How to Become a Medical Technician in Colorado
Steps to Become a Medical Laboratory Technician in Colorado
The state of Colorado does not require that MLTs have a state license. However, a review of job openings revealed that employers are looking for people that meet national certification requirements with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP), American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT) certification, but ASCP seemed to be the most common.
MLT programs through Colorado medical technician schools should be accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). You can access a searchable database of accredited programs on their web site at http://www.naacls.org/. The Colorado Rural Health Center has some funding for scholarships and loan repayment, but loan repayment grants must go to an organization, not to an individual.
Steps for Certification
- Complete an associate's degree or the equivalent in a relevant discipline.
- For AMT certification, you can have either 60 hours of coursework from an accredited college with at least 25 semester hours in classes relevant to medical technology, including six months of laboratory experience, OR an associate degree from an accredited medical laboratory technician program.
- ASCP has four possible routes to be eligible for certification. All require an associate degree or 60 semester hours of academic credit from a regionally accredited college. In addition to that, Route 1 requires completion of an NAACLS accredited program within the last 5 years. Route 2 requires 6 semester hours each of chemistry and biology and CLA certification. This certification was discontinued in 1982, so Route 2 is limited to individuals certified before that date. Route 3 requires 6 semester hours each of chemistry and biology and successful completion of a 50 week U.S. military medical laboratory training course. Route 4 requires 6 semester hours each of chemistry and biology and three years full time experience in certain fields within the past 10 years, with at least 2 of those years under a board certified supervisor.
- Apply for the national certification exam offered by ASCP or AMT after completing all degree requirements.
- The AMT certification is valid for three years and is renewed every three years through the Certification Continuation Program (CCP). The initial application for certification costs $125, but will increase to $130 effective January 1, 2010. You must be certified to be a member.
- The ASCP certification is valid for three years and must be renewed every three years through the Certification Maintenance Program (CMP). Membership in ASCP is $89 per year and you must be certified by ASCP to be a member. The initial certification exam is $185.