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How much does a medical laboratory technologist make?

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Answered 2007-09-21 16:14:50

Cut and copy this link into your browser and type in medical technologist and it will give the information you are looking for.

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Medical Technologist?

The CareerMedical technologists, also known as clinical laboratory scientists, carry out diagnostic laboratory tests in a clinical environment. They are in charge of running tests that physicians order, analyzing and interpreting the results, and reporting back to the original physician. Medical technologists analyze everything from blood, to stool, to cells, to urine, to fungi, to everything in between. A general medical technologist could be investigating bacteria one day and typing blood cells for transfusions the next day. However, medical technologists do have the ability to specialize. A clinical laboratory scientist may work only in chemistry, for instance, or only with microbiology.Much of the work involves the use of microscopes, computers, and sterile equipment. Medical technologists have to have a good grasp of statistics and computer models, as well as the ability to perform adequately under sterile procedures. They may be involved in supervising clinical laboratory technicians, fellow lab employees who carry out similar, but more minor, tasks.Education And TrainingThe NAACLS is the accrediting body for medical technologist programs. To obtain licensure, a student must have completed a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science, medical technology, biology, chemistry, or another of the life sciences. Then they must complete a 12 month internship in a clinical laboratory. Many medical technology bachelor’s degree programs include the internship within the program, but students with a degree in biology or chemistry will have to obtain internship independently.Clinical laboratory technicians have the option of entering programs that bridge their associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree in medical technology.SalaryThe entry level salary for a medical technologist is around $40,000 to $45,000 dollars. Experienced medical technologists earn above $50,000. Wages vary sharply by state. California is one of the most high paying states for clinical laboratory scientists. The average wage for the profession in that state is $30 or more an hour.Job OutlookThe job outlook for medical technology is expected to be rapid. Patients enjoy having quick turnaround time on the tests that have been ordered for them, and new tests are constantly being developed, requiring hospitals to employ many medical technologists in order to keep up. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 12% increase in the profession through to 2018.

Working in a Clinical Laboratory?

A career in a medical laboratory requires a four-year degree in medical technology, or an associate degree including a certification. And like other careers in the healthcare industry, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics anticipates job opportunities in medical labs to increase at a brisk pace. From the period 2008 to 2018, jobs in medical labs are expected to grow by as much as 14 percent, which is much higher than the average growth rate of other related careers. So, job opportunities as a medical lab technologist or medical lab technician will abound in the near future. For prospects with the aptitude and proper work ethic to complete a bachelor's degree in medical technology (or a related life science such as biology or chemistry for instance) searching for a job in a professional medical environment can be a rewarding and fulfilling career opportunity. Along those lines, medical lab technicians like a phlebotomist for instance require an associate degree as well. The Difference between Medical Lab Technologists and Technicians There is a critical distinction which must be made between medical lab technologists and technicians. The difference is the amount of medical and technological skill needed to do each job. For example, modern lab equipment implores automated computer technology in order to perform a complex and sophisticated analysis such as white blood cell counts. Medical lab technologists are expected to have the right set of skills to perform and analyze the outcome any number of diagnostic and pathological tests ordered by a physician or an institution. And often, medical lab technologists will analyze these test results side by side with doctors and nurses. Medical lab technicians on the other hand perform less technically inclined work such as drawing blood or performing other ancillary jobs around the laboratory like the maintenance of equipment. It is not uncommon for a medical lab technician to assist a technologist around the laboratory as well. The Day-to-Day Work in a Medical Lab More often than not, the day-to-day responsibility of a medical lab technologist depends on the size of the laboratory itself. But generally speaking, larger laboratories similar to those of a hospital system require technologists to focus on a single responsibility. Some of these responsibilities might include preparing blood samples for transfusion or tissue samples for microscopic analysis. In a smaller laboratory, a medical technologist may be expected to perform multiple jobs simultaneously. However, this fact does not always equate to a higher salary. Compensation depends on a number of factors. Annual Income On average, a medical lab technologist earns approximately $50,000 a year. Technicians earn a median annual income of approximately $35,000. Entry-level positions make a slightly lower salary in many cases. But the projected growth in this field of the healthcare industry is sure to continue to expand in the coming years.

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