Lab Technician Profession Profile (Wage, Necessities, Abilities, Coaching)


A medical and scientific laboratory technician is an individual who performs laboratory assessments which have been requested by medical doctors and different healthcare professionals. They analyze human tissue samples and physique fluids utilizing laboratory devices, microscopes, and computer systems to find anomalies and make analysis. The job of a laboratory technician is crucial to a affected person’s well being.

What’s a lab technician?

Medical and scientific laboratory technologists carry out common medical laboratory assessments, offering medical doctors with the information they should diagnose, deal with, and forestall illness. They’ll assess the chemical composition of fluids, verify for parasites, micro organism, and different microbes in blood and bodily fluids, match blood for transfusions, and check for drug ranges in blood by inspecting and analyzing physique fluids and cells.

Microscopes, cell counters, and different complicated lab tools are utilized by medical and scientific laboratory personnel. Additionally they make use of digital gadgets and automatic expertise that may do many assessments on the identical time. They assess the information after testing and analyzing a specimen and transmit them to the doctor.

A medical and scientific laboratory technician’s tasks embody the next:

  • Medical laboratory tools have to be arrange, maintained, and cleaned.
  • take blood or tissue samples from sufferers use a microscope or an automatic analyzer to look at and analyze organic fluids like blood and urine.
  • Search for any abnormalities within the cells.
  • Search for anomalies or diseases to establish and decipher.
  • To generate reviews, enter findings into a pc and file check information.
  • Carry out blood testing and blood counts in preparation for blood transfusions.
  • When aberrant cells are found, produce tissue samples for pathologists to look at, and seek advice from a pathologist to determine a definitive analysis.
  • Oversee lab assistants and different technicians.
  • Carry out assessments, analyze blood fluids, oversee gathering samples and different laboratory procedures.

Technologist or technician?

The distinction between a technologist and a technician is {that a} medical laboratory technologist should full a four-year medical laboratory diploma program. A two-year diploma (or certificates) in medical laboratory expertise qualifies the graduate to work as a medical laboratory technician. Technologists (generally often called medical laboratory scientists) typically make more cash and have larger probabilities for progress than technicians.

lab technician

Lab technician work surroundings

Hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, doctor’s and dentist’s workplaces, and state and federal businesses make use of medical and scientific laboratory technologists. Working hours would possibly fluctuate relying on the kind of job you have got. Technicians typically work the day, night, or night time shifts at hospitals or labs which are open 24 hours a day. They’ll additionally work weekends and holidays. In small services, technicians can work rotating shifts relatively than common shifts and could be on name within the occasion of an emergency.

Few dangers exist when correct sterilizing methods are used. To ensure security, nevertheless, protecting masks, gloves, and goggles are often required. The workspace is usually well-lit and clear; nonetheless, laboratory specimens and options would possibly generate fumes.

What does a lab technician do?

In a scientific laboratory, a lab technician conducts extremely mechanical, technical, or diagnostic procedures. In a laboratory or subject surroundings, lab technicians can function alone or underneath the supervision of an expert. They’re answerable for documenting information, guaranteeing the correctness and effectivity of scientific investigations, sustaining tools and lab devices, and conserving the lab orderly, amongst different issues.

The next are the day-to-day duties of lab technicians:

  • Experiments, information assortment, and elementary inquiries are all a part of the job.
  • Adjusting, calibrating, and guaranteeing that laboratory tools and devices are in good working order.
  • Cleansing and disinfecting the work surroundings and tools.
  • Creating databases and figuring out organic samples for preservation and evaluation.
  • Protecting thorough and exact notes of examine findings and getting into them right into a database.
  • Buying and storing laboratory provides.

Common wage of a lab technician

Nearly all of lab technicians work full-time and are paid hourly. A lab technician’s compensation varies relying on the kind of job, location, and measurement of the corporate. Most lab technicians earn an hourly wage of $17.56.

  • In the USA, the typical hourly wage is $17.56.
  • Hourly wages usually fluctuate from $7.25 to $41.30.

By state

Common wage of laboratory technicians by state.

  • Alaska: $49,640 per yr.
  • Alabama: $34,090 per yr.
  • Arkansas: $33,980 per yr.
  • Arizona: $39,590 per yr.
  • California: $40,523 per yr.
  • Colorado: $40,270 per yr.
  • Connecticut: $44,470
  • District of Columbia: $41,450 per yr.
  • Delaware: $39,930 per yr.
  • Florida: $35,360 per yr.
  • Georgia: $34,300 per yr.
  • Guam: $33,380 per yr.
  • Hawaii: $46,790 per yr.
  • Iowa: $41,470 per yr.
  • Idaho: $31,480 per yr.
  • Illinois: $42,020 per yr.
  • Indiana: $35,630 per yr.
  • Kansas: $35,460 per yr.
  • Kentucky: $37,910 per yr.
  • Louisiana: $32,970 per yr.
  • Massachusetts: $40,530 per yr.
  • Maryland: $38,860 per yr.
  • Maine: $41,270 per yr.
  • Michigan: $31,840 per yr.
  • Minnesota: $44,920 per yr.
  • Missouri: $34,040 per yr.
  • Mississippi: $34,180 per yr.
  • Montana: $39,010 per yr.
  • North Carolina: $35,000 per yr.
  • North Dakota: $41,390 per yr.
  • Nebraska: $38,760 per yr.
  • New Hampshire: $41,520 per yr.
  • New Jersey: $51,160 per yr.
  • New Mexico: $36,280 per yr.
  • Nevada: $44,230 per yr.
  • New York: $47,610 per yr.
  • Ohio: $42,310 per yr.
  • Oklahoma: $31,170 per yr.
  • Oregon: $42,170 per yr.
  • Pennsylvania: $38,140 per yr.
  • Puerto Rico: $20,150 per yr.
  • Rhode Island: $57,470 per yr.
  • South Carolina: $36,860 per yr.
  • South Dakota: $34,830 per yr.
  • Tennessee: $36,210 per yr.
  • Texas: $31,293 per yr.
  • Utah: $31,800 per yr.
  • Virginia: $37,440 per yr.
  • Virgin Islands: $44,640 per yr.
  • Vermont: $49,270 per yr.
  • Washington: $43,800 per yr.
  • Wisconsin: $41,950 per yr.
  • West Virginia: $40,980 per yr.
  • Wyoming: $36,810 per yr.

Lab technician necessities

To do their jobs effectively, lab technicians want a mixture of schooling, coaching, talents, and certifications.


To work as a lab technician, you should have a highschool diploma or equal. Most employers want candidates with a minimum of an Affiliate’s Diploma in Laboratory Science or a intently related subject. A level from a Nationwide Accrediting Company for Scientific Laboratory Sciences-accredited college could be helpful. To study extra in regards to the space and improve your earnings potential, you may get a Bachelor’s or Grasp’s diploma in Laboratory Sciences.

Professional tip: The first mission of the Medical Laboratory Technician program is scholar success and progress as technical professionals in scientific laboratory science.

lab technician


In depth coaching could be required of medical laboratory technicians. Relying on the sector, lab technicians bear several types of coaching. Throughout on-the-job coaching, establishments often train lab technologists on particular laboratory methods. Studying about particular procedures, creating reviews, and accurately disposing of trash are all examples of coaching.

Off-the-job coaching for lab technicians is out there within the type of scientific seminars and conferences. Relying on their disciplines and specialties, lab technicians would possibly attend a variety of conferences. They’ll study extra about their areas at these conferences, which is able to assist them maintain updated on market traits and scientific breakthroughs.


Many states require laboratory personnel to earn a license. To work, sure lab technicians should get certificates. The next certifications can be found:

Medical Lab Technician certification

An MLT, which could be obtained by way of the American Society for Scientific Pathology or the American Affiliation of Bioanalysts, certifies your capacity to function in a medical laboratory. To function as a lab technician in a medical surroundings, a number of states want an MLT. To change into an MLT, you should have an affiliate’s diploma and full a rigorous coaching program.

Medical Laboratory Scientist certification

An MLS certification, which can also be offered by the ASCP or the AAB, demonstrates you could deal with extra duties in a medical laboratory. You will want a bachelor’s diploma plus lab expertise to get an MLS. Acquiring one other acceptable qualification and finishing a coaching program are additionally mandatory.


Lab technicians would require a variety of talents relying on the kind and nature of the group. The next are probably the most frequent talents shared by lab technicians:

Drawback-solving expertise

Lab technicians ought to be capable of analyze a variety of info and choose one of the best reply. To get good outcomes, the problem-solving strategy must be methodical and complete.

Evaluation expertise

As a result of lab technicians are often required to gather and consider monumental volumes of information and data. They need to be capable of use analytical approaches to establish relationships between outcomes.

Organizational expertise

Lab technicians profit from each well-organized data and nice working circumstances. To keep up security requirements, they need to be capable of quickly undergo information and maintain their work house clear.

lab technician

Communication expertise

As a result of lab technicians often work in shut quarters with their coworkers, the flexibility to speak vocally is significant. They need to be capable of accomplish assignments and experiments as a staff. Lab technicians must also have robust written communication talents, as they are going to be writing reviews on their outcomes for others to grasp.

Time-management expertise

Timed assessments are often carried out by lab technicians. They need to be capable of plan their days in order that they’ll maintain monitor of each section of the process. Lab technicians may also accomplish a variety of duties on the identical time if they’ve good time administration talents.

Work surroundings

A lab technician can function in one of many following environments, relying on the sphere:

Laboratories: Many lab technicians function in a laboratory setting, the place they’re uncovered to probably harmful chemical substances.

  • Workplaces: Laboratory technicians can collect, analyze, and write information leads to an workplace setting.
  • Development websites: Lab technicians can accumulate soil and water samples on building websites.
  • Industrial vegetation: Often make use of lab technicians to conduct analysis on new chemical substances and file the findings.

Lab techs can have a selected office, often called a lab bench, the place they make the most of a variety of scientific instruments to run assessments and consider information in lots of of those conditions. Whereas finishing duties, lab personnel would possibly sit, stand, and transfer round their office.

Lab technicians put on slacks, closed-toed sneakers, and long-sleeved shirts, relying on the operate and local weather. They’ll additionally put on goggles, a lab coat, and gloves to guard themselves.

Lab technologists would possibly work a variety of hours relying on the state of affairs. Throughout typical enterprise hours, most lab technologists work full time, nevertheless some extra time could be required when performing important analysis. When conducting a timed experiment, sure lab technologists can work evenings and weekends once in a while.

Easy methods to change into a lab technician

Here is the right way to change into a lab technician.

Highschool diploma

Some employers can recruit you with solely a highschool diploma and give you on-the-job coaching. In lots of conditions, a GED can be utilized rather than a highschool commencement.

Affiliate’s or bachelor’s diploma

You may main in laboratory sciences or the same subject, relying in your inclinations. A four-year diploma can improve your profession potentialities as a result of many employers favor a bachelor’s diploma over an affiliate’s diploma.

Get licensed

You may must acquire a certification relying on the state during which you propose to function. Study your state’s laws to see if a lab technician certificates is required. Even when your state doesn’t require certification, you must take into consideration getting one to indicate your experience and competence.


Staying present within the space may also help you thrive on this job path, since new scientific discoveries are made on a regular basis. As well as, you probably have a lab tech certification, you will want to attend persevering with schooling courses or coaching to maintain your certification present.

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