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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/

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 2016

     
Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 7,440 $45,380
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 3,610 $40,730
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 3,430 $38,530
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 3,110 $37,440
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 2,950 $35,200
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 2,500 $54,740
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 2,470 $41,050
San Diego-Carlsbad 2,370 $45,100
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 2,300 $38,910
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin 2,260 $37,730

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to medical lab technicians

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Medical Laboratory Technicians

To find out more about building a career as Medical Lab Technicians, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Medical Laboratory Technicians

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Hospital 68,800 46% $36,850
Medical Office 57,420 38% $33,110
Education 10,290 6% $36,690
Government 5,170 3% $36,820
Professional And Technical Services 3,580 2% $38,280
Office Services And Staffing 2,070 1% $33,780
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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.

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