Medical Laboratory Technician

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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$24,000 – $56,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Medical Laboratory Technicians do?

As a Medical Laboratory Technician, you’re the Detective of the medical world, analyzing various bodily fluid samples to find clues as to what’s making a patient sick and how they can be cured. Even the most mysterious diseases still leave evidence behind, and you scout it out as a Medical Laboratory Technician in a lab setting using a variety of medical equipment.

Under the direction of the Medical Laboratory Supervisor, as the Medical Laboratory Technician, you process requested tests for Doctors. Your to-do list includes the tests that patients need performed. Once you know whether you’re developing a throat swab to check for strep throat or examining a blood sample to look for mono, you find the patient’s sample and start the test.

Testing involves lots of advanced technology and hands-on work, so someone who enjoys these will love working as a Medical Laboratory Technician. Preparing slides for microscopes and processing images on a computer screen are everyday tasks for you.

When the tests are finished, you report the results to the Doctor. You know what factors can interfere with a test and cause a false positive or negative. So you let the Doctor know of any factors, such as a specific virus, that may be interfering with the lab results.

From your detailed report, Doctors can examine the evidence of an illness and use it to choose the best course of treatment for the patient. Technology continues to provide faster and more accurate ways to identify diseases, and you have the know-how to put them to good use.

Should I be a Medical Laboratory Technician?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Blood Bank Laboratory Technician, Medical Laboratory Technologist, Toxicology Laboratory Technician

    How to Become a
    Medical Laboratory Technician

    Most Medical Laboratory Technicians have an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:am9gaa&chl=|certificate+%2812%25%29|associate%27s+%2858%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2830%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,58
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