Medical Lab Technician (MLT) Schools

While no one can deny the importance of physicians, surgeons, and nurses, there are a number of other healthcare professionals who work behind the scenes, often unnoticed, making significant contributions to healthcare. Not the least of these is the medical lab technician, or MLT, who conducts a variety of lab tests to help with the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of conditions as varied as AIDS, cancer and diabetes.

Entry-level MLTs perform routine clinical lab tests that include hematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, serology/immunology, and other diagnostic tests.

Once medical lab technicians have the skills needed for employment, one of the exciting aspects of their job is the ability to work in a wide variety of environments. These can range from hospital labs to research labs as well as vet labs and even to public health facilities.

In order to become eligible for an entry-level position, prospective MLTs typically must complete a minimum of a two-year associate’s degree program. Keep reading for details on MLT programs in the U.S., including online options for working professionals.

Medical Lab Technician fast facts
Projected Jobs Created22,900
Projected Job Growth14%
Low Salary$29,640
Average Salary (Median)$51,770
High Salary$79,530
Entry-Level EDU Associate's Degree (Technician) or Bachelor's Degree (Technologist)
Sourced from BLS, June 2018

Degree & certification Programs

Medical lab technicians typically need an associate’s degree to obtain entry-level work in the field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Most associate degree programs can be completed in about two years, but some fast-track programs are also available to students, particularly those who already have training in a related healthcare field, such as nursing. There are many different programs available in the U.S. Below are listed just six of the medical lab technician schools offering programs, although there are many more to choose from:

  • Rasmussen College – Located in the midwest, Rassmussen College offers a medical lab technician associate degree at three of its campus-based locations, including in Lake Elmo/Woodbury and Moorhead, Minnesota, as well as Green Bay, Wisconsin. The program provides hands-on learning to students in areas like blood banking, clinical chemistry, and microbiology. The program can be completed in as quickly as 24 months and includes a six-month practicum that occurs at clinical sites. Students should be prepared to sit for the medical lab technician credentialing exam offered through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) upon graduation, and the school even covers the application fee for the first attempt. (See more on certifications in the section further below).

  • Folsom Lake College – With campuses in Folsom, Placerville, and Rancho Cordova, the MLT program at this California-based school leads to an associate of science (AS) degree in medical technology, and can take anywhere between 18 to 24 months to complete. The first two semesters consist of didactic coursework followed by a semester of rotations, but these rotations do not align with the school’s typical fall/spring calendar. In all, 10 med tech classes, including four practicums, are completed in the program. Example courses in the program include clinical microbiology, hematology, and clinical chemistry and urinalysis. Folsom Lake’s MLT degree should help prepare students sit for the national certifying exam available through the ASCP.

  • El Centro College – Located in Dallas, Texas, El Centro College offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in MLT, but requires students to complete 39 credits in general education courses and health-related courses in the first two semesters. From there, students can apply for acceptance into the program, but admission is fairly competitive, given that there are just 20 spaces each year. The application period is January 1 to March 15 annually. If admitted, students begin their medical lab technician coursework mid-May, finishing over a 16-month period that features lectures, labs and clinical coursework.

  • Allegany College of Maryland – With locations in Cumberland, Maryland, and Everett and Somerset, Pennsylvania, Allegany College of Maryland gives students the opportunity to complete an MLT program in a few different ways. Allegany College offers a traditional associate’s degree route, a biotechnology degree option, a biotechnology certificate, and a fast-track MLT program for those who have already completed their general education courses. In the traditional track, students complete 13 courses specific to MLT, one of which includes an internship. Students also take a trip to the Regional Red Cross Facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, during their blood banking class. Students at Allegany can also join the MLT Club at the school. Students should be prepared to sit for certification through the ASCP upon completion of their medical laboratory technician school program, according to the school website.

  • Keiser University – The associate degree program in MLT offered through Keiser University is available at its Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida locations. To obtain the school’s AS degree, students need to complete 73 credit hours in all, 26 of which are in general education (which all must be completed with a ‘C ‘or higher) and 47 of which are in the MLT major. In the program, students learn about the lab tests and standard lab practices used in clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, immunohematology, hematology, serology/immunology and urinalysis. While there are 12 courses specific to MLT program, students may need to take an additional eight credit hours in biology and eight credit hours in chemistry to sit for MLT certification.

  • Blackhawk Technical College – With its campus in Janesville, Wisconsin, Blackhawk Technical College offers a 67-credit MLT associate degree program that can be completed in two years, but that also requires students to take classes during one summer semester. This summer semester, which falls between the first and second year, allows students to complete two of their general education requirements, specifically in sociology and psychology. Several lab and clinical experiences also occur in the program, and students are required to complete a clinical portfolio during their fifth semester that summarizes all of their experiences gained from class projects, reports, and assessments. Students should be prepared to sit for MLT certification exam offered through the ASCP upon completion.

Applicants to any MLT program should be advised that they may need to meet different eligibility requirements to be accepted into or to stay enrolled in one of the medical lab technician schools. For example, a ‘C’ average in all MLT classes might be necessary. Students might also need to supply certain items themselves, such as lab fees, a lab coat and malpractice insurance. Students applying to programs may also be required to undergo a background clearance, a drug screening, and a physical exam to even be considered.

List of Medical Lab Technician Schools

Filter by state :
School City State Website Total grads (2013)
West Kentucky Community and Technical College Paducah Kentucky 61
McCann School of Business & Technology Pottsville Pennsylvania 59
Somerset Community College Somerset Kentucky 47
Tulsa Community College Tulsa Oklahoma 46
Hazard Community and Technical College Hazard Kentucky 45
Madisonville Community College Madisonville Kentucky 45
Lakeland Community College Kirtland Ohio 42
Miami Dade College Miami Florida 42
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis Indiana 39
SUNY Broome Community College Binghamton New York http://WWW.SUNYBROOME.EDU 38
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College Richmond Virginia 37
Houston Community College Houston Texas 36
Henderson Community College Henderson Kentucky 35
Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa California 33
Jefferson Community and Technical College Louisville Kentucky 32
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Virginia 32
Miller-Motte Technical College-Augusta Augusta Georgia 31
San Diego Miramar College San Diego California 31
Sanford-Brown College-Houston Houston Texas 31
Intellitec Medical Institute Colorado Springs Colorado 30
Mt San Antonio College Walnut California 29
Phoenix College Phoenix Arizona 29
Anne Arundel Community College Arnold Maryland 28
Argosy University-Twin Cities Eagan Minnesota 28
Clark State Community College Springfield Ohio 28
Acadiana Technical College-Lafayette Campus Lafayette Louisiana 27
Eastern Gateway Community College Steubenville Ohio 27
Miller-Motte Technical College-Columbus Columbus Georgia 27
Southside Virginia Community College Alberta Virginia 27
Owensboro Community and Technical College Owensboro Kentucky 26
University of New Mexico-Main Campus Albuquerque New Mexico 25
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Cincinnati Ohio 24
Erie Community College Buffalo New York 24
Mayo School of Health Sciences Rochester Minnesota 24
Tidewater Community College Norfolk Virginia 24
Arapahoe Community College Littleton Colorado 23
Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 23
Northern Michigan University Marquette Michigan 23
Rasmussen College-Minnesota St. Cloud Minnesota 23
Saint Paul College Saint Paul Minnesota 23
Eastern Florida State College Cocoa Florida 22
Fortis Institute-Birmingham Birmingham Alabama 22
George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville Hanceville Alabama 22
Jefferson State Community College Birmingham Alabama 21
Madison Area Technical College Madison Wisconsin 21
Northeast Technical Institute Scarborough Maine 21
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Cumberland Kentucky 21
Carrington College-Phoenix Westside Phoenix Arizona 20
Columbus State Community College Columbus Ohio 20
Miller-Motte Technical College-Lynchburg Lynchburg Virginia 19
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Florida 18
Mountain Empire Community College Big Stone Gap Virginia 18
Rose State College Midwest City Oklahoma 18
Thomas Nelson Community College Hampton Virginia 18
Amarillo College Amarillo Texas 17
Austin Community College District Austin Texas 17
Community College of Philadelphia Philadelphia Pennsylvania 17
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville Florida 17
Indian River State College Fort Pierce Florida 17
Southwest Tennessee Community College Memphis Tennessee 17
Virginia Western Community College Roanoke Virginia 17
Boston University Boston Massachusetts 16
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque New Mexico 16
CUNY Bronx Community College Bronx New York 16
Fortis Institute-Nashville Nashville Tennessee 16
Gadsden State Community College Gadsden Alabama 16
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg Harrisburg Pennsylvania 16
Laredo Community College Laredo Texas 16
Shoreline Community College Shoreline Washington 16
Trident Technical College Charleston South Carolina 16
Tyler Junior College Tyler Texas http://WWW.TJC.EDU 16
Brookline College-Phoenix Phoenix Arizona 15
College of Coastal Georgia Brunswick Georgia 15
Farmingdale State College Farmingdale New York http://WWW.FARMINGDALE.EDU 15
Fortis Institute-Cookeville Cookeville Tennessee 15
Lake Superior College Duluth Minnesota 15
Mercer County Community College West Windsor New Jersey 15
North Hennepin Community College Brooklyn Park Minnesota 15
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay Wisconsin 15
Orange Coast College Costa Mesa California 15
Orange County Community College Middletown New York 15
Pierpont Community and Technical College Fairmont West Virginia 15
Barton County Community College Great Bend Kansas 14
Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire Wisconsin 14
Coastal Carolina Community College Jacksonville North Carolina 14
Community College of Rhode Island Warwick Rhode Island 14
Darton State College Albany Georgia 14
Sheridan Technical Center Hollywood Florida 14
Southeast Community College Area Lincoln Nebraska 14
Tarleton State University Stephenville Texas 14
The University of Texas at Brownsville Brownsville Texas 14
West Georgia Technical College Waco Georgia 14
Baker College of Owosso Owosso Michigan 13
D G Erwin Technical Center Tampa Florida 13
Del Mar College Corpus Christi Texas 13
Iowa Central Community College Fort Dodge Iowa 13
Lorain County Community College Elyria Ohio 13
Macomb Community College Warren Michigan 13
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston Mississippi 13
Northeast Mississippi Community College Booneville Mississippi 13
Quest College San Antonio Texas 13
The Community College of Baltimore County Baltimore Maryland 13
Alamance Community College Graham North Carolina 12
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Asheville North Carolina 12
ATA College Louisville Kentucky 12
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny Iowa 12
Greenville Technical College Greenville South Carolina 12
Hinds Community College Raymond Mississippi 12
Kankakee Community College Kankakee Illinois 12
Middlesex County College Edison New Jersey 12
Mount Wachusett Community College Gardner Massachusetts http://MWCC.EDU 12
Stark State College North Canton Ohio 12
Wake Technical Community College Raleigh North Carolina 12
Youngstown State University Youngstown Ohio 12
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte North Carolina 11
El Paso Community College El Paso Texas 11
Kapiolani Community College Honolulu Hawaii 11
Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls Minnesota 11
Mississippi Delta Community College Moorhead Mississippi 11
Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac Wisconsin 11
Northeast Texas Community College Mount Pleasant Texas 11
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Hazleton Hazleton Pennsylvania 11
Saddleback College Mission Viejo California 11
San Jacinto Community College Pasadena Texas 11
Shawnee State University Portsmouth Ohio http://WWW.SHAWNEE.EDU 11
Southwestern College Chula Vista California 11
Spartanburg Community College Spartanburg South Carolina 11
Spencerian College-Lexington Lexington Kentucky 11
St Philip's College San Antonio Texas 11
Tri-County Technical College Pendleton South Carolina 11
University of New Mexico-Gallup Campus Gallup New Mexico 11
Bluegrass Community and Technical College Lexington Kentucky 10
Camden County College Blackwood New Jersey 10
Carrington College-Tucson Tucson Arizona 10
Casper College Casper Wyoming 10
Edison State Community College Piqua Ohio 10
Kellogg Community College Battle Creek Michigan 10
Marshall University Huntington West Virginia 10
McLennan Community College Waco Texas 10
Midlands Technical College West Columbia South Carolina 10
Mitchell Technical Institute Mitchell South Dakota 10
Nassau Community College Garden City New York 10
North Arkansas College Harrison Arkansas 10
Oakton Community College Des Plaines Illinois 10
Okefenokee Technical College Waycross Georgia 10
Pima Community College Tucson Arizona 10
Rasmussen College-North Dakota Fargo North Dakota 10
Southern University at Shreveport Shreveport Louisiana 10
Southwest Virginia Community College Richlands Virginia 10
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Fennimore Wisconsin 10
Southwestern Illinois College Belleville Illinois 10
St Petersburg College Clearwater Florida 10
Western Technical College La Crosse Wisconsin 10
York County School of Technology-Adult & Continuing Education York Pennsylvania 10
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas Nevada 9
College of the Albemarle Elizabeth City North Carolina 9
College of the Canyons Santa Clarita California 9
Georgia Piedmont Technical College Clarkston Georgia 9
John C Calhoun State Community College Tanner Alabama 9
Miami-Jacobs Career College-Dayton Dayton Ohio 9
Mid-Plains Community College North Platte Nebraska 9
Miller-Motte Technical College-Roanoke Roanoke Virginia 9
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee Wisconsin 9
North Georgia Technical College Clarkesville Georgia 9
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Mount Gay West Virginia 9
Springfield Technical Community College Springfield Massachusetts 9
Three Rivers Community College Poplar Bluff Missouri 9
Western Piedmont Community College Morganton North Carolina 9
Wytheville Community College Wytheville Virginia 9
Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria Minnesota 8
Allegany College of Maryland Cumberland Maryland 8
Arkansas State University-Beebe Beebe Arkansas 8
Baker College of Allen Park Allen Park Michigan 8
Blackhawk Technical College Janesville Wisconsin 8
Davidson County Community College Thomasville North Carolina 8
Dutchess Community College Poughkeepsie New York 8
Fortis College-Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana 8
Grayson College Denison Texas 8
Jackson State Community College Jackson Tennessee 8
Lake Area Technical Institute Watertown South Dakota 8
Louisiana State University-Alexandria Alexandria Louisiana 8
Marion Technical College Marion Ohio 8
Northcentral Technical College Wausau Wisconsin 8
Quincy College Quincy Massachusetts 8
Reading Area Community College Reading Pennsylvania 8
Sandhills Community College Pinehurst North Carolina 8
Seminole State College Seminole Oklahoma 8
South Arkansas Community College El Dorado Arkansas 8
Southeastern Technical College Vidalia Georgia 8
Stanly Community College Albemarle North Carolina 8
Victoria College Victoria Texas 8
Beaufort County Community College Washington North Carolina 7
Bismarck State College Bismarck North Dakota 7
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond Kentucky 7
El Centro College Dallas Texas 7
Lord Fairfax Community College Middletown Virginia 7
Navarro College Corsicana Texas 7
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Miami Oklahoma 7
River Valley Community College Claremont New Hampshire 7
Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock Little Rock Arkansas 6
Bristol Community College Fall River Massachusetts 6
Central Community College Grand Island Nebraska 6
Central Texas College Killeen Texas 6
De Anza College Cupertino California 6
Delgado Community College New Orleans Louisiana http://WWW.DCC.EDU 6
Elgin Community College Elgin Illinois 6
Lanier Technical College Oakwood Georgia 6
Madonna University Livonia Michigan 6
Meridian Community College Meridian Mississippi 6
Miami-Jacobs Career College-Independence Independence Ohio 6
Rasmussen College-Wisconsin Green Bay Wisconsin 6
Rend Lake College Ina Illinois 6
San Juan College Farmington New Mexico 6
Southeastern Community College Whiteville North Carolina 6
Southwest Georgia Technical College Thomasville Georgia 6
Washington State Community College Marietta Ohio 6
York Technical College Rock Hill South Carolina 6
Allen College Waterloo Iowa 5
Baker College of Jackson Jackson Michigan 5
Brookdale Community College Lincroft New Jersey 5
Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins Georgia 5
Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wesson Mississippi 5
CUNY Hunter College New York New York 5
Florence-Darlington Technical College Florence South Carolina http://WWW.FDTC.EDU 5
Halifax Community College Weldon North Carolina 5
Illinois Central College East Peoria Illinois 5
John A Logan College Carterville Illinois 5
Laurel Technical Institute Sharon Pennsylvania 5
Manhattan Area Technical College Manhattan Kansas 5
Medvance Institute-West Palm Palm Springs Florida 5
Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls Minnesota 5
Moberly Area Community College Moberly Missouri 5
Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell Pennsylvania 5
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster Pennsylvania 5
Platt College-Dallas Dallas Texas 5
Platt College-Tulsa Tulsa Oklahoma 5
Saint Louis Community College Saint Louis Missouri 5
Siena Heights University Adrian Michigan 5
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Valdosta Georgia 5
Blessing Hospital School of Medical Laboratory Technology Quincy Illinois 4
Laurel Business Institute Uniontown Pennsylvania 4
Mount Aloysius College Cresson Pennsylvania 4
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas Helena Arkansas 4
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Weatherford Oklahoma 4
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage Alaska 4
Zane State College Zanesville Ohio 4
Akron Institute of Herzing University Akron Ohio http://WWW.AKRONINSTITUTE.COM 3
Central Virginia Community College Lynchburg Virginia 3
Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion Pennsylvania 3
Hawkeye Community College Waterloo Iowa 3
Indian Hills Community College Ottumwa Iowa 3
Miller-Motte Technical College-Gulfport Gulfport Mississippi 3
Paul D Camp Community College Franklin Virginia 3
Rappahannock Community College Glenns Virginia 3
American Health Institute Port Richey Florida 2
Bunker Hill Community College Boston Massachusetts 2
College of Southern Maryland La Plata Maryland 2
Diablo Valley College Pleasant Hill California 2
Eastern Oklahoma State College Wilburton Oklahoma 2
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield Pennsylvania 2
Mercyhurst University-North East Campus North East Pennsylvania 2
Baker College of Port Huron Port Huron Michigan 1
Delta College University Center Michigan 1
Ferris State University Big Rapids Michigan 1
Fortis Institute-Fort Lauderdale Lauderdale Lakes Florida 1
John Wood Community College Quincy Illinois 1
Kaskaskia College Centralia Illinois 1
Miller-Motte Technical College-Macon Macon Georgia 1
Platt College-Moore Moore Oklahoma 1
Platt College-North OKC Oklahoma City Oklahoma 1
Shawnee Community College Ullin Illinois 1
Southeastern Illinois College Harrisburg Illinois 1
2013 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in January, 2015)

Hybrid & online programs

The George Washington University (Health Sciences)
Online BSHS - Medical Lab Science
University of Cincinnati Online
BS - Medical Laboratory Science (MLT/CLT Cert Required)
Arizona State University
Biological Sciences (BS)
Biochemistry (BS)

Students may be able to find medical lab technician schools throughout the U.S. that offer online or hybrid online programs that offer flexibility for those with work or family obligations. Often, very specific parts of these programs are offered online, typically the didactic learning components, while hands-on clinical work is still required. Because lab and clinical experiences are often part of medical lab technician programs, students may need to be on campus or at a clinical site during some segment or segments of their learning. Two schools offering hybrid learning include:

  • Arapahoe Community College – Students attending the medical lab technician program at this Littleton, Colorado-based school can work toward an associate of applied science degree over two years time, although a one-year fast-track option is also available. The lab sections that comprise the program are held Friday and Saturday afternoons, but the MLT courses are offered through hybrid instruction, meaning that many are partially online. Students also do 13 weeks of a clinical internship, occurring at hospital clinical sites. Finally, students who are interested in a bachelor’s degree can turn to advisement at the school, which has many transfer agreements in place with four-year schools.

  • Columbus State Community College: Students in the MLT program at this Columbus, Ohio-based school can complete an associate degree over five semesters. In the fifth semester, students test their skills through hands-on experiences arranged in environments located within 60 miles of Columbus. All of the program’s technical lecture courses are delivered using a Web-based format while lab work is done on campus at the school’s laboratories in Union Hall. The program provides students with essential knowledge and skills in areas like clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, phlebotomy and others, and also prepares them to take the certifying exam offered through the ASCP.

School City State Website Total grads (2013)
George Washington University Washington D.C. 351
Weber State University Ogden Utah 121
Portland Community College Portland Oregon 26
Volunteer State Community College Gallatin Tennessee 18
Hibbing Community College Hibbing Minnesota 10
South Central College North Mankato Minnesota 10
Spencerian College-Louisville Louisville Kentucky 8
Southwestern Community College Sylva North Carolina 6
Harcum College Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania 4
Seward County Community College and Area Technical School Liberal Kansas 2
2013 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in January, 2015)

Core & Elective Courses

The educational components of a medical lab tech program should generally be similar across the board since students need to be able to complete the same types of lab tasks no matter where they are employed in the U.S. For this reason, some of the common courses featured in medical lab tech programs include:

  • Basic and intermediate lab skills

  • Blood banking

  • Hematology

  • Immunology

  • Medical terminology

  • Phlebotomy

  • Urinalysis

Students working on an associate's degree will also need to complete a broad number of general education courses, usually in the social sciences, liberal arts and math, or even related to career development. Coursework may include science components in anatomy, chemistry and physiology. In addition to general education classes, medical lab tech schools also typically require students to gain hands-on skills through clinical practicums or externships, which often occur during the final semester or semesters of a program.


Many medical lab technician programs in the U.S. will have accreditation through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), which accredits a range of allied health programs. Programmatic accreditation through NAACLS requires that a program submit a thorough self-study as well as a site visit from NAACLS experts in the MLT field. Accreditation means that the program curriculum, faculty, and facilities have been evaluated for effectiveness and learning outcomes.

A search, as recent as July 2018, on the NAACLS website reveals that 244 medical lab technician programs are accredited through the institution. Results can be ordered by state or by zip code. The phone number for each school’s MLT program and the e-mail for its director is provided for each search result.

In addition to programmatic accreditation through the NAACLS, applicants should look for institutional accreditation as well. Regionally based organizations such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) conduct an accreditation process that is similar to that of the NAACLS. However, unlike the NAACLS, regional accreditation will take into account the performance and facilities of an entire school. Accreditation generally helps assure students that a specific program meets necessary education and training standards, but can also be needed to seek certification through credentialing organizations. Many licensing bodies require that applicants have completed a program that has earned some type of accreditation, although specific vary depending on the license.

Career Outlook

Job demand for medical and clinical lab technicians is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS (2017). This job growth is twice as fast as average and could lead to 22,900 additional positions becoming available during this time. What are the reasons for this expected job demand? Access to health insurance, driven by new federal legislation, is providing more people with coverage and leading to needs for more lab personnel, as a result. Additionally, an aging Baby Boomer population should place more demands on the health services industry, as individuals and doctors turn to more laboratory workers to help diagnose diseases or conditions. In all, by 2026, the BLS predicts that 187,200 people in the U.S. will be employed as clinical and medical laboratory technicians, an increase from 164,200 in 2016.

Career Facts Medical Lab Technician
Related CareersVeterinary Technologist, Dental Lab Technician
Common Job TitlesMedical Lab Technician, Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Laboratory Scientists
Technology & EquipmentMicroscopes, Cell Counters, Computerized Instruments
Sourced from BLS, June 2018

Licensing & Certification

There are a number of organizations offering medical lab technician certification, which may be preferred by some employers or may even be necessary to seek licensure in some states. For example, in the state of New York, to become licensed as a Certified Clinical Laboratory Technician, applicants must pass the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board for Registry's Medical Laboratory Technician exam. Other steps may be required for licensure, such as a licensing fee and proof of specific educational requirements, for example. Licensing requirements differ from state to state, but the following are some of the certifications available for medical lab technicians:

American Medical Technologists

The Medical Lab Technician (MLT) certification, offered through American Medical Technologists (AMT), requires applicants to have completed an associate degree in medical lab technology from an accredited institution or to have taken other alternate routes. Each route to this certification requires appropriate clinical experience. The exam, which can be taken at a PearsonVUE test center, includes questions in general laboratory, chemistry, hematology and other areas.

American Association of Bioanalysts

The MLT generalist certification offered through the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) requires students to complete an associate degree in laboratory science or medical laboratory technology from an accredited program, or complete alternative education routes and pass the organization’s certifying exam. Having five years of clinical laboratory experience within the past 10 years or completing a military program are other ways to qualify for AAB’s MLT exam.

American Society for Clinical Pathology

MLT certification is also available through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) for students completing an associate degree from an accredited institution and having either: 1) three years of qualifying experience, 2) completion of a military program, 3) completion of an NAACLS- or ABHES-accredited MLT program, or 4) an existing CLA(ASCP) certification (discontinued in 1982). The ASCP offers a broad number of other certifications, as well, including in specialist areas such as blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology.

Why get certified? The benefits can be many, according to the AMT website. These include opportunities for higher wages and promotions and simply a way to initially become employed. “Certification translates to an advantage in the workplace,” the AMT website reads. “Many employers now require certification because they know that individuals who are certified are committed to their profession and to quality patient care.” In addition, there are some states that require certification and licensure in order to work in this profession. It is important that any program applicant investigate the requirements for the state where they intend to work prior to investing in an MLT education.