A career as a clinical laboratory technician is financially rewarding, with the salary for a medical laboratory technician being one of the highest in the United States. Clinical laboratory technicians’ employment is expected to grow by 11% through 2028, indicating a bright future for this profession, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Clinical laboratory technicians ( medical lab salary) make an average of $53,793 per year ($25.86 per hour). Graduates who begin their first job right out of one of the best medical schools will need to gain experience as a clinical laboratory technician in order to advance beyond an entry-level wage and approach the national average.
As a result, pursuing a career as a certified medical laboratory technician is an unquestionably rewarding decision.
In this article, we’ll go over the salary for a medical laboratory technician in detail, as well as the factors that influence a clinical laboratory technician’s salary and other important information.
Who is a clinical laboratory technician?
Clinical laboratory technicians are professional healthcare providers who collect samples and run tests on body fluids, tissue, and other substances. They detect disease presence or absence and provide data that assists physicians in determining the best treatment or control measures for the patient.
Medical lab technicians, clinical lab assistants, laboratory assistants, and lab techs are other names for clinical lab technicians. This is an excellent opportunity for those who want to work in healthcare but are not comfortable working with patients.
As a clinical lab technician, you may be able to focus on the task at hand in order to provide prompt and accurate results that assist doctors in making diagnoses and treatment plans.
Clinical laboratory technicians also perform blood banking tests. They could, for example, aid in determining a donor’s blood type. They may work in a variety of clinical laboratory areas.
Salary For Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical Laboratory Technician or clinical laboratory technologist that have a medical laboratory technician certification and works in a standard working environment such as a hospital or clinic five days a week during normal business hours should earn between $21 and $26 per hour.
This medical lab salary rate applies only to medical laboratory technician jobs in a city or large town in the United States with a population of more than 50,000 people and a cost of living index of around 100.
Being on-call, working shifts outside of normal business hours such as night shifts, swing shifts, weekends or overtime work, medical laboratory technician certification and finally performing callbacks are all factors that can result in an increase in a medical laboratory technician jobs salary.
How To Increase Your Salary For Medical Laboratory Technician
There are basically two ways to increase your medical lab salary :
- Get medical laboratory technician certification
- Higher earnings come with experience
Get medical laboratory technician certification
Though some employers will provide on-the-job training to those with a high school diploma, candidates who want to earn a higher salary will pursue not only one of the many high-quality training programs available but one that also provides professional certification.
Medical laboratory technician certification not only validates your professionalism and expertise but also makes you a more desirable candidate for a job and is likely to result in a higher salary.
Higher earnings come with experience
The longer you work in the field, the more valuable you will be and the higher your salary is likely to rise.
Medical laboratory technicians with ten or more years of experience can earn up to 20% more than those who are new to the field and are also eligible for higher-paying management positions as they become available.
Roles of a Clinical Laboratory Technician
clinical lab techs are responsible for many duties, some of which include:
- Performing tests and analyses on collected samples of human blood, urine, spinal fluid or tissue.
- Collecting and reporting data regarding the test results.
- Operating sophisticated lab equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters.
- Discuss results and findings of lab tests and procedures with doctors.
- Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time.
- Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record.
Medical Laboratory Technician jobs Work Environment
Clinical lab technicians are employed in medical and surgical hospitals. Other work environments include medical and diagnostic labs, physician’s offices, outpatient care centres, and colleges and universities.
Depending on the workplace, working hours may vary, although most hospital and reference laboratories are open around-the-clock, every day of the week. This makes it possible to schedule shifts quite flexibly, which is very beneficial for working parents.
What qualifications are required to be a clinical laboratory technician?
Although having a passion for science is essential, there are other requirements if you want to work as a clinical lab technician. Clinical laboratory technicians typically need the following technical and soft skills
Here are the technical skills required for medical laboratory technician jobs
- Quality assurance and control
- Patient care
- Data entry
- Equipment maintenance
- Specimen collection and processing
Quality assurance and Control
A quality control technique or set of instructions is used to guarantee that the service or good that has been manufactured meets the highest standards of quality. clinical laboratory technicians comply with laboratory quality control (QC) policies and document all QC activities, instrument calibrations, and maintenance.
As a clinical laboratory technician, it’s crucial to have the phlebotomy skills required for rotation in the clinical patient draw station laboratory.
Chemistry is the branch of science that tells us about the composition, properties, and structure of elements and compounds. Clinical lab technicians have good knowledge of chemistry which enables them to carry out Serology, Complement and Toxicology testing.
Patient care is described as services provided to patients by health practitioners or non-professionals under guidance. The clinical lab tech assists patient care staff with questions regarding correct sample tube types, labelling requirements, and placing orders of blood components.
Clinical laboratory technicians should possess data entry ability to enable them to perform data entry associated with component production, labelling, storage and shipping ensuring accurate and complete manufacturing records.
Clinical laboratory technicians’ vital duties are to ensure daily equipment maintenance activities and refrigeration and cleanliness of workstation. They keep accurate records of equipment maintenance and quality control.
Specimen Collection And Processing
Specimen collection is the initial necessary step for the diagnosis of a problem, providing a pathway to the eventual treatment. Clinical lab techs perform various tasks including, specimen processing, and specimen preparation.
This particular specialization focuses on the function of the immune system and how it affects the entire body. Clinical lab technicians perform various clinical immunology procedures and also conduct research in immunology and lymphocyte separation from the whole blood.
Here are the soft skills required for medical laboratory technician jobs
- Attention to detail
- Organizational skills
- Computer literacy
- Physical abilities
One essential skill of a clinical laboratory technician is Communication. Aside from conducting tests and providing results, clinical lab technicians interact with patients to provide quality service.
Attention to detail
A clinical laboratory technician pays attention to every detail while conducting research or test on patients. You don’t want to mix up things and provide the wrong results.
Organizational skills are some of the most important proficiencies you can have as a clinical laboratory technician. Being able to manage and organize the affairs of your workspace.
A clinical laboratory technician enters the results of laboratory tests into the computer system daily, including the patient’s name, and history number. Hence, the importance of having a good knowledge of the computer.
How to Become a clinical laboratory technician
One of the most appealing aspects of this profession is that the education, medical laboratory technician certification, and training requirements are relatively easy to obtain. Despite working behind the scenes in healthcare facilities, clinical lab technicians’ job is crucial for making diagnoses.
Additional training is usually required to advance. Clinical laboratory technicians may study to become technologists. A master’s degree is generally required for teaching and research positions. Here’s a list of requirements if you aim to become a clinical laboratory technician:
- Obtain An Associate Degree Program
- Obtain clinical lab tech certifications
- Get Licensed
Obtain An Associate Degree Program
Medical laboratory technology and clinical laboratory science associate degree programs combine classroom training with clinical experiences. Classes in microbiology, algebra, chemistry, haematology, immunology, and anatomy may be offered.
Obtain clinical lab tech certifications
Certificate programs in clinical laboratory science are also an option if you already have a degree in a related area. When looking for programs, consider those approved by your state of residence or the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Certification may be offered through an organization such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Get medical laboratory technician certification
Clinical laboratory technicians must apply for a license. Some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed. Although requirements vary by state and specialty.
FAQs About Salary For Medical Laboratory Technician
Clinical lab technicians typically make $30 an hour, on average. The salary for a clinical lab technician is typically between $45,000 and $65,000 a year with a national median salary for clinical laboratory technicians is around $61,000 in a year.
The only difference between a clinical lab tech and a medical lab tech is the job title. These two professions involve the same training, job duties, and credentials. They often may work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
The most common important skills required are Chemistry, Patient care, immunology, phlebotomy, Specimen collection, sampling, pathology, and Quality Control.
Clinical laboratory technicians play a vital role in providing healthcare and treatments to patients. Consider a job as a clinical lab technician if you have an interest in the science and technology of healthcare. It will put you in an engaging diagnostic setting where you’ll work both individually and together to carry out challenging procedures and tests on various human specimens.
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