Work Activities/Work Locations
- This is an entry level Associate Degree laboratory career.
- Sometimes known as laboratory assistants or medical technicians.
- Duties performed under direction of a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS)/ Medical Technologist(CT/MT).
- Members of the healthcare team who perform tests on tissue, blood and body fluids to help diagnose diseases.
- Typical duties may also include collecting blood specimens, monitoring quality of tests, and information processing.
- Work at hospital laboratories, medical research facilities, pharmaceutical companies, universities, or physician clinic labs. Some may choose to work for veterinary laboratories, industrial labs, insurance companies, environmental labs, or public health.
- Potential occupations include: Clinical Laboratory Technician, Forensic Lab Technician, Physician Office Lab Technician, Pathology Research Assistant, Quality Control Technician, and Phlebotomist.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Medical laboratory technicians enjoy working with patients. They also like being part of a medical team.
- Should possess a strong attention to detail and analytical skills.
Education: 2 Years
Patient Interaction: Low
Physical Activity: Low
Job Growth: High
High School Courses
- NTC requires 2 semesters of high school or 1 semester college biology and chemistry with a ‘C’ or better.
- Suggested courses also include anatomy & physiology, math, Medical Terminology, and Computer Science.
- Shadowing in a medical laboratory is strongly recommended.
Education and Training
- Many technical colleges offer Associate Degree programs usually affiliating with hospitals for the laboratory training. Make certain the program is NAACLS accredited.
- NTC offers an Associate Degree (2 yr) in Clinical Laboratory Technician. Must meet biology and chemistry requirements, admission testing requirements, and show proof of CPR certification or enrollment in class.
- Coursework includes microbiology, sociology, psychology, hematology (blood), biochemistry, phlebotomy, anatomy and physiology, urinalysis, learning about the blood bank, and immunology.
Blackhawk Technical College
Chippewa Valley Technical College
Madison Area Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Moraine Park Technical College – Fond du Lac
Northcentral Technical College
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Rasmussen College – Green Bay Campus
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
Western Technical College
Affiliated Clinical Laboratory Programs
Method of Entry
- Medical laboratory technicians complete Associate Degree programs offered at technical colleges AND pass a national certification exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP).
- To be eligible for the exam, ASCP states an applicant must satisfy requirements one of four routes.
- ONE, an Associate Degree or at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of academic credits from a regionally accredited college/university, AND successfully completion of a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) accredited MLT program within the last 5 years.
- Or TWO, an Associate Degree AND CLA(ASCP) certification. CLA(ASCP) certification discontinued in 1982.
- Or THREE, an Associate Degree AND 50 week military medical lab training course.
- Or FOUR, an Associate Degree or at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours), including 6 semester hours (9 quarter hours) of chemistry and 6 semester hours (9 quarter hours) of biology AND 3 years of specific full time experience.
American Medical Technologists
10700 West Higgins Rd., Suite 150
Rosemont, IL, 60018
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)
1861 International Drive, Suite 200
McLean, VA, 22102
American Society for Clinical Pathology
33 West Monroe, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL, 60603
312/541-4999 or 800/267-2727 (ASCP)
American Society of Hematology (ASH)
2021 L St. NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC, 20036
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720
Rosemont, IL, 60018-5119
773/714-8880 or 847/939-3597
Number Employed in 2014 (Wisconsin): 2,740
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 163,400
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 192,400
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 28%
Expected Annual Openings: 6,810
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $43,019
Salary information is located at Career One Stop
Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.
- Medical laboratory technicians usually work 40 hours a week.
- May have to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Medical Laboratory Technicians generally receive pay increases with experience.