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Medical Technology Schools and Programs

Medical technologists play an essential role in healthcare, performing and analyzing laboratory tests. Learn more about how you can join this growing profession, including what education is required, how much you can earn, and the daily responsibilities of these health professionals.

How to Become a Medical Technologist

Medical technologists, also known as clinical laboratory technologists or clinical laboratory scientists, analyze body fluids and cells obtained through medical tests. Technologists look for microorganisms, match blood for transfusions, ascertain the chemical content of submitted fluids, and test for drug levels, among other responsibilities. The results of the tests medical technologists perform are sent to doctors for diagnosis or analysis. Technologists use extremely sensitive equipment that is capable of performing many tests simultaneously. Medical technologists specialize in several areas. These include:
  • Clinical chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Immunohematology
  • Immunology
  • Cytotechnology
  • Molecular biology

Medical technologists are required to use sound judgment, accuracy, and to have the ability to learn to use sophisticated equipment and computer software. Healthcare technologists are primarily employed in medical laboratories. These laboratories may be in hospitals or private businesses whose clients are healthcare professionals. Most of the work is safe and performed in exceptionally clean facilities. The failure to follow safety protocols can result in exposure to infectious and blood-borne diseases.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical technologists in 2008 was $53,500. Employment opportunities are projected to be excellent through much of the next decade. The level of education and experience you have usually dictates the complexity of the tests performed and amount of responsibility you are allowed to assume. States vary in their licensure requirements, though most positions require a bachelor's degree in medical technology. Most employers prefer to hire entry-level medical technologists who have passed certification requirements by the American Medical Technologists, the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts, or the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel.