What to Do with a Medical Lab Technician Degree

Now that you have narrowed down your future career path to the healthcare industry, where should you go from here? It may be overwhelming narrowing your decision down to the exact field you’d like to pursue; however it’s not as difficult if you know your strengths and interests.

A medical lab technician degree is one option in the healthcare field. A medical lab technician (also known as MLT or a clinical lab technician) was listed as the sixth best healthcare job in 2012 by U.S. News and the World Report.  A person in this field must be compassionate, detail oriented and have dexterity, stamina and technical skills, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

As a medical lab technician, you will play a vital role in assisting a physician by caring for patients. A medical lab technician or MLT performs important tests, so a physician can correctly diagnose a patient. According to the Rasmussen College 2012 Healthcare Outlook e-Book, there are several duties in which a MLT performs, including: collecting and preparing specimens (such as body fluids, tissue, and other substances) to be analyzed, using computerized equipment to perform more than one test at the same time and providing the physician with test results. 

After you’ve completed all your MLT courses, your six-month practicum at a clinic and graduated with your associate’s degree, you are ready to begin your career as a medical lab technician. But what are your options? Where will you work?

“Settings such as hospitals, clinics, commercial laboratories, and public health facilities all have an immediate need for qualified medical laboratory technicians,” according to the Rasmussen College website. “Laboratory employment opportunities are also expected to increase in areas such as medical research and development, marketing and sales of laboratory equipment, crime scene investigation and forensic science.”

Fortunately, working as a medical lab technician offers you many choices when it comes to deciding where you’d like to work. In 2010, 52 percent of medical laboratory technologists and technicians were employed in hospitals in 2010; others tended to work in doctors' offices or diagnostic laboratories, according to the BLS.

If you’re curious about the future of the medical lab technician field, be glad you made the decision to earn a medical lab technician degree because the outlook looks promising, and the job market is only expected to continue growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics foresees a 14.7 percent growth rate between 2010 and 2020. That would bring 23,800 more professionals to the approximate 161,000 jobs that are already in the field.

A career as a medical lab technician is headed in an even more promising direction and will offer a steady career with job growth and potential to make a large impact in the daily lives of patients. Physicians could not do their jobs without medical lab technicians, and patients would face a host of problems if it weren’t for a medical lab technician’s care and diligence at their job.

Please tell us why you chose to become a medical lab technician in the comment section below, or on our Facebook page.

 

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Jennifer is a Content and Social Media Specialist at Rasmussen College. She researches, writes and edits blog posts designed to help and inspire current, past and future students through their entire educational process in an effort to encourage learning at a college level and beyond.

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