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How to Become a Clinical Laboratory Technician



Clinical Laboratory Technicians work in the health care industry performing tests on bodily fluids and cells in order to help physicians detect and diagnose diseases. Their work is important because with the diagnostic results they help find, doctors can begin treating an ailing patient.

Clinical Laboratory Technicians use a variety of skills in order to test samples and analyze diagnostic results in a laboratory. A person who wants to become a Clinical Laboratory Technician can rely on their strong attention to detail and organizational skills in order to do a great job in this field.

These professionals work with a variety of patient samples that can contain infectious disease. Being cautious with bio-hazard material is an integral part of this job therefore workers must use protective gear such as gloves, masks and goggles in order to protect their health.

Over 50% of Clinical Laboratory Technicians work in a hospital setting and use advanced technology and lab equipment in order to perform their job. Clinical Lab Technicians may also work in a physician's office, clinic or a lab that specializes in diagnostics.

Education Requirements to Become a Clinical Laboratory Technician



In order to become a Clinical Laboratory Technician, a candidate must acquire certification or an Associate's Degree from an accredited program. Candidates can seek certification from a vocational or technical school, from any of the military branches or from a hospital program. Candidates who want to become a Clinical Laboratory Technician need to take their certification exam from an accredited organization.

Organizations and departments that offer exams and certifications are listed below:

  • American Medical Technologist

  • Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical

  • Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts

  • National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel


Very few candidates who want to become a Clinical Laboratory Technician learn their skills with on the job training. Seeking an Associate's Degree or Certification is the best way to find a job as a Clinical Laboratory Technician.

Clinical Laboratory Technician Job Description



Clinical Laboratory Technicians use a variety of skills in order to officially diagnose a patient's medical condition. Under the supervision of a Clinical Laboratory Technologist or other supervisors, they work with a variety of bodily fluids and human cell samples in a lab setting performing tests and analyzing the results. Listed below are some common daily tasks Clinical Laboratory Technicians perform.

  • Collect and prepare samples of bodily fluids such as blood and urine for testing

  • Prepare and sterilize lab equipment for accurate testing and analyzing

  • Label samples for patient identification purposes

  • Run simple tests and analyze results under supervision

  • Look for microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses under microscope

  • Search for hormonal or chemical content in the samples. For example, find the hormonal content in a urine sample to determine pregnancy or any chemical content in a urine sample to determine drug use

  • Determine what types of tests to run on samples; verify whether samples need manual or mechanical analyzing

  • Compare patient's subsequent samples to determine whether they are responding to treatment


Clinical Laboratory Technician Salary and Career Path



Clinical Laboratory Technicians will advance in the field if they continue their education and focus on a medical related degree. They can advance to a Clinical Laboratory Technologist position by acquiring a Bachelor's Degree with a focus in the sciences.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for these specialized technicians is approximately $35,380 per year. The national salary range for Clinical Laboratory Technicians begins at around $23,500 and can go up to $53,500 per year.

Salary also depends on the location and medical setting where a Clinical Laboratory Technician works. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest paid technicians work at Surgical or General Medical Hospitals while the lowest paid technicians work at Physician offices or at Diagnostic Labs.

The job outlook for any position in the medical field looks promising. Clinical Laboratory Technicians can easily seek promotion by continuing their education and moving into a Technologist role. Growth is another factor for a promising career in this field. Positions for clinical laboratory workers are expected to grow throughout the next decade by at least 14%. Seeking work as a Clinical Laboratory Technician can guarantee candidates steady employment as well as advancement opportunities in this field.
 
 
 
 
 
 

*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics
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