Career Profile: Laboratory Medical Technician

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Job Description:

If you like spending time inside the medical laboratory, then a career as a laboratory medical technician suits you perfectly. A laboratory medical technician works in close supervision of a pathologist. Laboratory medical technician professionals play an integral role inside the laboratory. They are tasked to collect and analyze various kinds of specimens (i.e. urine, stool, blood samples) to help doctors formulate the appropriate diagnosis. Specimens collected are often used for:

  • testing presence of bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms
  • analyzing blood cholesterol levels
  • matching blood types for transfusion
  • detecting abnormal cells in the body

The work of laboratory medical technician is quite complex and their duties are varied depending on the amount of training and experience they have. Since most medical laboratories are now using state-of-the-art laboratory equipments, the tasks of laboratory medical technician professionals have become more analytical. Some of the general responsibilities of laboratory medical technician professionals include the following:

  • develop precise laboratory evaluations
  • ensure the accuracy of laboratory tests
  • perform specific laboratory tests ordered by physicians
  • execute different laboratory procedures in accordance to detailed instructions

Overall, laboratory medical technician professionals carry out immunologic, hematologic, chemical, biologic, bacteriological, and microscopic tests to make accurate findings that will aid doctor's to devise the best plan of treatment.

Work Environment:

Since laboratory medical technician professionals are constantly exposed to infectious specimens, they are required to wear masks, gloves, goggles, and lab gown to ensure safety. Laboratory medical technician professionals usually work in a well-lighted and comfortable laboratory environment.

Work hours depend on the type of employment setting. Those working in laboratories operating continuously may have extended work hours and might also be required to work during evenings or weekends. Meanwhile, those in small laboratories usually work on a rotating shift.

Education and Training Requirements:

Laboratory medical technician aspirants can acquire formal training and education from community colleges, vocational schools, or online programs. It is advised that they satisfy at least a 2-year Associate degree in Allied Health. Those who want to undergo extensive training should pursue a 4-year Bachelor degree program. Job qualifications vary, but some states require licensure and certification. Hence, it is best to check the requirements of the state where you are planning to practice the profession.

Salary Range:

Majority of laboratory medical technician professionals are earning around $44,560 - $63,420 annually. Meanwhile, those who have already advanced in their career receive annual earnings of more than $74,680. Income ranges vary greatly depending on their employment setup, geographical location, specialization, and work experience.

Job Outlook:

Employment outlook for laboratory medical technician professionals is excellent. Moreover, it is projected that work demand will steadily increase until 2014. That being said, laboratory medical technician aspirants can expect more lucrative job opportunities.

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics