Become a Medical Lab Technician Career: A Beginner’s Guide

Medical Lab Technician Career
Medical Lab Technician Career

Are you looking for a blood-free job in the healthcare industry? A medical lab technician (MLT) is a technology-focused medical job to help physicians identify the root condition of patients.

With their knowledge and expertise, medical lab techs work under the supervision of lab technologists to perform tests and analyze body fluids. They also work with sophisticated equipment in order to help doctors determine the best treatment methods for their patients.

But how to become a good medical lab technician? If you’re looking for a simple path to launch, we have got 4 steps for becoming a medical lab technician.

Step-by-step guide to pursuing a Medical Lab Technician

1. Get an education

Medical Lab Technicians need an Associate’s degree to land this job but these training programs typically last as few as 21 months. MLT programs will provide comprehensive courses about diagnostic testing, blood work safety standards, and equipment & technology for medical students. Take a look at some Medical lab technician courses

  • Clinical chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Hematology
  • Phlebotomy
  • Transfusion medicine

Additionally, the MLT Associate’s degree program must be accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

Get an education
Get an education

2. Take the ASCP certification exam

Once you complete an accredited program, you need to pass the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) exam to acquire certification. It will evidence your competence in the medical lab field to start your job.

According to the BLS, not all employers require this certification, but it helps to enhance job prospects for MLT candidates.

3. Get licensure

Each state has specific requirements for the medical lab technician career, for example, some areas require a license to launch in this field. Therefore, you should check with the state’s department of health, the board of occupational licensing, or visit the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) website to learn more about all requirements.

Get licensure
Get licensure

4. Improve in-demand MLT skills

Before applying for medical lab technician jobs, you should know what employers seek to prepare and put your best. The medical lab tech requires a combination of hard and soft skills. Break down top skills that employers are expecting in potential lab technicians. 

Top Technical Skills Top transferable skills
Quality assurance and controlChemistryPhlebotomyLaboratory testingPatient careCustomer serviceLaboratory equipmentData entryMicrobiologyOccupational health and safetyCommunicationOrganizationAttention to detailResearchProblem-solving

The medical lab technician education will help you full your skills to ready working in the medical lab.

Why should you launch the MLT career?

Good Job Outlook

Job opportunities for medical lab technicians are on the rise. The BLS projects this career to increase 11% through 2028 (more than twice the average for all occupations). Because of the increase of diabetes, cancer, and other medical conditions like prenatal testing, more and more people seek out lab tests to get accurate results.

Good Job Outlook
Good Job Outlook

Sustainable Salary

Medical lab technicians are well-compensated jobs, for example, their median annual salary was $52,330 in 2018. Their income also depends on other factors such as experience, education, geographic area, and the healthcare setting. 

Put your foot forward on the MLT career

Now you know the 4 steps to become a medical lab technician, what are you waiting for? Get started today to improve the practical knowledge and hands-on training you need to succeed in your career path.