Clinical lab technologists will work in labs of many sizes. They supervise medical lab technicians, and duties will be on a higher level than those you watch over. You can choose a specialization, if you desire:

  • Blood bank technologist: You’ll work with blood to classify it and make it ready for transfusion.
  • Clinical chemistry technologist: You’ll analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of fluid specimens.
  • Cytotechnologist: You’ll use cell samples to prepare slides to check for abnormalities or cancers
  • Immunology technologist: You’ll introduce foreign elements to check for any type of response (allergies, immune disorders, etc.)
  • Microbiology technologist: You’ll analyze fluid samples for microorganisms and bacteria.
  • Molecular biology technologist: You’ll test fluid samples using complex proteins and nucleic acids.

A typical day-to-day may vary depending on where where the technologist is employed and what field they specialize in. Common daily duties often include:

  • Analyze fluids such as blood, urine, and tissue.
  • Record your discoveries.
  • Study blood samples to see if they are compatible for transfusions.
  • Know how to use microscopes, cell counters, and other equipment.
  • Collaborate with a medical team.
  • Supervise and train.

How to Become a Medical Technologist

To become a medical lab technician takes two years, and you’ll receive an associate’s degree. However, if you’re interested in becoming a medical technologist, you’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree.

  • Get your high school diploma or a GED.
  • Get a bachelor’s degree in medical technology or life sciences.
  • Apply to the clinical or hands-on portion of your program.
  • Become licensed, if your state requires you. To become licensed, you must have graduated from an accredited program.
  • Apply to a MLT to MLS program to become a technologist, if you’re already a technician. Your certifications can be generalized or within the area of your specialty.

Salary Info

The mean annual salary for clinical lab technologists and technicians was $62,870 in 2023. Just starting out in your field, the salary in 2023 was $36,770, while the top 10 percent made $93,900 or more.

The top-paying industries are:

  • Specialty Hospitals (except psychiatric/substance abuse) averaging a pay of $74,530
  • Federal, State, and Local Government averaging a pay of $73,680

Salary information updated in April of 2024.

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