Clinical laboratory technician careers involve the use of sophisticated, delicate laboratory equipment to collect, process, and analyze patient specimens. The goal of a clinical laboratory technician is to help physicians diagnose diseases or health conditions. They also clean and maintain equipment and laboratories and relay findings to physicians.
The standard educational requirement for clinical lab techs is an associate's degree or certificate from an accredited clinical laboratory technician school. Several states require licensure from either the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification or the American Medical Technologists.
Coursework in clinical laboratory technician schools generally involves chemistry, biology, microbiology, math, statistics, lab equipment training, and hands-on clinical work.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical laboratory technicians earned a median annual salary of $36,030 in 2009. Due to ongoing advances in medical and genetic testing, clinical laboratory technician careers are projected to increase by 16 percent during the 2008-2018 period, which is faster than average.
Some clinical laboratory technicians specialize in particular kinds of work--for instance, histotechnology (detecting cancer cells) or phlebotomy (analyzing blood).
With further training to earn a bachelor's degree, lab technicians can advance to the level of clinical laboratory technologist or scientist, which involves more complex testing procedures and greater chances for obtaining leadership roles.
Start your nursing career with The College Network. Earn your NLNAC/CCNE accredited nursing degree online from one of our partner universities: Regis University, Indiana State University, Angelo State University and more at half the cost and time of traditional universities with no campus attendance, no wait list and local clinicals.