Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technicians
One Career Recording a Healthy Outlook
Medical & Clinical Laboratory technicians perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist. They conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer. They also analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices. They set up, maintain, calibrate, clean and sterility of medical laboratory equipment. Medical laboratory technicians work in hospitals, physician offices, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), community health centers and among other organizations.
The number of Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technicians is expected to increase by 20 percent between 2018 and 2028!
Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technicians have a median annual salary $13,000 higher than the median for all occupations in the Gulf Coast and $25,000 a year more with experience!
Job opportunities are available in a wide range of healthcare related industries and even educational institutions..
Start Early and Be Prepared
Educational Requirements for a Medical Lab Technician
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that medical lab technicians may be trained on the job, the Bureau also reports that most receive formal education through a certificate or associate's degree program (www.bls.gov). The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) approves these educational programs, which are generally offered by junior colleges and vocational schools (www.naacls.org). Those who complete these programs generally go on to work for healthcare laboratory facilities.
Admissions for Postsecondary Programs
Prospective candidates must earn their high school diploma or its equivalent prior to applying. Some programs recommend that applicants complete mathematics and science courses while in high school. This may include algebra, biology and chemistry.
While certificate programs in medical laboratory sciences generally last one year, associate's degree programs may take 1-2 years to complete. Both programs typically begin by introducing students to medical laboratory equipment and data analysis. Students may also be required to take sequences of courses in histology, microbiology and biochemistry. These classes may delve into topics ranging from cell tissues to parasites and viruses. In addition, programs might explore topics in phlebotomy, hematology and immune hematology. Students may learn techniques for examining bodily fluids and using lab equipment to search for problems with samples. Programs also include clinical practicums, which may include on-the-job training in urinalysis and mycology.
Once training is complete, students are eligible to earn certifications offered by credentialing organizations, such as the American Medical Technologists and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Certification generally requires passing a qualifying examination. Credentialing organizations may provide exam preparation material via their websites. Once certified, these professionals may need to complete continuing education requirements.
Helpful Tech to Get Ahead
- Analytical or Scientific Software: Minitab, SAS, SPSS, or StataCorp Stata
- vData Base Reporting Software: Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or SAP Crystal Reports
- Medical Software: Epic Systems, Medical condition coding software, Medical procedure coding software, or MEDITECH software
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software: SAP Business Objects
- Microsoft Office Suite: Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft WOrd, Microsoft PowerPoint, or Microsoft Excel
Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technicians Programs Accredited by CAHIIM Community Colleges
- College of the Mainland
- Houston Community College
- Lee College
- Lone Star College
- San Jacinto College
- Wharton County Junior College
Major Employers in the Gulf Coast Region
- Harris County Hospital District
- HCA Healthcare
- DaVita Health Care Partners
- Houston VA Medical Center
- Kelsey-Seybold Clinic
- Memorial Hermann Healthcare System The Methodist Hospital
- Oak Bend Medical Center
- St. Lukes Episcopal Health System
- Shriners Hospital for Children
- Thenet Health Care
- Texas Children's Hospital
- The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
- The University of Texas Medical Branch
If you have questions about our Industry/Occupation Profiles or are an organization in the Gulf Coast Region, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.|