A Complete Overview of Being a Medical Laboratory Technician

One of the career choices you have in the healthcare field is to become a medical laboratory technician. This is a great option if you enjoy lab work rather than working one-on-one with patients and want to get started working in the medical world fairly quickly. But want exactly will you do as a medical laboratory technician? Let’s take a look at what it means to work in this position.

Medical Laboratory Technician Specialties

Earning a degree to become a medical laboratory technician takes about two years and requires you to pass a national certification examination to start working in this kind of position. You education will focus on a number of laboratory skills, but to better prepare you to work as a medical laboratory technician, most colleges have students choose from one of five different specialties:

  • blood banking
  • chemistry
  • hematology
  • immunology
  • microbiology

If your educational program does not allow you to specialize, your can also get on-the-job training in many cases, specializing over the course of your career.

Daily Tasks as a Medical Laboratory Technician

Once you graduate and begin working in this field, what will your daily tasks be like? Although every position is different, as an entry-level medical laboratory technician, you’ll likely work assisting medical laboratory scientists other upper-level employees as well as working to record and organize data. As you advance in the field, you could also perform lab tasks using chemicals, instruments like microscopes, and more to help diagnose and treat medical issues in patients based on your specialty. In some cases, especially if you go back to school for more education, you can also take on leadership roles within your laboratory or work in health informatics, where you’ll work more closely with record storage and sharing.

Job Outlook

Becoming a medical laboratory technician is a great choice for those who want job security and tons of opportunities over the course of the next several years. As the population continue to get older due to advanced in medicine and the aging baby boomer generation, workers in all areas in the healthcare including medical laboratories. The job outlook is great and best of all, you can earn a fairly high salary in this field with only a short education.

Medical Lab Technician Schools and Degrees

Kaplan University Kaplan University, one of the leading and largest online colleges in the country, offers several degrees to help you start your Medical Lab Technician career. These degrees establish a foundation in health, but more training may be necessary for you to obtain your desired position. Kaplan's programs include associate degrees in medical assisting, medical transcription, human services, and health information technology.
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South University South University's associates program in Allied Health Science is based on the important role of professionalism in healthcare. The curriculum combines the teaching of theory with industry-related technical data. This program exposes students to a broad selection in general studies with an emphasis on anatomy, physiology, chemistry, nutrition, and pathophysiology.
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University of Cincinnati The University of Cincinnati Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science will help you enter the exciting career of clinical laboratory analysis. The US government expects employment of clinical laboratory workers to grow by 14 percent, which is faster than the average of all occupations. Graduates work throughout the healthcare system as lab technicians.
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DeVry University The associate's degree in Health Information Technology from DeVry University is designed to prepare you to enter one of the nation's fastest growing professions. The curriculum is based on today's associate degree entry-level competencies outlined by the American Health Information Management Association and provides access to the latest coding and chart management software.
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University of Phoenix The University of Phoenix Associate of Arts in Human Services Management program is designed to teach the various types of human services organizations, including their interaction with society. Topics include public policy, funding, and multicultural awareness. A separate learning track is available for those transferring units into the program.
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Strayer University The Bachelor of Business Administration in Health Services Administration at Strayer University teaches students topics that prepare them for careers in the healthcare component of business, government, and non-profit organizations. Students gain fundamental, practical, and professional skills in all phases of business. Concentrations of the program include Acquisition and Contract Management, Banking, and Finance.
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Virginia College The Virginia College BS in Health Services Management program features a faculty that has real-world experience and a passion for teaching the subject. The program prepares graduates for mid-level management jobs in health care organizations including hospitals, physician practices, ambulatory care centers, and home health agencies. The college will accept up to ninety transfer credits.
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Hodges University The AS in Healthcare Information Technology program from Hodges University is a dynamic course of study that provides students with an entry level exposure to managing and designing health information systems. Courses will teach organizing, analyzing and technically evaluating health information; compiling statistics; coding diseases, operations, procedures and therapies; and maintaining and using health information indexes.
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Rasmussen University Rasmussen University offers an Associates degree in Health Information Technology that teaches topics such as electronic health records, insurance billing and coding, and the strategies and tactics used to promote patient confidentiality. Health Information technicians are an integral component of the healthcare team. Graduates work at small clinics and large hospitals.
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