Medical Technician Certification and Certificate Programs

Medical technician certificate programs provide an overview of basic health care issues, followed by training in a few specific testing and procedural skills. Training also prepares students for the licensure and certification exams required by many states.

Essential Information

In a medical technician certification program, candidates learn to perform tasks performed by medical technicians in clinical laboratories or hospitals. Students will need to provide proof of immunizations, liability insurance and high school completion. Programs vary and some may request completion specific coursework.

  • Program Levels: Certificate program, Associate's degree
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent, proof of immunizations and insurance
  • Online Availability: Yes, some programs are available online, check with admissions office for specific online courses
  • Other Requirements: Internship

Medical Technician Certification

Students learn to prepare specimens, operate testing machinery, chart results and prepare samples for review by a physician or other specialist. Several organizations offer certifications for medical technicians. Certificate programs for medical technicians include classroom studies, lab studies and clinical education in the form of internships. Some courses may be offered online. The curriculum might include courses in the following areas:

  • Hematology and immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Clinical and urinalysis
  • Medical terminology
  • Direct patient care

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clinical laboratory workers, such as medical technicians, were projected to see an employment growth of 22% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). The population growth and the increase in the number of laboratory tests both contribute to the favorable employment opportunities. The BLS also reported that medical technicians earned a median annual wage of $38,370 as of May 2014.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Medical technicians continue to learn through on-the-job training. An associate's degree is often required for medical technician positions; however, certificate holders may work as technicians and pursue further education while gaining work experience. Further training, such as bachelor's degree programs, may open doors to positions as medical technologists or supervisors.

Medical technicians working in labs are required to be registered or licensed in some states. Although licensing requirements may vary by states, applicants are usually required to pass written examinations. Many employers also require their technicians to be certified. Certification can be obtained through such associations as the American Medical Technologists (AMT), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB).

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