Medical Laboratory Technician Career

By | July 14, 2023
medical laboratory technician career
A medical laboratory technician career can lead to other job positions, such as laboratory general manager, hospital director, and healthcare consultant.

This post provides detailed information on the medical laboratory technician career, including how to get into it, the various career opportunities available, and the benefits of being a medical laboratory technician.

How to Become a Medical Laboratory Technician

If you are interested in becoming a medical laboratory technician, here are steps you can take:

  1. Get your High School Diploma

Obtaining a high school diploma is the first step towards a career as a medical lab technician.

Chemistry, biology, and math are recommended courses to help prepare for future success.

2. Obtain an Associate Degree or a Laboratory Technician Certificate

The majority of medical lab technicians enter the field after completing a two-year clinical lab technician or medical lab technician Associate degree program.

Some MLTs, on the other hand, enter the field after completing a program through the Armed Forces or a vocational school.

Laboratory technology programs combine theory with simulated lab instruction to prepare students for work in a real laboratory where one mistake can be fatal to patients.

Bacteriology, microbiology, hematology, laboratory procedures, and laboratory safety are typical course studies.

3. Recruit a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) Certification

Most states do not require certification, but an AAB Certification or ASCP Certification combined with college or university training improves job prospects.

An ASCP credential can be obtained from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and an AAB credential can be obtained from the American Association of Bioanalysts.

More Tips on How to become a Medical Laboratory Technician

4. Find a Job as a Lab Technician

After completing a medical laboratory technician program, aspiring lab technicians can begin applying for jobs in the clinical laboratory science field.

Hospitals, medical labs, and physicians’ offices are the most likely places to find lab technicians.

5. Obtain Promotion

A Bachelor’s degree, a license (if required), and some practical experience are required to work in a lab.

Many medical laboratory technicians advance to become medical laboratory technologists.

A certificate or graduate degree in a relevant field, such as administration, business management, biological sciences, or medical technology, can also lead to advancement in a hospital or clinic.

If you have a marketing or science Bachelor’s degree, you can get a job in medical marketing, a pharmaceutical company, or a laboratory equipment manufacturer.

Medical Laboratory Technician Career Opportunities

A medical laboratory technician can take their career into one or more roles, like:

  1. Laboratory General Manager

A laboratory general manager is someone who oversees the operation of a medical laboratory; works with a team to ensure procedures are performed in an effective, efficient manner, and communicates the results of tests to scientists, health care providers and other staff members.

2. Hospital Director

A hospital director is in charge of a hospital’s laboratory department. This person is responsible for hiring and supervising all laboratory personnel, including taking care of quality assurance and safety.

Laboratory directors are sometimes responsible for the overall operation of the lab as well.

3. Healthcare Consultant

A healthcare consultant has to work in a hospital setting. They are in charge of designing, implementing, and evaluating health care facilities’ healthcare policies and procedures.

These professionals make sure that all aspects of the hospital meet quality standards.

Healthcare consultants also advise physicians on their facilities and assist them with improving their systems.

Healthcare consultants have to use effective communication skills, in order to get the data they need.

4. Laboratory Supervisor

A laboratory supervisor makes sure that all workers in the lab are doing their job and working safely.

These professionals also train newly hired laboratory workers and follow up on their results.

5. Epidemiologist

An epidemiologist uses epidemiology to prevent illness, injury and death by studying how diseases spread.

They work with the health department, a hospital or a private organization to study how diseases spread in order to control infections and communicable diseases.

More Medical Laboratory Technician Career Opportunities

6. Oncologist

An oncologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment of cancer. They help to diagnose, treat, and control the growth of cancerous cells, such as cancerous tumors.

They also monitor a patient’s response to treatment and anticipate how the body will react to certain medications and other treatments.

7. Dental Laboratory Technician

A dental laboratory technician is responsible for maintaining an operating room and sterile working area that is well lit, clean, and capable of producing sterile specimens for the dental laboratory.

Dental laboratory technicians also serve as operators, clean the sterilizers, perform autoclave temperatures, and ensure proper ventilation.

They also keep records of instruments used in the laboratory.

8. Medical Laboratory Technologist

A medical laboratory technologist is responsible for collecting, processing, and analyzing samples in a medical laboratory.

They also interpret results and write reports.

A medical laboratory technologist must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of biology, chemistry or related science.

These professionals must also have passed certain exams to be able to work as a laboratory technician.

In New York, NY, laboratory technicians are in high demand.

9. Occupational Health and Safety Technician

An occupational health and safety technician is responsible for ensuring that a workplace is safe and healthy.

They are responsible for conducting inspections to assess health and safety hazards.

10. Food Laboratory Technician

A food laboratory technologist checks food products for food safety and quality.

This includes checking the appearance, consistency, weight, color, taste, smell, and taste of the contents of various products checked.

Food technologists also prepare food samples for testing in a laboratory.

Challenges faced by Medical Laboratory Technician on the Job

A medical laboratory technician could face the following challenges in their job:

  1. Frequently Short Staffed

Medical laboratory technicians usually work alone in the laboratory, which are often short staffed.

They are often assigned a larger share of the workload than other workers.

This may be due to low employee performance, lack of workers, and lack of interest in their job.

For example, medical laboratory technicians may be assigned the task of performing toxicology tests on specimens without adequate personnel or equipment for this purpose.

Medical laboratory technicians are expected to work at a reasonable pace given the short staffing.

This creates a high level of stress for them.

2. Disconnected from Management

Laboratory technicians report being disconnected from the management hierarchy of their organizations, especially when it comes to decision-making and being rewarded for their contributions.

Three out of four of them want more involvement in decision making.

3. Time Consuming Tasks

Laboratory technicians are expected to perform various testing procedures. Most of these procedures involve manual dexterity and take a long time.

As a result, they perform tasks that are both tiring and time consuming.

A lab technician may have to repeat the same process several times before receiving a satisfactory result or the right equipment.

This may cause the lab technician to become very frustrated.

Laboratory technicians face additional time-consuming tasks, such as preparing specimens for testing which is often done manually and manually weighing or measuring samples.

Major Benefits of a Medical Laboratory Technician Career

There are many benefits of a medical laboratory technician career, these include:

  1. Career Insurance

In the event of a medical laboratory technician career, if the person gets sick or injured on the job, they will be protected by law if they miss work because of illness or injury.

In most cases, if a medical laboratory technician is fired for being sick during work hours, they will receive medical and/or wage insurance benefits through their employer.

2. Salary

Medical laboratory technicians often receive higher salaries than many other health care workers.

A high school diploma is usually needed to qualify for a job as a medical laboratory technician.

Medical laboratory technicians with a college or graduate level degree in the field of biology and chemistry, or graduate level degree in biological science are likely to get better pay.

3. Career Development

Laboratory technologists that possess the ability to advance in their career by obtaining additional education and training will receive more money and greater respect from their employers.

They will also be able to make more money as they advance in their careers.

4. Employment Benefits

Generally, medical laboratory technicians receive medical, dental, and vision insurance benefits through their employers.

In addition, many employers also offer health insurance coverage to their employees as part of their benefits package.

Some employers also offer life insurance and other disability insurance to employees who meet certain qualifications.

The employer must pay for this coverage unless the employee pays for it individually.

More Benefits of a Medical Laboratory Technician Career

5. Overtime Pay

In most companies, overtime is required for lab technicians. However, some employers pay an overtime bonus to their employees if the employee works more than an eight hour shift on a daily basis.

This can be a great benefit for laboratory technicians who usually work long shifts.

6. Flexibility in Work Schedules

Many employers and laboratory technicians offer flexible work schedules to employees in order to meet specific needs.

This is usually a benefit for those who are going to school or have other commitments that must be met outside of their work hours.

7. Job Security

The job security for a medical laboratory technician can be quite good. Medical laboratory technicians are needed in almost every hospital, doctor’s office, public health department and research facility.

More medical lab testing is being done by non-invasive testing methods.

This means that there will always be a demand for medical lab technicians to work with these non-invasive testing methods.


Medical laboratory technology is becoming more and more important in today’s medical world.

It requires workers with a variety of skills and education, and will continue to advance, creating future demand for medical laboratory technicians.

This post has helped in boosting your knowledge of the medical laboratory technician career.