How to Become a Medical Lab Tech

Wondering how to become a medical lab tech? Check out this blog post for everything you need to know, from educational requirements to job outlook

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A medical laboratory technologist (medical lab tech) is a healthcare professional who performs chemical, hematologic, immunologic, histologic, and microscopic tests on body fluids such as blood, urine, and tissue cells. These tests are used to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease.

Medical lab techs typically work in hospitals, clinics, or reference laboratories. They may also work in research laboratories or be employed by pharmaceutical companies or diagnostic manufacturers. Some medical lab techs are certified by professional organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel (NCA).

Becoming a medical lab tech requires completing an accredited training program and passing a national certification exam. The specific requirements may vary depending on the state in which you work.

What Does a Medical Lab Tech Do?

Medical laboratory technologists (MLT) and medical laboratory technicians (MLT) collect and analyze body fluid samples, such as blood, urine, and spinal fluid. They also prepare samples for examination and may operate or maintain laboratory equipment.

Education and Certification

A medical lab tech is a professional who works in a clinical laboratory and performs tests on patient samples. These samples can be blood, urine, or tissue, and the tests performed on them are used to diagnose and treat diseases.

In order to become a medical lab tech, you will need to complete an accredited medical laboratory technology program. These programs are typically two-year associate’s degree programs, but some schools offer four-year bachelor’s degree programs as well. Once you have completed your education, you will need to pass a national certification exam in order to become certified and work in most states.

Salary and job outlook

The salary for a medical lab tech varies depending on experience, geographical location, and type of employer. The median annual salary for all medical lab techs was $51,770 in May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10% of earners made more than $76,950, while the bottom 10% earned less than $34,160.

Job growth for medical lab techs is expected to be much faster than average at 17% between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. This is due in part to an aging population that will require more diagnostic testing as they live longer and have more chronic conditions. In addition, there is an increasing demand for diagnostic testing as more physicians use genetic testing and other types of speciality testing.


In conclusion, becoming a medical lab tech is a great way to enter the medical field. With the right training and certification, you can become a valuable member of the healthcare team.

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