Medical Laboratory Technician Jobs

Medical Laboratory Technician Job Description

A medical laboratory technician works in a lab performing very complex tests that are used to diagnose, treat, and help prevent various diseases. Some of the specific tasks that a medical lab technician is responsible for include:

  • Performing chemical analysis on bodily fluids such as blood, spinal fluid, or urine in order to determine the possible presence of abnormal components
  • Analyzing findings to double-check the results’ accuracy or inaccuracy
  • Maintaining and operating equipment used in analysis including calorimeters, computer-controlled analyzers, and similar machinery
  • Entering data taken from clinical results and medical tests
  • Monitoring quality assurance activities to ensure that lab test results are accurate
  • Setting up and cleaning lab equipment
  • Supervising and directing lab assistants
  • Collecting and studying blood samples to determine a number of things including the number of cells, their blood type, or compatibility for transfusion
  • Providing technical information pertaining to test results to researchers and physicians
  • Analyzing biological material for chemical reaction or content
  • Performing medical research to further control disease
  • Examining cells that have been stained with dye in order to locate any possible abnormalities
  • Inoculating fertilized eggs or other bacteriological media with organisms
  • Cutting and mounting tissue samples so that pathologists can examine them
  • Preparing vaccines and serums

Medical laboratory technicians can find employment in a variety of environments such as hospitals, private labs, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, and public health organizations.

The ideal medical lab tech will have the following abilities:

  • Inductive and deductive reasoning
  • Ability to see details at close range
  • Ability to tell when something is likely to go wrong or a problem is likely to come up
  • Verbal comprehension and understanding
  • Written comprehension and understanding

Knowledge Requirements

In order for you to become a medical laboratory technician, you need at least your GED or high school diploma as well as a one- to two-year associate’s degree or certificate program. This program will cover many different important subjects including but not limited to:

  • Chemistry
  • Pathology
  • Laboratory math
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microscopy

However, many employers may require that a medical lab tech have a bachelor’s degree in medical technology.

Many employers require their medical lab technicians to be certified. After earning your certificate or bachelor’s or associate’s degree, you can opt to take a certification exam in order to be more attractive to more employers.

Average Annual Salary

According to a 2010 survey conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor, the average medical laboratory technician earned $36,280 annually. The top-earning technicians earned over $56,000. Therefore, becoming a medical laboratory technician basically guarantees you a respectable annual salary.

So, if you’re interested in beginning a career that’s stable, offers a good salary, and that makes a difference, consider studying to become a medical laboratory technician. After you’ve obtained the necessary training and education, you can start a career that you can be proud to be a part of.

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