Medical Laboratory Technician


Work Tasks

MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNICIANS perform routine tests and lab procedures. They prepare specimens, operate automatic analyzers, and perform manual tests, following detailed instructions. They culture bacteria found in a patient's blood, used to detect, diagnose, and treat many diseases. They cut and stain tissue specimens for microscopic examination by pathologists, and collect and process blood for testing. They prepare and stain smears of body tissues or fluids and examine them under a microscope to detect cancer. They examine blood, work out its type, do blood counts, and help in the study of blood and its disorders to diagnose diseases such as leukemia.

Salary, Size & Growth

Entry Requirements

MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNICIANS generally have an associate's degree from a community or junior college, or a certificate from a hospital, vo-tec school, or the armed forces. A few technicians learn their skills on the job. The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) accredits training programs for medical laboratory technicians. Some states require lab personnel to be licensed or registered. Specific information is available from state departments of health, and boards of occupational licensing.