Finding the right job that fits your personality can be one of the hardest things that you can do. Deciding on the career path that you want is extremely important. It will affect all aspects of your life. One of the best career fields to go into is the medical field. It not only has one of the best job outlooks of all the career fields combined, but it also offers many unique opportunities. Whether you want to work with patients or on the research side of things, there is an opportunity for you.
If you want to work more on the research side of things and do not want to work with the actual patients you can still be a part of the medical field. A medical lab technician is a medical professional that performs tests and analysis that has been ordered by a physician. They analyze bodily fluids such as blood, urine, saliva and tissue samples. They use lab equipment such as microscopes, slides and cell counters. They also use large machines that will allow them to perform many of the same types of tests at one time. The results are then discussed with the physician who has ordered them. These tests are often done to find the positively of diseases and other abnormalities.
Lab Technician Salary:
The lab technician salary is around $56,000 per year or about $28 an hour. This will depend on the level of experience you have and even the type of lab that you are working in. Another thing that can affect the amount of the lab technician wage is the city and state that you work in. The top paying states are Connecticut, Washington, DC, Oregon, Alaska and Rhode Island. All of these states offer a lab technician salary of more than $5,000 above the national average. The lab technician income in Connecticut and Washington, DC averages to be around $66,000 a year. The lab technician salary in Oregon is $67,000 a year. In Alaska, the lab technician wage is $63,000 on average. Rhode Island is the best place to work. It offers the highest lab technician income. The salary in this state is $70,000 a year or the same as $34 an hour.
Lab Technician Education:
If you have decided that you want to become a lab technician, you will need to attend a college level course to get the required knowledge that you need to excel in this industry. The first thing you will need before you can enter a program is a high school diploma. After you have a high school diploma your next step is to obtain a lab technician certificate that will take about one year or a lab technician associate’s degree that will take about two years to complete. Courses are often offered through hospitals as part of internship programs also. Courses will include extensive training and education in chemistry, biology, math and other lab sciences. The courses that are given for a certificate are not as comprehensive as the courses that are given for the associate’s degree. It is also important to understand that technicians with an associate’s degree will make more than a person with a certificate. Some states and employers require you to be licensed. Some do not. It is best to check with your state and employer. Most employers do prefer applicants who are licensed and certified. This will also increase your salary.
Lab Technician Work Environment:
The work environment for a lab technician is similar to most medical environments. More than half of all lab techs work in hospitals and other medical type lab environments. They work in well lit environments that are highly sterile and clean. Since the majority of their job will be done on their feet, it is important that they wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Also, some of the materials that are used can cause fumes so facial masks may be used at certain times. The majority of lab techs work a normal forty hour work shift. The hours that are worked can vary as many of the facilities are opened twenty four hours a day. There are often weekend and over night hours. Some overtime may also be required from time to time.
The job of a lab technician is not a job in which you will be doing the same thing every day. This is what makes taking this career on an interesting way to make a living. It also offers a high level of job security. As of 2012, there are more than 160,000 people employed as lab technicians. There is to an expansion in the job market of fifteen percent. This means that there will be 23,000 more jobs by 2018. Taking the time to earn your degree and start in this lucrative career can be one of the best decisions that you make.