Medical Laboratory Technician Salaries

What is the average salary of a medical laboratory technician?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for medical laboratory technicians working in the U.S. was $40,750 as of May 2014. However, pay can vary greatly, with those in the lowest 10 percent earning $25,550 or less and those in the upper 10 percent earning $59,750 or more. Pay can vary because of time on the job, educational background, experience, certification and job location. In fact, the BLS shows that the states with the highest paid medical and clinical laboratory technicians were Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut and Alaska.

What skills are necessary to become a medical laboratory technician?

To succeed in this field, it is important to have solid accounting, word processing and spreadsheet software skills. Medical technicians use accounting software to perform lab billing duties and medical software to document records. Effective communication and customer service skills are important in working with both patients and other lab personnel. Paying close attention to detail and being able to multitask are also essential skills for this line of work.

Steps to become a medical laboratory technician

The following steps outline the most direct route to enter this field and earn the necessary, marketable credentials.

  1. Take chemistry and biology courses in high school.
  2. Upon graduating from high school, enroll in a medical technician degree program. Most programs are associate's level and typically take two years to complete.
  3. Sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathologists national certification exam to earn an MLT credential.
  4. Look for a job in the field.
  5. Maintain the necessary continuing education units to renew certification every three years.

Is this profession in high demand?

The BLS shows that jobs for medical and clinical laboratory technicians are expected to grow by 30 percent from 2012 to 2022. This job growth is considered to be much faster than average and could result in 47,900 new positions becoming available. Factors contributing to demand include more people with access to health insurance under federal law and an aging baby boomer population who will need health care services, particularly for diagnosis and treatment of diseases like cancer and diabetes. As a result, more medical laboratory technicians will be needed to operate and maintain equipment used for such diagnoses.

Is there room for advancement?

Medical laboratory technicians may be able to improve their opportunities for advancement by earning a medical lab technician (MLT) certification. This may be preferred by some employers and may even be required for licensing in some states, according to the BLS. In addition to passing a qualifying exam, graduation from an accredited program is often necessary to seek certification. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) both offer certification. The BLS reports that certification, education or experience could allow medical lab technicians to advance into niche areas of lab science, such as clinical chemistry, histotechnology and immunology.


  1. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
  2. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292012.htm

Medical Technician Schools

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            Fortis Institute , Baton Rouge
            • Provides a 24/7 myCampusLink system that lets students access their records, e-mail, communicate with faculty, and more.
            • Designated a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Offers career education in nursing, dental, business, information technology, and more. 
            • Has 44 campus locations across 15 states, with online options as well.
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            ECPI University , Charlotte
            • Named a Best for Vets school by the Military Times in 2014.
            • Has specialized in student-centered technology, business, criminal justice, health science, and culinary education for over 45 years.
            • Makes it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years or an associate’s in 1.5 years by providing a year-round schedule.
            • Offers externships and clinical experience that help students prepare for life after they graduate.
            • Has 10 campuses across the mid-Atlantic, plus online degree programs.
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            • Serving students in higher education since 1941.
            • Offers diplomas and degree programs in accounting, healthcare, and business. 
            • Uses a unique inverted curriculum that enables students to take core classes in their first year.
            • Provides flexible scheduling for students with four start times per year.
            • Has 36 campus locations across the United States, as well as online courses.
            • Formed program advisory boards to ensure that all course material stays up to date.
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            • Committed to excellence in education since 1897 with a rich history of helping students find successful careers.
            • Offers a wide array of over 35 degree programs including business, medical, technology, and more.
            • Developed a Graduate Placement Strategy (GPS) that helps students prepare for careers with externships, help building a career portfolio, resume writing, and more.
            • Its fully-accredited campuses offer day, evening, and online classes.
            • Gives graduates access to career tools and networking resources for life.
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            • Founded in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1900, with over 40 diverse online degree programs.
            • Offers a comprehensive student services team (SUPPORT+) composed of financial aid advisors, academic tutors, career service advisors, and more.
            • Operates as a Public Benefit Corporation school, that puts students first and maintains a commitment to the communities they serve.
            • Features a DreamReal program, that provides students with career guidance from enrollment to graduation, helps them to make connections in their community, and more.
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