How much does a lab tech make? This is a question that many people ask. The answer may surprise you.
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Most laboratory technicians make between $15 and $25 per hour, although those with more experience may earn closer to $30 per hour. The median salary for all laboratory technicians was $17.49 per hour in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Role of a Lab Tech
A laboratory technician is a professional who works in a laboratory setting, conducting tests and experiments under the supervision of a licensed scientist. Laboratory technicians typically have an Associate’s degree in science or a related field. They may also have completed a Certificate program or have on-the-job training.
Laboratory technicians generally work in one of two areas: research or quality control. Research laboratory technicians conduct experiments and tests to help scientists develop new products or processes. Quality control laboratory technicians test finished products to ensure that they meet quality standards set by the company.
Most laboratory technicians work full time during regular business hours. Some may work evenings or weekends, depending on the needs of the employer.
The Education and Training Required to Become a Lab Tech
The education and training required to become a lab tech varies depending on the specific field you want to specialize in. For example, medical lab techs typically need an associate’s degree from an accredited program, while dental lab techs may only need a certificate or diploma from a trade school. In either case, you will likely need to complete a period of on-the-job training before you can work independently.
The Certification Needed to Become a Lab Tech
In order to become a certified lab tech, you will first need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in medical technology or a related field. Once you have completed your undergraduate studies, you will then need to take and pass the American medical technologists (AMT) certification exam. Upon passing this exam, you will be awarded the Registered Medical Technologist (RMT) credential.
The Salary of a Lab Tech
The median salary for a lab tech is $16.50 per hour, or $34,560 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of workers in this field make more than $24.50 per hour, or $51,040 per year, while the bottom 10 percent earn less than $10.40 per hour, or $21,640 per year.
There are many factors that can affect how much a lab tech makes. The type of employer usually has the biggest impact on salary, with those working in hospitals and other medical facilities typically earning the most. The region of the country where a lab tech works can also influence earnings, as those in metropolitan areas tend to make more than those in rural areas. Experience is another important factor, as those with more experience usually command higher salaries.
The job outlook for Lab Techs
The job outlook for lab techs is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in this field will grow by 11 percent between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
The Pros and Cons of Being a Lab Tech
As a lab tech, you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and research laboratories. You will be responsible for performing a variety of tests and procedures, and you will be able to work with a variety of people. However, there are some drawbacks to being a lab tech that you should be aware of before you decide to pursue this career.
One of the biggest drawbacks to being a lab tech is the low salary. In most cases, lab techs make much less than other healthcare professionals, such as nurses and doctors. This can be a big problem if you are trying to support yourself or your family on your lab tech salary.
Another downside to being a lab tech is the long hours. In many cases, lab techs are required to work long shifts, often overnight or on weekends. This can be very challenging for people who have families or other obligations outside of work.
Despite these drawbacks, there are some definite advantages to being a lab tech. One of the biggest advantages is the flexible schedule. In many cases, lab techs are able to set their own hours, which can be very helpful for people who have other commitments outside of work. Additionally, lab techs usually have good job security since there is always a need for their services in healthcare settings.