Medical Laboratory Technician Salary
An average Medical Laboratory Technician in the United States can expect to take home roughly $18.97 per hour. Total cash earnings of Medical Laboratory Technicians range from $30K on the low end to $53K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $5K and $29K, respectively. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the specific employer, followed by geography and tenure. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Medical Laboratory Technicians making up 77 percent. A strong majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the larger part collect dental insurance. For the most part, Medical Laboratory Technicians enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
Job Description for Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical laboratory technicians perform standard medical lab tests such as blood tests, immunoassays, and cultures. They must be able to work independently to take lab tests and interpret patient results. They also must work with other health care professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to solve medical problems. Additionally, they are responsible for phlebotomy work, which includes the collection and preparation of patient samples, such as blood, urine, or stool. They must observe patient confidentiality protocols, as they are often working with sensitive personal information.Read More...
Outside of patient responsibilities, these technicians are also responsible for ensuring the equipment inside the lab works properly by periodically calibrating and testing it. They are also expected to know how to troubleshoot problematic equipment, evaluate new laboratory methods and equipment, and train new assistants and technicians on current operations.
Candidates for medical laboratory technician positions must be able to function in a stressful environment, be prepared to take on shifts at any time of the day or night, and be prepared to work periodic overtime. Flexibility with hours is particularly important at facilities staffed around the clock, such as hospitals. In addition, the candidate must be physically able to remain on their feet for most of the day, and be prepared to lift and carry lab samples or equipment from one location to another. They must also have good interpersonal skills, as they must interact with patients and their families on a day-to-day basis. It is also helpful to have strong leadership skills, as technicians will most likely supervise laboratory assistants and must be comfortable with delegating tasks and organizing work low.
In most laboratories, an associate's degree is necessary, most preferably in clinical laboratory technology (CLT) or a medical laboratory technology (MLT) program. In addition, candidates must either have, or be willing to obtain, national accreditation. Two appropriate certification options include the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) or the National Agency for Laboratory Personnel (NCA). As for experience, the minimum is one to two years in a related field, and three to five years in microbiology or a similar field is preferred.
Medical Laboratory Technician Tasks
- Perform calibration, testing, and quality control checks for all laboratory tests.
- Identify and follow through on potential problems that may negatively affect patient test results.
- Follow health and safety regulations when obtaining patient specimens.
Common Career Paths for Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical Laboratory Technicians who transition into a Laboratory Manager role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $62K per year. When Medical Laboratory Technicians are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Clinical Laboratory Technologists or Medical Technologists. Those roles pay an additional $8K and $12K, respectively.
Medical / Clinical Laboratory Technician Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Medical Laboratory Technician
Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Medical Laboratory Technicians include Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), Idexx Laboratories, Inc., Quest Diagnostics, Baptist Hospital, and Mercy Hospital. For Medical Laboratory Technicians, comfortable salaries can be found at U.S. Navy; in fact, median earnings sit around $69K, the highest in the area. Other employers shelling out big bucks include CSL Behring LLC, U.S. Army, and HCA, Inc., where Medical Laboratory Technicians typically earn around $55K, $48K, or $46K, respectively.
Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Baptist Health at $34K, and Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) where $35K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Medical Laboratory Technicians there earn up to $62K.
Popular Skills for Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical Laboratory Technicians report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Equipment Maintenance, Hematology, laboratory, and Troubleshooting are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 18 percent. Those listing Data Entry as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Generalist and Phlebotomy also typically command lower compensation. Those proficient in Generalist Duties are, more often than not, also skilled in Phlebotomy.
Pay by Experience Level for Medical Laboratory Technician
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $37K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $40K. Medical Laboratory Technicians bring in $44K after working for 10 to 20 years. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $48K.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Medical Laboratory Technicians in Philadelphia enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 25 percent above the national average. Medical Laboratory Technicians can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Minneapolis (+22 percent), Knoxville (+14 percent), Nashville (+14 percent), and Boston (+13 percent). Compared to the national average, Ocala Medical Laboratory Technicians have considerably lower salaries, 28 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Employers in Birmingham and Atlanta also lean toward paying below-median salaries (11 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively).
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Key Stats for Medical Laboratory Technician
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