Laboratory Technician Career

What You Do in This Career

Becoming a Laboratory Technician probably wasn’t on your list of ideal careers when you were a kid, but perhaps it should have been. Laboratory Technologists perform tests on body fluids and tissue samples that are crucial to detecting, diagnosing, and treating disease. If you like staring through microscopes at bacteria, parasites and microorganisms, or even if you just like helping people with your analytical expertise, this is a great career. It’s not for the faint of heart however, since a tremendous amount of responsibility is placed on the lab technicians to be accurate in their tests. People’s lives are in their hands just like any doctor or registered nurse.

Salary and Career Path

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for laboratory technologists in 2008 was $53,500, with the lowest 10% earning under $36,000 and the highest paid techs earning over $74,680. Lab techs can find employment in many locations like at university medical clinics, physician’s offices, or general hospitals. As with all medical careers, the outlook is good for job hires since the number of older people and the demand for laboratory testing are increasing. To advance up the career ladder requires experience and the ability to take on supervisory positions. Many online colleges offer degree programs that incorporate management skills, which would be a plus on any resume. Online colleges also offer degree programs for nurse practitioners and ultrasound technicians, for those who are interested in medical care outside the laboratory.

What Kind of Degree or Coursework You Need

Laboratory technicians often have AA degrees in fields such as allied health, medical assisting, or health information technology, or certificates from hospitals or vocational schools, even the military. Any of those avenues offer a great start to a career in laboratory technology. The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences accredits 479 programs nation-wide, which means further training and specialization through online colleges or regular universities is easy to find.

Top Online Health Services Programs

Herzing University
AS in Medical Assisting
Herzing University — With a 45 year history, Herzing University is an accredited university that offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees as well as diplomas in over 45 different programs. The AS in Medical Assisting program builds on the online diploma program by incorporating the general education requirements required for this level of degree. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
DeVry University
AS in Health IT
DeVry University — For over 80 years, DeVry University has focused on relevant areas of study, offering associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs and specializations that cover 34 different career fields. Earn your associate degree in Health Information Technology from DeVry University, and prepare to be an HIT leader in contemporary hospitals, physicians' offices, medical clinics, and more. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Adventist University of Health Sciences
BS in Radiologic Sciences
Adventist University of Health Sciences — Founded in 1992, the Adventist University of Health Sciences is formerly the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, a school focused on privding higher education in the several fields of healthcare. The BS in Health Information Technology program prepares students to become radiologic technicians. Adventist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Pima Medical Institute
BS in Radiologic Sciences
AOS in Radiography
Pima Medical Institute — Pima Medical Institute, founded in 1972, is a private, regionally accredited career university offering certificates, associate, and bachelor's degrees for careers in the healthcare industry. The BS in Radiologic Sciences program prepares students to perform the duties and responsibilies of a radiologists. Pima is accredited by organizations in several fields of healthcare including the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

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