University of Wisconsin–Madison

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician (CLT/MLT)

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.

Getting Started

  • 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.

    Educational Institutions

    Blackhawk Technical College
    Chippewa Valley Technical College
    Madison Area Technical College
    Marquette University
    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

    Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac
    Marshfield Labs, Marshfield

  • 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.
  • Professional Organizations

    American Medical Technologists
    10700 West Higgins Rd., Suite 150
    Rosemont, IL, 60018
    847/823-5169
    https://www.americanmedtech.org

    American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)
    1861 International Drive, Suite 200
    McLean, VA, 22102
    571/748-3770
    www.ascls.org

    American Society for Clinical Pathology
    33 West Monroe, Suite 1600
    Chicago, IL, 60603
    312/541-4999 or 800/267-2727 (ASCP)
    www.ascp.org

    American Society of Hematology (ASH)
    2021 L St. NW, Suite 900
    Washington, DC, 20036
    202/776-0544
    www.hematology.org

    National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
    5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720
    Rosemont, IL, 60018-5119
    773/714-8880 or 847/939-3597

    www.naacls.org

Career Outlook

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.