Medical Laboratory Technician Programs
Lab Tech Training and Licensing
The healthcare industry relies on professionals in all settings and at all levels of education to provide patients with prompt, evidence-based care. If you enjoy science, have excellent concentration, are detail-oriented, and maintain your focus while performing repetitive tasks, you may be interested in earning a medical lab technician degree.
Lab technician education programs provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to process biological samples, look for important markers of disease, and relay information to doctors.
This is a line of work that is completely distinct from medical assisting, and the training the job requires is unique from what you would find in a medical assistant associate degree program or similar option.
Are you ready to pursue your medical laboratory technician education?
Keep reading to learn more and contact lab technician college programs below.
Lab Tech Program Information
As you ask, “How do I become a medical lab technician?” you may find that there are several types of degree programs in your area.
If you’re trying to figure out if this is the right field for you or you want to get some experience before completing an entire degree, you may enroll in a certificate or diploma program. These programs may last between six months and one year.
However, if you plan on applying for certification, you need an Associate’s degree in laboratory technology. This type of program requires two years of full-time study and no fewer than 60 credits.
As you learn about different laboratory techniques, standards, and tests, you may take some of the commonly offered courses below.
Coursework Offered in Laboratory Technician Education Programs
- Blood Banking
- Laboratory Math
- Clinical Microbiology
- Clinical Chemistry
- Medical Terminology
Clinical experience is a major part of your medical laboratory technician education requirements. In fact, you need an extensive amount of laboratory experience to apply for certification in this field. You should get the chance to observe laboratory procedures, participate in them, and do them independently. This opportunity allows you to become confident in a laboratory setting.
Licensing Information and 2017 Job Outlook for Medical Laboratory Techs
If you have the proper medical laboratory technician education, you may apply for certification through the American Medical Technologists. They award the title of Medical Laboratory Technician. You must provide proof of your Associate’s degree and your laboratory hours. After passing a written exam, you can secure your license and use it to explore a wide range of job options. As you gain more experience and meet continuing education requirements, you may apply for more prestigious certifications.
As a lab tech, you spend the vast majority of your time in the laboratory working on your own. You may have little to no interaction with patients. However, if you study phlebotomy in your degree, you may take samples from patients and process them. Look into job openings at large hospitals, private clinics, and research facilities.
National demand for laboratory technicians is growing. By the year 2024, BLS predicts a 16% increase in job openings for laboratory technicians, meaning they anticipate over 50,000 new lab tech jobs (2017). The average salary for a laboratory technician in the United States is $50,550 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
As the health industry continues to grow, the national need for support professionals continues to rise. Start a career in a solid industry and help people in your community.