Medical Laboratory Techs

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Medical Laboratory Techs

Medical Laboratory Techs


Education

What’s Needed: Medical laboratory technicians typically need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Medical laboratory technologists usually need a bachelor’s degree in medical technology medical laboratory science or in life sciences.

What you study:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology
  • Statistics
  • Clinical laboratory skills
  • Computer literacy


Video Overview

Briefly introduces the work of medical laboratory technicians. Produced for the US Department of Labor.


A Day in the Life

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians play a vital role in detecting diagnosing and treating an array of diseases.

Medical laboratory techs work behind the scenes helping patients live healthier longer lives. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians play a vital role in detecting diagnosing and treating an array of diseases. As a medical laboratory tech you run tests on blood body fluids tissues and other samples using high-tech equipment. The test results help physicians determine the best treatment for their patients and occasionally lead to breakthroughs.

The test results help physicians determine the best treatment for their patients and occasionally lead to breakthroughs.

A typical day as a medical laboratory tech may involve matching blood from different donors for transfusions examining fluids for bacteria or parasites testing for drug levels in blood to determine how a patient is responding to treatment and analyzing the chemical content of fluids. A typical day may also include discussing the findings and results of laboratory tests and procedures with doctors.

you make sure tests are properly completed and ensure procedures are performed safely

During the day you’ll utilize microscopes cell counters and other tools. Advanced machines take care of much of the workload. As a medical laboratory tech you make sure tests are properly completed and ensure procedures are performed safely. Medical laboratory technicians also interpret results.

The more complicated procedures are usually performed by medical laboratory technologists who typically need a bachelor’s degree; medical laboratory technicians who typically need an associate’s degree often work under th supervision of a medical laboratory technologist.


Certifications and Licensing

In some states laboratory personnel are required to be licensed or registered. Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree and also pass an exam to be licensed however license requirements vary by speciality and state. To obtain specific requirements contact your state’s department of health or board of occupational licensing.

In some states certification of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is required for licensure. Certification is not required for all jobs in the occupation however usually employers seek certified medical laboratory technologists and technicians. Individuals can acquire a general certification as a medical technologist or technician. They can also obtain certification in a specialty such as medical biology or phlebotomy.

The following associations provide certification for medical laboratory technicians: American Medical Technologists Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts and the National Credentialing Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.


Job Flexibility

Full-time versus part-time: Most medical laboratory techs work full-time. Medical laboratory techs working in facilities which operate around the clock such as independent laboratories and hospitals may work evenings overnight hours or weekends.

Work location: Medical laboratory techs work in hospitals medical and diagnostic laboratories doctors’ offices and government agencies.


Recommended Websites

  • American Medical Technologists (AMT) a nonprofit certification agency provides certification services to help health professionals enhance their professional growth. Those who receive certification automatically become members of the American Medical Technologist group and begin receiving benefits. AMT offers valuable continuing education. Also students receive free membership which includes access to an online student forum a discount on practice exams access to career connections as well as scholarships and other recognition opportunities.
  • The American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) offers an array of useful resources from its Student Center including information about awards and scholarships certification information a student forum and helpful information for new graduates including information about careers.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Handbook provides an overview of the various tasks performed by medical laboratory techs. The BLS also provides salary information educational requirements and an employment growth forecast.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

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    State City / Region Typical Salary Salary Range Job Count % of All Jobs
    AK Anchorage $48670 $33K – $84K 280 0.16%
    AK Fairbanks $45420 $35K – $66K 40 0.12%
    AL Anniston – Oxford $32530 $22K – $45K 70 0.16%
    AL Auburn – Opelika $44280 $21K – $59K 40 0.09%
    AL Birmingham – Hoover $34220 $24K – $46K 870 0.18%
    AL Decatur $29100 $21K – $45K 90 0.17%
    AL Dothan $32760 $23K – $44K 70 0.12%
    AL Florence – Muscle Shoals $33710 $21K – $48K 50 0.10%
    AL Gadsden $29550 $22K – $42K 100 0.29%
    AL Huntsville $32140 $21K – $56K 120 0.06%
    AL Mobile $28290 $21K – $45K 220 0.13%
    AL Montgomery $30790 $22K – $48K 90 0.06%
    AL Tuscaloosa $30900 $23K – $47K 80 0.09%
    AR Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers $30800 $22K – $55K 140 0.07%
    AR Jonesboro $27650 $21K – $43K 60 0.12%
    AR Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway $31460 $22K – $49K 770 0.23%
    AR Pine Bluff $38210 $26K – $55K N/A N/A
    AZ Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale $37930 $28K – $67K 2630 0.15%
    AZ Prescott $33180 $26K – $44K 40 0.07%
    AZ Tucson $37460 $24K – $65K 470 0.13%
    CA Bakersfield – Delano $32050 $24K – $46K 230 0.09%
    CA Chico $30230 $26K – $83K 60 0.09%
    CA El Centro $27810 $21K – $49K 40 0.08%
    CA Fresno $33810 $26K – $70K 320 0.10%
    CA Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area) $36480 $27K – $60K 5730 0.15%
    CA Merced N/A N/A – N/A 80 0.13%
    CA Modesto $40810 $28K – $60K 160 0.11%
    CA Napa $41520 $29K – $57K 80 0.12%
    CA Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area) $51260 $37K – $89K 880 0.09%
    CA Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura $38240 $30K – $59K 140 0.05%
    CA Redding $40360 $27K – $71K 90 0.16%
    CA Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario $37340 $27K – $58K 710 0.06%
    CA Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville $43710 $31K – $59K 930 0.11%
    CA Salinas $49200 $33K – $60K 80 0.05%
    CA San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos $42260 $30K – $74K 1430 0.11%
    CA San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area) $55920 $41K – $77K 1080 0.11%
    CA San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara $53360 $38K – $70K 940 0.10%
    CA San Luis Obispo – Paso Robles $29350 $25K – $78K 120 0.12%
    CA Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area) $40170 $27K – $60K 1770 0.13%
    CA Santa Cruz – Watsonville $42880 $32K – $66K 80 0.10%
    CA Santa Rosa – Petaluma $37920 $27K – $98K 150 0.09%
    CA Stockton $44570 $31K – $59K 170 0.09%
    CA Vallejo – Fairfield $40720 $29K – $59K 330 0.27%
    CA Visalia – Porterville $27810 $20K – $49K 60 0.05%
    CO Boulder $31460 $25K – $51K 110 0.07%
    CO Colorado Springs $34160 $27K – $48K 140 0.06%
    CO Denver – Aurora – Broomfield $39850 $27K – $71K 1030 0.08%
    CO Fort Collins – Loveland $30640 $25K – $47K 170 0.13%
    CT Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk $57680 $30K – $88K 290 0.07%
    CT Danbury $55610 $33K – $74K N/A N/A
    CT Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford $47220 $31K – $69K 430 0.08%
    CT New Haven $43290 $27K – $59K 370 0.14%
    CT Norwich – New London $51290 $33K – $72K 50 0.04%
    DC Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area) $40180 $26K – $59K 2520 0.11%
    DE Dover $35810 $23K – $56K N/A N/A
    DE Wilmington (Metro Area) $46870 $34K – $61K 280 0.09%
    FL Cape Coral – Fort Myers $47670 $27K – $60K 200 0.10%
    FL Crestview – Fort Walton Beach – Destin $39550 $28K – $47K 50 0.07%
    FL Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach $48500 $32K – $58K 100 0.07%
    FL Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area) $33450 $21K – $50K 920 0.13%
    FL Gainesville $24750 $18K – $48K 130 0.11%
    FL Jacksonville $38400 $18K – $57K 350 0.06%
    FL Lakeland – Winter Haven $43950 $33K – $57K 70 0.04%
    FL Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area) $29200 $21K – $45K 900 0.09%
    FL Naples – Marco Island $48040 $39K – $59K 30 0.03%
    FL North Port – Bradenton – Sarasota $38670 $29K – $53K 110 0.04%
    FL Ocala $32230 $21K – $49K 70 0.08%
    FL Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford $28480 $18K – $46K 1300 0.13%
    FL Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville $32130 $21K – $50K 160 0.08%
    FL Panama City – Lynn Haven – Panama City Beach $31730 $22K – $50K 60 0.09%
    FL Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent $34450 $26K – $47K 90 0.06%
    FL Port St. Lucie $41060 $24K – $70K 40 0.03%
    FL Punta Gorda $37280 $17K – $57K 60 0.14%
    FL Tallahassee $39830 $24K – $59K 110 0.07%
    FL Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater $32220 $20K – $58K 1550 0.14%
    FL West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area) $48690 $26K – $66K 340 0.07%
    GA Albany $29310 $21K – $42K 140 0.23%
    GA Athens – Clarke County $27060 $18K – $37K 90 0.12%
    GA Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta $34840 $25K – $57K 4680 0.21%
    GA Augusta – Richmond County $39740 $23K – $57K 270 0.13%
    GA Brunswick $38550 $25K – $56K N/A N/A
    GA Columbus $33470 $24K – $48K 220 0.20%
    GA Dalton $37030 $24K – $62K 80 0.13%
    GA Gainesville $29000 $22K – $39K 170 0.24%
    GA Rome $31420 $21K – $49K 150 0.43%
    GA Savannah $28220 $21K – $42K 270 0.18%
    GA Valdosta $27980 $19K – $39K 70 0.15%
    HI Honolulu $43070 $32K – $55K 700 0.16%
    IA Ames $41350 $33K – $53K 40 0.11%
    IA Cedar Rapids $36540 $26K – $53K 80 0.06%
    IA Davenport – Moline – Rock Island $34560 $24K – $48K 540 0.30%
    IA Des Moines – West Des Moines $39190 $27K – $53K 280 0.09%
    IA Dubuque $41490 $26K – $57K 40 0.07%
    IA Iowa City $41690 $28K – $59K 170 0.19%
    IA Sioux City $36430 $29K – $49K 50 0.06%
    IA Waterloo – Cedar Falls $39900 $29K – $50K 170 0.19%
    ID Boise City – Nampa $28410 $19K – $47K 190 0.07%
    ID Coeur d’Alene ID $28600 $23K – $41K 60 0.11%
    IL Bloomington – Normal $45610 $30K – $69K 40 0.05%
    IL Champaign – Urbana $29210 $22K – $57K N/A N/A
    IL Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area) $36110 $23K – $60K 3350 0.09%
    IL Danville $41700 $28K – $62K 50 0.17%
    IL Kankakee – Bradley $42300 $33K – $59K 60 0.14%
    IL Lake County – Kenosha County (Metro Area) $40160 $27K – $64K 440 0.12%
    IL Peoria $38290

    $25K – $77K 60 0.05%
    IL Springfield $35520 $22K – $55K 160 0.15%
    IN Bloomington $38000 $26K – $52K 90 0.13%
    IN Elkhart – Goshen $35660 $28K – $46K 80 0.08%
    IN Evansville $31770 $22K – $53K 240 0.14%
    IN Fort Wayne $35380 $23K – $49K 170 0.09%
    IN Gary (Metro Area) $37380 $26K – $53K 320 0.12%
    IN Indianapolis – Carmel $33570 $23K – $51K 1620 0.18%
    IN Lafayette $30790 $25K – $47K 90 0.10%
    IN South Bend – Mishawaka $30570 $23K – $48K 280 0.23%
    IN Terre Haute $36450 $27K – $48K 50 0.07%
    KS Manhattan $34460 $22K – $50K 60 0.11%
    KS Topeka $30000 $22K – $39K 100 0.10%
    KS Wichita $31340 $24K – $46K 300 0.11%
    KY Bowling Green $42780 $25K – $71K 40 0.07%
    KY Lexington – Fayette $37570 $28K – $54K 130 0.05%
    KY Louisville – Jefferson County $36090 $26K – $53K 570 0.10%
    KY Owensboro $33470 $25K – $50K 60 0.13%
    LA Alexandria $29060 $21K – $47K 130 0.21%
    LA Baton Rouge $35070 $25K – $53K 490 0.14%
    LA Houma – Bayou Cane – Thibodaux $34020 $23K – $46K 30 0.04%
    LA Lafayette $45780 $23K – $60K 180 0.12%
    LA Lake Charles $34620 $21K – $50K 80 0.09%
    LA Monroe $32150 $26K – $44K 120 0.16%
    LA New Orleans – Metairie – Kenner $31320 $21K – $47K 570 0.11%
    LA Shreveport – Bossier City $34460 $23K – $60K 280 0.16%
    MA Barnstable Town $53010 $31K – $71K 90 0.09%
    MA Boston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area) $37690 $28K – $59K 3230 0.19%
    MA Framingham (Metro Area) $35240 $26K – $56K 110 0.07%
    MA Lowell – Billerica – Chelmsford (Metro Area) $32480 $25K – $46K 60 0.05%
    MA Peabody (Metro Area) $36480 $28K – $57K 130 0.13%
    MA Worcester $35930 $26K – $65K 370 0.15%
    MD Baltimore – Towson $37680 $25K – $64K 2100 0.17%
    MD Bethesda – Rockville – Frederick (Metro Area) $48850 $28K – $69K 700 0.12%
    MD Cumberland $43710 $33K – $55K 100 0.28%
    MD Hagerstown – Martinsburg $39600 $26K – $60K 140 0.14%
    MD Salisbury N/A N/A – N/A 70 0.14%
    ME Bangor $55060 $43K – $62K 140 0.22%
    ME Portland – South Portland – Biddeford $34270 $24K – $53K N/A N/A
    MI Ann Arbor $40250 $27K – $59K 520 0.27%
    MI Battle Creek $32230 $25K – $43K 90 0.18%
    MI Detroit – Livonia – Dearborn (Metro Area) $36100 $26K – $58K 1170 0.17%
    MI Flint $35120 $26K – $54K 190 0.15%
    MI Grand Rapids – Wyoming $29590 $25K – $39K 710 0.18%
    MI Holland – Grand Haven $37010 $22K – $58K N/A N/A
    MI Kalamazoo – Portage $31910 $25K – $48K 200 0.16%
    MI Lansing – East Lansing $34110 $25K – $47K 470 0.24%
    MI Niles – Benton Harbor $37360 $26K – $55K 80 0.14%
    MI Warren – Troy – Farmington Hills (Metro Area) $29680 $25K – $44K 2070 0.19%
    MN Duluth $41310 $32K – $55K 210 0.17%
    MN Mankato – North Mankato $41580 $32K – $54K 70 0.14%
    MN Minneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington $43420 $31K – $57K 1910 0.11%
    MN St. Cloud $43270 $34K – $49K 110 0.11%
    MO Cape Girardeau – Jackson $31030 $20K – $57K 50 0.11%
    MO Columbia $28690 $19K – $51K 250 0.29%
    MO Kansas City $37400 $26K – $62K 1490 0.15%
    MO Springfield $25560 $20K – $47K 410 0.22%
    MO St. Louis $33750 $22K – $56K 1580 0.12%
    MS Gulfport – Biloxi $30760 $20K – $38K 160 0.16%
    MS Hattiesburg $29770 $17K – $47K 190 0.34%
    MS Jackson $37570 $23K – $69K 370 0.15%
    MS Pascagoula $34070 $25K – $43K 50 0.09%
    MT Billings $36900 $26K – $60K 110 0.14%
    MT Missoula $43680 $26K – $70K 90 0.16%
    NC Asheville $33640 $19K – $47K 280 0.17%
    NC Burlington $38380 $29K – $52K 830 1.48%
    NC Charlotte – Gastonia – Rock Hill $37040 $27K – $53K 1020 0.12%
    NC Fayetteville $38020 $28K – $51K 170 0.14%
    NC Goldsboro $36770 $23K – $51K 50 0.14%
    NC Greensboro – High Point $40180 $29K – $51K N/A N/A
    NC Greenville $35690 $26K – $54K 120 0.16%
    NC Hickory – Lenoir – Morganton $32220 $18K – $53K 210 0.15%
    NC Jacksonville $40080 $20K – $48K 60 0.13%
    NC Raleigh – Cary $34150 $19K – $48K 600 0.12%
    NC Rocky Mount $41930 $32K – $56K 60 0.10%
    NC Wilmington $32990 $17K – $54K 200 0.15%
    NC Winston – Salem $38180 $25K – $55K 610 0.30%
    ND Bismarck $37250 $32K – $46K 100 0.15%
    ND Fargo $36120 $29K – $46K 140 0.11%
    ND Grand Forks $41250 $31K – $57K 40 0.08%
    NE Lincoln $29910 $24K – $47K 280 0.17%
    NE Omaha – Council Bluffs $32810 $25K – $47K 690 0.15%
    NH Manchester $36090 $18K – $58K 100 0.10%
    NH Portsmouth $23790 $17K – $45K N/A N/A
    NJ Atlantic City – Hammonton $52440 $39K – $60K 90 0.07%
    NJ Camden (Metro Area) $51730 $40K – $61K 330 0.07%
    NJ Edison – New Brunswick (Metro Area) $45430 $33K – $61K 710 0.07%
    NJ Newark – Union (Metro Area) $49200 $31K – $63K 540 0.06%
    NJ Trenton – Ewing $49600 $37K – $60K 100 0.05%
    NM Albuquerque $29730 $22K – $46K 900 0.25%
    NM Las Cruces $44380 $23K – $84K N/A N/A
    NM Santa Fe $45300 $31K – $68K 90 0.15%
    NV Las Vegas – Paradise $38770 $27K – $60K 670 0.08%
    NV Reno – Sparks $38780 $29K – $56K 270 0.15%
    NY Albany – Schenectady – Troy $40390 $28K – $61K 640 0.15%
    NY Binghamton $44240 $30K – $58K 40 0.04%
    NY Buffalo – Niagara Falls $43880 $31K – $56K 220 0.04%
    NY Ithaca $46100 $39K – $72K N/A N/A
    NY Kingston $40630 $33K – $66K N/A N/A
    NY Nassau – Suffolk (Metro Area) $50070 $31K – $73K 1180 0.10%
    NY New York – White Plains – Wayne (Metro Area) $46290 $33K – $66K 3720 0.07%
    NY Poughkeepsie – Newburgh – Middletown $48150 $31K – $59K 120 0.05%
    NY Rochester $35500 $25K – $54K 840 0.17%
    NY Syracuse $40110 $27K – $56K 180 0.06%
    NY Utica – Rome $46070 $35K – $62K 60 0.05%
    OH Akron $44130 $27K – $60K 530 0.17%
    OH Canton – Massillon $39840 $33K – $47K 170 0.10%
    OH Cincinnati – Middletown $35400 $25K – $56K 1460 0.15%
    OH Cleveland – Elyria – Mentor $42180 $31K – $56K 1130 0.11%
    OH Columbus $38260 $24K – $54K 980 0.11%
    OH Dayton $37070 $25K – $55K 410 0.11%
    OH Lima $29750 $22K – $47K 180 0.38%
    OH Springfield $36640 $31K – $45K 40 0.07%
    OH Toledo $44720 $31K – $58K 480 0.17%
    OH Youngstown – Warren – Boardman $36640 $25K – $55K 270 0.12%
    OK Lawton $30920 $25K – $43K N/A N/A
    OK Oklahoma City $33900 $23K – $57K 510 0.09%
    OK Tulsa $34640 $22K – $59K 580 0.14%
    OR Eugene – Springfield $37190 $31K – $47K N/A N/A
    OR Medford $45470 $34K – $61K 30 0.04%
    OR Portland – Vancouver – Hillsboro $46530 $28K – $69K 840 0.08%
    OR Salem $43210 $33K – $60K 60 0.04%