Medical Laboratory Technicians

Medical laboratory technicians, also known as clinical laboratory technicians, perform routine tests in medical laboratories. These tests help physicians and other professional medical personnel diagnose and treat disease. Technicians prepare samples of body tissue; perform laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts; and make chemical and biological analyses of cells, tissue, blood, or other body specimens. They usually work under the supervision of a medical technologist or a laboratory director. Medical laboratory technicians may work in many fields, or specialize in one specific medical area, such as cytology (the study of cells), hematology (the study of blood, especially on the cellular level), serology (the study and identification of antibodies found in the blood), or histology (the study of body tissue). There are approximately 157,080 medical and clinical laboratory technicians employed in the United States.


Quick Facts
Duties Perform laboratory tests, such as blood counts, and make chemical and biological analyses of cells, tissue, blood, or other body specimens
Alternate Title(s) Clinical Laboratory Technicians, Cytotechnicians, Histologic Technicians, Tissue Technicians
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide; most opportunities available in metropolitan areas
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
Related School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
Experience Internship
Skills
  • Computer
  • Math
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Scientific
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Medical Technologist
  • Supervisor
  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Assistant Medical Laboratory Technician

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