How to Become a Medical Technician in Pennsylvania

Becoming a Medical Tech in Pennsylvania

For Pennsylvania medical technicians it is not required you have a state license.  It is required to have the proper education and certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).  Most employers search for candidates that have completed this particular certification course. 

The following steps outline what is necessary to become a medical technician. 

  • Step 1 – Be sure to understand the details and demands of a medical technician.  Medical technicians work under stressful situations and must be very detail oriented.  They must have normal color vision, computer skills, problem solving skills and manual dexterity is also crucial for medical technicians. 
  • Step 2 – Education preparation: Medical technicians must be knowledgeable in the sciences, math and computers.  Preparing early for this occupation is suggested by studying courses related through high school.  
  • Step 3 – Pennsylvania medical technician schools: Medical technicians operate high-tech equipment and perform complicated tests and those that use this type of equipment are required to have a minimum of an Associates degree.  This degree is required by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act and must be in the medical technology or health sciences arena.  In addition, medical technicians will need to complete courses in math, chemistry, statistics, biological sciences, microbiology as well as business, management and computer applications. 
  • Step 4 – Certification and License: After completion of an associates or bachelor degree, some states require you to be registered or licensed.  However, Pennsylvania does not have any state licensing requirements at this time.  When employers start searching for potential candidates they typically respond to someone that has obtained certification from one of the following: the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology; National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel; Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts.
  • Step 5 – Career Growth: You can become a medical technician with only an associate’s degree, however, those with a bachelor’s degree and actual work experience have the potential to grow and advance within this industry.  A medical technician can advance to a supervisor, lab director, chief clinical or medical laboratory technologist. 

To become certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP):

  1. Have at least 60 college semester hours of credit from an accredited school or an Associates Degree. (Plus)
  2. Have completed within the last five years a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) accredited program.  (Or)
  3. Have a Clinical Laboratory Sciences (CLS) certification along with six semester hours of biology and chemistry. (Or)
  4. Official notarized documentation of medical lab training with the U.S. Military which consists of fifty weeks and six semester hours of biology or chemistry. (Or)
  5. Have six college semester hours of biology or chemistry and three years of full time clinical lab experience in chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, blood banking and clinical microscopy within the U.S. or Canada.

The above will allow you to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) for Medical Laboratory Technician exam.  The exam is $185.00. 

Through campus based and online programs, aspiring Medical Technicians in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown and Erie, Pennsylvania may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including the Albert Einstein Medical Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Saint Luke's Hospitals and Temple University Hospital.

Medical Technician Schools