Medical laboratory technicians are professionals that work in a lab setting and perform several different types of tests and findings. These tests have been ordered by a physician for the prevention and diagnosis of diseases.
Medical laboratory technicians have many different job functions. They conduct many types of tests such as the chemical analysis of body fluids such as blood, urine and tissues from the body. They also conduct blood test to analyze blood counts. They are in charge of setting up and cleaning all medical supplies and equipment that is used in the lab. Test results are analyzed to ensure that all specifications are followed and met. This will include the use of several types of mechanical devices and machines to ensure accuracy of results. Medical lab techs also analyze data that has been collected and use charts, tables and other data to record this information. They also will collect blood samples, tissue samples and more. They use several types of medical equipment including microscopes, microscopic slides, automatic analyzers and cell counters. Medical lab techs will also confer with pathologists for final diagnosis of patients. This will often happen when abnormal cells are found. They also will prepare standard solutions for combining with samples for experimental procedures.
Medical Laboratory Technician Salary:
The average medical laboratory technician salary is about $56,000 per year nationally and a little bit above $26 an hour. Like with most careers, the medical laboratory wage will vary depending on several different types of things including the place you work, the type of lab you work in, the level of experience you have, the type of education you completed and more. The level of experience that you have will greatly affect the amount of the medical laboratory salary. A new graduate will earn a starting salary of $24,000 per year. This number will increase each year that you work in the field. By the time you have ten years of experience, you will make an average medical laboratory technician salary of $36,000 per year. At the top level of experience, or with twenty years or more of experience, you can expect a medical laboratory wage of $57,000 per year. Additionally, you can increase your wage by becoming licensed and certified.
Medical Laboratory Technician Education:
The career of a medical laboratory technician will require you to train in a college environment. There are two choices for your education. Make sure that you choose one of the courses that has been accredited by NAACLS or CAAHEP. There is a one year certificate and a two year associate’s degree. Both courses will include in class work and also work in a real lab. Courses will include clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, urinalysis, phlebotomy, clinical practices, computer courses and much more. Some general education courses will also be required if you choose the associate’s degree program. After graduation, you may decide that you want to become certified. Certification is not a requirement by most states, but many employers will only hire certified medical lab techs. Becoming certified may also increase your income. Certifications are available for general lab techs and certain specialties such as phlebotomy or biology.
Medical Laboratory Technician Work Environment:
The typical work environment for a medical laboratory technician is working in a lab or medical facility. The majority of the work is done on the labs feet and will require moving around and adjusting machines and samples. The labs are clean, well lit and ventilated and provide a nice environment to work in. Lab techs may come into contact with fumes and other types of harmful substances as a part of their work day. They also will need to wear several types of safety equipment including sterilized gloves, goggles, aprons, scrubs and protective face masks. The level of stress and pressure may be higher than normal in this field due to the time constraints placed upon the results of many of these tests. The work schedule for medical laboratory technicians is generally a normal full time work week of forty hours. Some overnight or weekend hours may be required if working in a facility that operates twenty four hours a day such as a hospital or large medical center.
The career of a medical laboratory technician offers a great many benefits. It is a great way to use your mind and be a part of the exciting medical field. There are also many different things that you can do within a lab from testing for diseases to researching diseases and their solutions. It also offers a very good outlook for the future. Currently there are 161,000 people employed as medical lab technicians. This number will increase by as much as fifteen percent within the next couple of years. By the year 2018, there is expected to be another 185,000 jobs added to the market.