The medical technology field is expected to grow by 32 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. If you’re interested in a career in medical technology, here’s how to become a med tech in five steps.
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Becoming a medical technologist (med tech) requires completing a few key steps, including completing an accredited educational program and passing a credentialing exam. Here’s a brief overview of what you need to do to become a med tech.
Step One: Research the Field
Before you decide to become a med tech, it’s important to learn about the field and what it entails. Talk to current med techs and find out what they like and don’t like about their job. Find out what the day-to-day duties are and what sorts of things you can expect to see in the field. It’s also important to research the educational requirements and find out if you have the right qualifications.
Step Two: Get Educated
After you’ve done your research, it’s time to get educated. You’ll need to have at least a two-year degree in medical technology or a related field before you can start working as a med tech. There are many different ways to go about getting your education, so take some time to explore your options and find the best fit for you.
Step Three: Get Certified
Once you have your degree, it’s time to get certified. In order to work as a med tech, you must be certified by the American medical technologists (AMT). You can become certified by taking their certification exam or by completing an accredited medical technology program.
Step Four: Find a Job
After you’re certified, it’s time to start looking for a job. There are many different places that hire med techs, so take some time to explore your options. You can look for jobs in hospitals, clinics, private laboratories, or even research facilities. Once you find a few places that interest you, be sure to apply and go through the interview process.
Step Five: Advance Your Career
Once you’ve landed a job, it’s time to start thinking about advancing your career. There are many different ways to do this, so take some time to explore your options and find the best fit for you. You can consider going back to school to get a higher degree, taking on more responsibilities at work, or even moving into management or leadership positions.
Step Two: Get a Degree in Medical Technology
A degree in medical technology will give you the broadest range of career options after graduation. You can work in a hospital, a private laboratory, or even start your own business. The most common type of degree is the Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, but there are also associate’s and certificate programs available.
The coursework for a medical technology degree program will cover both the science of diagnostics and lab procedures and the techniques used to perform them. You’ll take classes in subjects like chemistry, biology, and physics, as well as technical courses in topics like instrumentation and quality control. Many programs also include an internship or practicum component, giving you the chance to get experience working in a real-world medical setting.
Step Three: Become Certified
After you have completed a accredited medical technology program, you will need to earn professional certification. Certification is not required in every state, but most employers prefer or require certification as a condition of employment. The most common credential is the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) designation offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
To become certified, you must have completed an accredited bachelor’s degree program and have gained at least one year of full-time, paid work experience in a clinical laboratory. You will also need to pass a written examination. Once you have earned your MLS certification, you will need to renew it every three years by completing continuing education requirements and paying a renewal fee.
Step Four: Find a Job
Now that you have your certification, it’s time to start looking for a job. The best place to start is by perusing job postings online and in newspapers. You can also look for open positions at hospitals, clinics, and private practices in your area. When searching for a job, be sure to specify that you are looking for a position as a medical technologist.
To increase your chances of getting hired, it’s a good idea to apply to multiple jobs. You should also take the time to tailor your resume and cover letter to each position you apply for. In your resume, be sure to highlight your education, certification, and any relevant work experience you have. In your cover letter, explain why you are interested in the position and what makes you a qualified candidate.
Once you have applied for jobs, the next step is to start interviewing. During your interview, the employer will likely ask you about your education, experience, and skills. They may also give you a tour of the facility and ask you questions about your ability to perform the job duties. Be sure to answer all questions honestly and confidently. If you are offered the job, be sure to ask about salary, benefits, and other important details before accepting.
Step Five: Maintain Your Certification
The final step to becoming a med tech is to maintain your certification. You will need to renew your certification every few years, and you may need to complete continuing education credits to do so. Some states also require you to renew your license, so be sure to check with your state’s requirements.