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Medical Laboratory Technician & Medical Technologist

What does a Medical Laboratory Technician and Medical Technologist do?

Using sophisticated laboratory equipment, these professionals look for bacteria, parasites and other microorganisms. They match blood for transfusions, analyze the chemical content of body fluids, and test for drug levels in the blood (to show how a patient is responding to treatment). They also count cells and look for abnormal cells in blood and body fluids. They use microscopes, cell counters, and other sophisticated laboratory equipment. Automated equipment and computerized analyzers fill the clinical laboratory area. The laboratory findings are then conveyed to the physician.

Medical Laboratory Technicians usually work under the supervision of the Medical Technologist, performing more basic tests and laboratory procedures. If you enjoy working behind the scenes with minimal to no patient contact, then a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) or Medical Technologist (MT) position may be the one for you. 

Types of Work Environments

  • Hospitals
  • Medical laboratories

Education and Training Requirements

Medical laboratory technicians typically have a two-year associate's degree, while medical technologists have a four-year bachelor's degree.

Salary - Medical Laboratory Technician

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, median salary for medical and clinical laboratory technicians is approximately $39,340 per year.

Salary - Medical Technologist

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average median salary for medical and clinical laboratory technologists is approximately $58,640 per year.

Professional Organization

The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

Meet a Professional Medical Lab Technician: Brian