Medical Lab Technician Salary
A lot of the work that goes on in the field of medicine takes place behind the scenes, which is why you rarely see or hear about the professionals who perform the tests doctors order for their patients. These tests are sent to medical lab technicians who perform tasks such as testing for drug levels in blood, matching blood for transfusions and checking for any abnormalities in the blood and other body fluids. It may sound straightforward, but it is rigorous work that is performed using highly technical modern equipment. Most of the focus of the job is on analyzing the data returned by the automated testing devices, thanks in large part to advances laboratory technology. The tasks performed by lab technicians can vary wildly depending on the size of the laboratory they work in. Labs owned by large companies usually require their technicians to specialize in a specific area. There is a good living to be made by opting for this career choice. It is important to note that the average lab technician salary fluctuating depending on level and geographical location. For example, businesses in the state of California employ 15,750 medical techs and pay them an average salary of $42,290, while organizations in the state of Texas employ a similar number (12,840), but pay an average of only $34,350.
It is also important to understand what sort of education is required in order to enter the field. Most positions, especially entry-level ones require at least a bachelor’s degree with a major in medical technology or one of the life sciences. This degree typically includes courses such as education, biology, chemistry, microbiology, clinical laboratory skills as well as courses on statistics and mathematics. The degree is sometimes called medical laboratory scientist program. That requirement is often waived if the applicant has had prior on the job training/experience or if they have an associate degree from a community college, a certificate from a hospital or technical school, or if they have received formal training while serving in a branch of the Armed Forces. Some employers require their lab technicians to be licensed, requirements of which vary from state to state, and in some cases they also like to see that applicants have been certified by a professional organization such as the . Check out the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) or the American Medical Technologists certification agency (AMT) for specific information regarding the education and licensing requirements where you live.
Location, employer, past experience, training, education and specialty are a few of the factors that play a part in figuring out the average lab technician salary. Here are the top three highest paying industries a lab tech can work in:
• Educational State Services – State Government – $42,020 per year (employs 4710)
• Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) – $41,620 per year (employs 3430)
• Research and Development in Engineering and Life Sciences – $40,980 per year (employs 3710)
And here are the industries that employ the most medical lab technicians:
• General Medical and Surgical Hospitals – $38,920 per year (employs 68,940)
• Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories – $36,240 per year (employs 26,100)
• Offices of Physicians – $37,570 per year (employs 20,770)
It is almost impossible to give a definite number for the average salary that applies to everyone since it really depends on where the technician works, how much experience they have and who they work for. However, the average medical technician salary in the United States is $38,190, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2011. This is based on employment information reported by the 156,480 medical technicians working in the United States. The bottom end of the scale sits at around $24,210 and the 90th percentile makes an average of $56,040 per year. As mentioned above, the amount of income made greatly depends on how much education and experience a technician has, so it is a good idea to make sure that you take the time to complete as much schooling as you can before setting out on a career as a lab technician. The good news is that the field is experiencing a large growth period as it is expected to grow by 14% between 2008 and 2018. The average salary for the career is expected to increase as the job market grows over the next several years.