A medical technologist is a medical professional that collects bodily fluids and tissue samples and performs complex tests within a laboratory to test for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. They are also known as medical laboratory scientists.
The medical technologists main job is to conduct analysis of patient’s bodily fluids, tissues and cells to determine if there are any abnormalities within these structures. They analyze their findings to ensure their accuracy. They enter their findings into a computer system for later use. They provide information to physicians, family members and research staff. They operate and maintain all equipment used in the lab such as calorimeters, flame photometers, analyzers and more. They set up lab equipment that is to be used for each test or experiment. They clean and sterilize all equipment after each use. They create and use quality assurance programs to ensure that accuracy is highly maintained. They analyze blood for type, morphology and more. They analyze biological material for chemical reactions and content. They may supervise and train other laboratory staff on proper lab testing and analysis techniques. This may include other technologists, lab assistants, lab technicians and more.
Medical Technologist Salary:
The national average medical technologist salary is currently $56,000 per year. This will depend on your level of experience, your education, the type of lab you work in and the city and state that you work in. Experience is very important to any job and the career of a medical technologist is no different. As a new graduate, you will not make as much as someone who has been working in the field for more than ten years. New graduates make an annual medical technologist salary of $40,000 per year. By the time you have five years of experience you can increase your medical technologist wage to $48,000 a year. Technologists that have ten years of experience will make a medical technologist pay rate of $57,000 annually. Senior levels of pay will greatly increase as the years go by. The medical technologist salary for someone with fifteen years of experience will average out to be around $68,000 per year. The top pay will be reached once you have at least twenty years of experience. At this level, the medical technologist salary is at $78,000 per year. The longer you stay with one employer, the more often you will be in line for pay raises.
Medical Technologist Education:
In order to become a medical technologist, you will need to get a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory technology or life sciences. This process will generally take you about four years to complete. Some hospitals may offer medical technology programs. Courses of study will include chemistry, several types of biology, math classes, statistics, clinical practices, management classes, computer courses, clerical skills, documentation, medical records documentation and more. Certification is not required but some hospitals and other employers may require you to be licensed before you can be hired on. This typically entails taking and passing a state or national exam. Specialty certifications are also available in phlebotomy or biology. If you plan to become licensed or certified make sure that the program you choose is accredited.
Medical Technologist Work Environment:
The work environment for a medical technologist is typical of most lab environments. It is brightly lit and well maintained making it a very comfortable environment. More than half of all technologists are employed in hospitals. Additionally they are employed in free standing laboratories, doctor’s offices and even the federal government. Technologists will spend the majority of their day on their feet and they may need to physically move some patients around. Since they work with blood and other bodily fluids, strict cautionary procedures must be followed at all times. Following proper sterilization procedures there should be no case for worrying about infectious diseases. Technologists will need to wear protective gear such as masks, gloves, goggles, and aprons. Medical technologists typically work forty hours per week. This may include working evening, over night and weekend hours as a part of the normal work schedule. This is very common when working in large medical facilities such as a hospital. Overtime hours are not typically required.
Medical technologists are typically the highest paid of the laboratory staff. They also will oversee the majority of all the lab staff. They perform more advanced tests and analysis than technicians do. They also have a good outlook for the future. Currently there are 169,000 medical professionals employed as medical technologists. There is an expected increase of eleven percent for new jobs to be created within the next couple of years. This means that there will be more than 19,000 new jobs created for well trained and experienced medical technologists. Which means that entering the field now and completing your training would be a great career move.