Medical Laboratory Technician Salary
Median pay for Medical Laboratory Technicians in the United States is around $18.96 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. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the specific employer, though geography and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. For the most part, Medical Laboratory Technicians enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. A strong majority enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. Most Medical Laboratory Technicians survey respondents are women (77 percent). The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took 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
- Follow health and safety regulations when obtaining patient specimens.
- Identify and follow through on potential problems that may negatively affect patient test results.
- Perform calibration, testing, and quality control checks for all laboratory tests.
Common Career Paths for Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical Laboratory Technicians may progress into high-paying roles like Laboratory Manager, where median compensation is $62K annually. As Medical Laboratory Technicians progress in their field, many go on to become Clinical Laboratory Technicians. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and median pay for the role is $35K. Another common career choice for Medical Laboratory Technicians is to move into a Clinical Laboratory Technologist role — this promotion usually pays $47K.
Medical / Clinical Laboratory Technician Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Medical Laboratory Technician
Known for taking on a considerable number of Medical Laboratory Technicians, Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), Idexx Laboratories, Inc., Quest Diagnostics, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy are leading firms in the industry. For Medical Laboratory Technicians, comfortable salaries can be found at U.S. Navy; in fact, median earnings sit around $59K, the highest in the area. Other big spenders include CSL Behring LLC, U.S. Army, and HCA, Inc., top-paying firms where Medical Laboratory Technicians see paychecks nearing $55K, $44K, or $44K.
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
Survey results imply that Medical Laboratory Technicians deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Equipment Maintenance, Hematology, blood bank, and laboratory are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 9 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. The majority of those who know Generalist Duties also know Phlebotomy.
Pay by Experience Level for Medical Laboratory Technician
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Medical Laboratory Technicians with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $37K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $40K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $43K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $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), Boston (+13 percent), Nashville (+5 percent), and Phoenix (+4 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Medical Laboratory Technician's salary, with Ocala Medical Laboratory Technicians earning salaries that are 28 percent less than the national average. Workers in Birmingham and Columbus earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (8 percent less and 6 percent less, respectively).