Laboratory technicians are professionals who use a variety of medical technologies and tools in order to diagnose different conditions. Simply put, laboratory technicians and technologists are professionals who screen different tissue, blood, stool and urine samples in order to detect viruses, bacteria and various genetic abnormalities, such as cancers. The salary of these technicians depend on vary they are clinical or medical technicians. Generally speaking, medical and clinical lab technicians collect bodily fluids and tissue samples from the patients, then test them for abnormal cells, chemistry or for the presence of disease. The median yearly salary for these health care professionals ranges between $40,000 and $60,000 a year.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America
The salary of clinical and medical lab technicians can vary a lot from one area of the United States of America to another.Taking the state of California as an example, this state pays its lab technicians a median yearly wage of around $73,000, while the state of Nevada offers them little over $67,000 and the state of Alaska over $64,000. At the same time, Rhode Island pays these professionals a median yearly wage of $61,000, followed by Maryland with around $62,000 and the state of Connecticut with just under $63,000.
Laboratory Technician Job Description
As the name of the position suggests, lab technicians and technologists are professionals who work with different medical equipments and tools in order to perform thorough and accurate diagnostic tests. These professionals can work either in hospitals or in private clinics, and they can work independently or under the close supervision of a trained professional. In most cases, the lab technicians have direct contact with the patients, as they collect chemical compounds, biological specimens as well as body fluids that will be then tested in the laboratory, with the help of complex computer programs and different types of machinery.
It is the duty of the lab technician to report all their findings to the physician or doctor who supervises their activity. They also need to make sure that the work environment is clean and sterile. At the time being, there are several different types of laboratory technicians that work in the medical field, from the dental laboratory technicians and ophthalmic techs to medical and clinical technicians.
A good laboratory technician must possess several crucial skills. Firstly, it is very important for them to have compassion and empathy, given the fact that they work directly and closely with patients. It is also important for them to have some technical skills, a lot of stamina given the fact that they spend most of the day on their feet along with impeccable manual dexterity, as these professionals need to have a very good hand-eye coordination. At the same time, it is very important for the laboratory technician to have a great attention to detail, as performing certain diagnostic tests does require exact measurements otherwise they may give a false result.
In addition to the necessary skills and qualities of a good lab technician, these professionals must also understand that they need to take good care of all the glassware that is found in the laboratory: it is their duty to clean, wash and sterilize all the medical equipment and instruments found here, and they must also make sure that all the laboratory supplies are ready and can be used right away. It is their duty to document all the information, to keep equipment record books as well as to maintain daily logs.
Part of the daily duties and responsibilities of lab technicians also include examining and evaluating the data and selecting the necessary corrective steps, updating their job knowledge by constantly taking part in seminaries and conferences, as well as by completing projects and assisting the project team.
How To Become A Laboratory Technician?
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- Medical Assisting - Associate's
Becoming a laboratory technician typically requires less training and knowledge than becoming a doctor – however, this is still a very demanding profession, just like any other profession in the health care industry. In order to start as a lab technician and work in a clinical or medical setting, you must firstly enroll in a two-year training program that will result in an Associate’s Degree.
If you already have some degree of experience in the field, then you can opt only for the one-year certificate. It is important to enroll only in programs offered by accredited universities, as this is the only way to increase your job opportunities. Moreover, some degree of training is also required for all those who plan to become lab technicians, as they need to work closely with a skilled, licensed and certified senior technician or medical laboratory technologist to get all the hands-on experience that they will need later on.
In spite of the fact that the opportunities for advancement are somewhat limited in the case of laboratory technicians, they can always enroll in a four-year training program that will result in a Bachelor’s Degree, and they can advance to a higher position and fill a leading job. They can become researchers or scientists, and they can also play a crucial role in the administrative field. Moreover, these health care professionals also work closely to other professionals from the nursing or chemical field.
Licensing And Certification Options For Laboratory Technicians
All these professionals need to have a licensed or to be registered in the state where they work, in order to be able to practice their profession legally across the United States of America. The licensure and accreditation requirements to vary, but most of the employers nowadays do require their laboratory technicians to be certified through the American Medical Technologists or through the American Society for Clinical pathology. After getting their certification, it is extremely for these professionals to enroll in continuing education classes in order to keep their certification valid.
Laboratory Technician Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
In Canada, a lab technician can make between Ca$40,000 and Ca$45,000 a year, while in Australia these professionals typically make between Au$18,000 and Au$62,000 depending on their experience and work environment. Ultimately, lab technicians who live and work in the UK should expect to get between 20,000 and 23,000 pounds a year.
Verdict On Laboratory Technician Salary
To conclude, the job outlook for lab technicians is excellent and so is the salary for these health care professionals.