Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician

Industry:
Healthcare
Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

If you've ever gone to a doctor's appointment or had a medical test, there's a good chance a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician was involved in analyzing your sample. In this job, the Technician works behind the scenes in a laboratory setting, using special equipment and techniques to examine bodily fluids, tissues, and cells. Their findings help doctors diagnose and treat patients.

As a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician, your job includes setting up, operating, and maintaining equipment, as well as collecting and preparing specimens. You'll then use scientific methods to analyze the samples and document your results. It's important that you're detail-oriented and comfortable working with specialized equipment.

To be successful in this job, you'll need at least an associate's degree in Medical Laboratory Technology or a related field, as well as certification from a recognized national agency. Job growth in this field is expected to be strong in the coming years, as demand for medical testing and diagnosis continues to increase.

If you enjoy working with technology and have an interest in the medical field, a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician job description may be the right career path for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collect and prepare samples for laboratory testing
  • Analyze samples to diagnose and treat diseases
  • Maintain laboratory equipment and ensure accuracy of test results
  • Record and report test results to healthcare providers
  • Follow safety and infection control procedures
  • Calibrate and troubleshoot laboratory equipment
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure quality patient care
  • Continually update knowledge and skills in laboratory procedures and new technologies
  • Participate in quality control and proficiency testing programs
  • Adhere to ethical and legal standards of practice in the laboratory setting

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician in the healthcare industry, you need a mix of education and experience. You usually need an associate's degree in medical laboratory technology, but some employers will also accept a bachelor's degree in a related field. 

During your studies, you'll take courses in areas like microbiology, chemistry, hematology, and immunology. Additionally, you'll gain hands-on experience through internships or clinical rotations.

Once you complete your education, you'll need to get certified by passing an exam from a recognized organization like the American Society for Clinical Pathology. After that, you can start applying for jobs in hospitals, clinics, research facilities, and diagnostic laboratories.

While experience is always helpful in the healthcare industry, most employers will prioritize candidates with the right educational credentials and certifications.

Salary Range

If you're looking to pursue a career as a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician, you might be wondering about salary range. In the US, according to a May 2020 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for this occupation was $54,180, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $31,140 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $80,330. However, the exact pay can vary depending on factors like location, experience, employer, and qualifications. For example, according to Payscale.com, a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician in Canada typically earns around CAD 25 per hour. In the UK, this role can earn between £18,000 and £35,000 per year depending on the location and level of experience.

Sources:

  1. "Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians." Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9 Sept. 2021, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm#tab-5.
  2. "Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician Hourly Pay in Canada." Payscale, https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=MedicalandClinicalLaboratoryTechnician/Hourly_Rate.
  3. "Clinical Laboratory Technician." National Careers Service, https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/clinical-laboratory-technician.

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians is growing positively in the healthcare industry over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), the projected employment rate for Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians is expected to increase by 7% from 2019-2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the aging population, which often requires medical testing, will increase the demand for such technicians in the coming years. Moreover, the continuous advancement of technology also increases the demand for technicians who can manage and operate the equipment for laboratory testing. Overall, the Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician career is a promising field with numerous opportunities for growth and advancement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician?

A: A Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician is a healthcare professional who performs laboratory tests and procedures on blood, tissue, and other bodily fluids to diagnose and treat diseases and medical conditions.

Q: What does a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician do?

A: A Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician performs tests and experiments on samples of blood, urine, and tissues to help diagnose and treat diseases. They also maintain laboratory equipment and ensure that they are properly cleaned and sterilized.

Q: What skills are needed to be a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician?

A: A Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician should have excellent attention to detail, strong analytical and problem-solving skills, and be able to work well in a team environment. They should also be able to follow strict protocols and maintain accurate records.

Q: What education and training is required to become a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician?

A: To become a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician, one needs an associate's degree in medical laboratory technology, and some states require certification or licensure. On-the-job training is also commonly needed.

Q: What are the job prospects for Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians?

A: The demand for Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians is growing, with a projected job growth rate of 7% from 2019-2029. They can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, research facilities, and private laboratories.


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