society for Clinical Pathology, http://www.ascp.org/
  4. American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, http://www.ascls.org/
  5. Clinical Laboratory Management Association, http://www.clma.org/
  6. College of the Ablemarle, http://www.albemarle.edu/mlt
  7. The Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science, http://www.msudenver.edu/extendedcampus/ccmls/
  8. Kennesaw State University, http://ccpe.kennesaw.edu/professional/healthcare/phlebotomy-technician/
  9. Ohio State University, http://medicine.osu.edu/hrs/mls/pages/index.aspx
  10. National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, http://www.naacls.org/
  11. The University of Connecticut, http://www.alliedhealth.uconn.edu/mts/

Medical Laboratory Technicians Skills

Below are the skills needed to be medical laboratory technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Active Listening3.883.12
Reading Comprehension3.53.38
Speaking3.383.12
Critical Thinking3.383.38
Science3.253.38

Medical Laboratory Technicians Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be medical laboratory technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Near Vision43.75
Oral Expression3.883.88
Problem Sensitivity3.883.75
Information Ordering3.883.62
Oral Comprehension3.753.88

Medical Laboratory Technicians Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be medical laboratory technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Biology3.734.32
Chemistry3.734.43
English Language3.593.9
Mathematics3.54.13
Customer and Personal Service3.494.3

Medical Laboratory Technicians Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being medical laboratory technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Processing Information4.525.33
Interacting With Computers4.454.46
Getting Information4.44.57
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge4.385.57
Making Decisions and Solving Problems4.345.3

Medical Laboratory Technicians Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being medical laboratory technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Attention to Detail4.88
Dependability4.76
Integrity4.61
Independence4.51
Cooperation4.43

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Medical Laboratory Technicians

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Medical Laboratory Technicians jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
ColumbusN/A N/A
Cleveland-ElyriaN/A N/A
Canton-MassillonN/A N/A
DaytonN/A N/A
LawtonN/A N/A
TulsaN/A N/A
Oklahoma CityN/A N/A
ToledoN/A N/A
LimaN/A N/A
Greensboro-High PointN/A N/A

Total employment and salary for professions similar to medical lab technicians

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Medical Laboratory Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.