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Medical Technology


Did you always know you want to work in a lab, looking under the microscope at what others deemed as gross stuff? You have extraordinary skills when it comes to details; you practically can catch things even microscopes miss. You find the quickest path leading from A-Z, and you come to the most logical conclusion without bursting a brain cell. You have the makings of a medical technologist. To find out more about becoming a med tech, you will want to read on.

What Medical Technologists Do

You already know that you have the personality and soft skills conducive to a career as a medical technologist. But, you aren’t really sure what the day-to-day tasks entail. Here is the short list of what you’ll do as a med tech:

  • Analyze, test, and record any and all body secretions such as mucus, blood, urine, and feces. Identify blood cells and determine compatibility with other blood types.
  • Use all that fancy equipment. Don’t worry, you’ll learn how both in school and in your job training.
  • Be hyper-organized with your record and document keeping.
  • Have meetings with other medical professionals to discuss your research and findings.
  • Train and watch over medical lab technicians.
  • Depending on where you work, collaborate with other team members or work independently.

Many of the tests you’ll be performing will be at the request of other medical professionals and will be highly complex. This important job’s bottom line is to help other doctors detect an illness so they can properly diagnose and treat it.

How To Become A Medical Technologist

Now that you know what a medical technologist does at work, it’s time to find out how to become one.

  • In high school, take all the science courses available to you.
  • Graduate high school or get your GED.
  • You’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree, so attend a university where you can get yours in medical laboratory technology or as a medical lab scientist.
  • Expect heavy loads in science classes like chemistry, microbiology, and biology. Also, math and stats courses are necessary.
  • Once your courses are complete, you’ll enter the clinical portion of your studies. You’ll be working in a laboratory, most likely in a hospital. Placement can be done through your university.
  • You may be required to be licensed and certified, so check with your state for more details.

Even if licensing and certification isn't mandatory in your state, you should go ahead and do it anyway; most hiring personnel will prioritize your colleagues who do have them.

Types Of Medical Technologist Specialties

Once you get more into your students, you may decide there are certain areas within this career that appeal to you more. Well, that’s cool, because you can choose to specialize in one or more of the following:

Immunohematology or blood bank technologist: Go through the process to make blood ready for transfusions.

Clinical chemistry technologist: Prepare and analyze the contents of various body fluids.

Cytotechnologist: Determine cancer growth by making and preparing slides to study under microscopes and other types of tools.

Immunology technologist: Examine how the human body responds to foreign bodies.

Microbiology technologist: Your jam is examining microorganisms like bacteria.

Molecular biology technologist: You take cell samples and run them through a whole lot of testing.

You may be able to specialize as soon as once you start your clinicals.

The Salary And Job Outlook For Medical Technologists

For medical technologists in the United States, the median salary is just over the $51,000 mark. Keep in mind that median means half the medical technologists earn more while the other half earns less. What you make will be determined by your experience, plus where you work and what state you’re in. When you’re deciding where to apply, know that hospitals generally pay a higher salary than clinics. You can expect your salary to peak under $80,000.

Strong employment growth is predicted for medical technology through 2026. If you’ve graduated from an accredited program and have decided to get the appropriate licensing and certifications, then you’ll be eligible for one of the almost 20,000 new positions opening.