The Medical Lab Technician Career Field

HealthcareApril 03, 2013

Becoming an MLT is a great step toward a wonderful career. You will find many different options when it comes to working as a technician. Many who get into this field as a technician might find that they would like to eventually move up and become a technologist or scientist and they choose to go back to school to improve their education.

Most of the people who are working in this field will be working fulltime jobs. Some of the larger labs and clinics might be open 24 hours to keep up with demand, so this means that the time of day that you work could vary. Many enjoy the flexibility that comes from being able to work off peak hours in a medical lab and still have a regular full time job with benefits.

The Job Outlook and Compensation Ranges for MLTs

The growth rate for medical lab technicians in the next ten years is expected to be about 15% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which means that finding a job once you have the education and skills that you need should not be too difficult. One of the reasons for this is the aging population. An increase in the aging population will lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures. The need for qualified people in the medical field is growing, so now is the perfect time to get an education.

You will also find that the pay for a medical lab technician can be quite attractive too. BLS reports the national average pay is currently almost $36,280 per year but is lower in many areas of the country.  Generally speaking, entry-level positions pay below the national average.

There is potential to advance your career and earn more over time though. MLTs who work for the federal government and hospitals generally are compensated better on the whole than those who work in medical and diagnostic laboratories or in physicians’ offices.  Working in different geographic areas can also account for the differences in remuneration. Working in different specialties is also going to provide different levels of pay, so these are considerations to keep in mind when researching this career field.

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