Medical Technician

Medical Technician

Median Salary

Years of School

Job Outlook

A Medical laboratory technician is a healthcare professional that help medical technologist in the collection of specimens from patients and in performing tests on body fluids e.g. blood, cells e.g. white blood cells and other substances of the body.

They work in the laboratories in the hospital, reference laboratories and biotechnology laboratories.

Job Description

The Medical Technician works in assistance of the Medical Technologist in collection of specimens from patients and in running various tests.

Such tests would include analysis of body fluids, tissues e.g. liver tissue and other body substances.

Mostly, the Technician works under the supervision of the Medical Technologist, however the technician can independently run simpler tests and procedures.

In some cases the Medical Technologist require the assistance of the Technician.

Medical laboratory technician duties:

A Medical Laboratory Technician is responsible for a variety of tasks.

They most often include:

  • Assist the Medical Technologist in collection and analysis of specimens e.g. body fluids.
  • Helps in cross matching blood for transfusion.
  • Assist the Medical Technologist in entering the data in the patient’s medical record.
  • Assist Medical Technologist in analysis of laboratory results.

Work Environment

Hospitals; state, local, and private 43%
Medical and diagnostic laboratories 18%
Offices of physicians 12%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private 6%
Outpatient care centers 5%


According to the national statistics from the labor department, the national median salary for medical laboratory technicians stand at $50,151.

The highest paid 10% receives a salary of slightly above $59,570 while the median salary of the lowest paid technicians is just above $40,139.

However, several factors are known to influence the salary.

Among others they include the work environment and the type of medical technician one is.

For example, those employed by the federal government earns the highest, with a median salary of about $54,170.

Those employed by hospitals receive a median salary of $50,094 while those in the private offices of physicians receive a median salary of $48,630.

The medical technicians at the medical and diagnostic laboratories are the least paid a median salary of slightly above $44,520.

The specialty has a role on the salary a medical technician receives e.g. a histology technician receives a relatively higher salary compared to cytotechnician.

Average Annual Salary by State

State Avg. Annual Salary
Alabama $47,504
Alaska $56,865
Arizona $49,607
Arkansas $46,303
California $56,214
Colorado $50,608
Connecticut $53,962
Delaware $53,361
Florida $48,155
Georgia $49,306
Hawaii $52,210
Idaho $47,504
Illinois $53,060
Indiana $48,906
Iowa $48,355
Kansas $48,205
Kentucky $47,454
Louisiana $49,707
Maine $50,558
Maryland $51,359
Massachusetts $56,965
Michigan $51,559
Minnesota $53,411
Mississippi $44,551
Missouri $49,206
Montana $47,654
Nebraska $47,354
Nevada $52,159
New Hampshire $52,860
New Jersey $57,165
New Mexico $46,753
New York $60,119
North Carolina $49,056
North Dakota $46,703
Ohio $49,907
Oklahoma $47,554
Oregon $52,560
Pennsylvania $53,861
Rhode Island $53,010
South Carolina $47,254
South Dakota $44,050
Tennessee $46,403
Texas $49,707
Utah $47,454
Vermont $49,406
Virginia $50,207
Washington $54,762
West Virginia $45,652
Wisconsin $49,807
Wyoming $45,552


Medical Technology Programs are offered at different levels.

You can pursue an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree or certificate program.

An associate’s degree holder becomes a Medical Laboratory Technician.

And the associate’s degree program is a two year program.

Anyone pursuing a 4 years bachelor’s degree program becomes a medical technologist.

One must complete a 2 years associate’s degree program to become a medical technician.

The program includes the clinical laboratory science courses.

The medical laboratory technicians will acquire both theoretical and practical aspects of the laboratory disciplines.

A medical laboratory technician with a degree in health related sciences will only need a one year certificate program, instead of an associate’s degree, to be a MLT.

Various hospitals and vacationland training institutions have been accredited to offer such certificate programs.

Here are some of the institutions which offer medical technology studies:

  • Tarrant county college District
  • Valencia Community College
  • Salk Lake community college
  • College of southern Nevada
  • Portland Community College
  • St. Petersburg Community College

How to Become a Medical Laboratory Technician

The first step towards becoming a Medical Laboratory Technician is earning an associate’s degree or post-secondary certificate in medical laboratory.

Some hospitals are also offering a training program for the occupation that runs for one year.

High school background in sciences e.g. Biology and Chemistry is necessary.

Mathematics is also a necessity as its practice might involve working out statistical data.

You may focus on hematology and coagulation, urinalysis, clinical Chemistry etc.

The program focuses much on laboratory procedures, laboratory equipment operation, and laboratory testing among others.

On completion of the program, the American Society of clinical pathology offers a certification for the course.

On passing the exams, a medical laboratory technician is given a certification a can now use the title MLT.

The test consist of 100 multiple choice questions and is administered at a cost of $200.

Certification & Licensing

It is a requirement that Medical Laboratory Technicians go for licensing in some states and not a requirement in others.

The local state Board of health provides information to individuals on the need and the requirements for licensing.

Certification of medical laboratory technicians is also a requirement in some states while not in others.

However, is important to note that employers, even in the state that doesn’t require certification, prefer medical laboratory technicians with certification.

The Medical Laboratory Technicians can be receive certification to practice as general Technicians or certified in a specific field e.g. phlebotomy.

The American Society of clinical pathology offers the certification for the Medical Laboratory Technicians after completion of the course program.

An exam is administered to them, after which a certification is given or given based on whether you were able to pass or fail the exam.

Job Outlook

The overall employment of medical laboratory technicians is projected to grow by about 13% over the next decade.

This is within the average projected rate of growth for other medical occupations.

There is an estimated growth of 42,700 jobs by 2026 from 2016’s 335,700.