Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $57,580
- 2011, number of jobs: 160,700
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 13 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians; what they do:
Medical laboratory technologists, medical laboratory technicians, clinical laboratory technologists, and clinical laboratory technicians all have the unique job of performing laboratory work with bodily fluids, among other substances, but their specific duties differ slightly.
Medical laboratory technologists perform more complex tasks, as well as train and supervise medical laboratory technicians. A medical laboratory technologist career includes studying blood, urine, and tissue samples, looking for any abnormalities.
Medical laboratory technologists collect blood samples for transfusions, preparing it for use by identifying the number of cells, the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types.
In performing their work, medical laboratory technologists work with microscopes, cell counters, automated equipment, and computerized instruments. Medical laboratory technologists record their data, update a patient’s medical record, and discuss results with physicians.
Medical laboratory technicians perform tests ordered by physicians, but they are under the supervision of a medical laboratory technologist, thus the technician’s tests are simpler.
Medical laboratory technologists working in a large laboratory may have a specialty. Medical laboratory technologists have specializations such as: Blood bank technologists also called immunohematology technologists, clinical chemistry technologists, cytotechnologsts, immunology technologists, microbiology technologists, molecular biology technologists, phlebotomists, and histotechnicians.
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians job titles:
- Medical Laboratory Scientist
- Medical Technologists (MT)
- Clinical Laboratory Manager
- Medical Technician
- Research Assistant
- Medical Clinical Laboratory Assistant
- Certified Medical Laboratory Technician
- Certified Medical Technologist
- Certified Medical Laboratory Technologist
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
Medical laboratory technologists typically need a Bachelor of Medical Technology or a Bachelor of Life Sciences degree. Hospital-based programs offer courses for a Bachelor of Medical Technology degree. Hospital-based programs provide students the opportunity to work in the hospital during their senior year.
People seeking a medical laboratory technician career typically need an Associate in Medical Laboratory Technology degree, an Associate in Medical Laboratory Technician degree or a Certificate in Medical Laboratory Technology. The certificate programs typically take one year to complete. Individuals may also get certified as a medical laboratory technician through the armed forces.
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians programs cover subjects such as:
- Clinical laboratory skills
Medical laboratory technologists require licensure or registration in some states, which includes obtaining a bachelor’s degree and passing an exam. Requirements vary by state.
Some states and some employers require medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory technicians to obtain certification. Even where certification is not required, it is highly recommended, as many employers prefer to hire certified medical laboratory technologists and certified medical laboratory technicians. A general certification and certifications in specialties are available.
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Job Outlook
Forecast: 11 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for medical laboratory technologists, and a 15 percent employment growth for medical laboratory technicians, average for all occupations.
The large part of the population growing older continues the need for medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory technicians to identify health issues through laboratory testing.
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $57,580
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $68,930
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $48,610
- Hospitals; state, local, and private
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories
- Offices of physicians
- Federal government