In a medical technician certificate program, candidates learn to complete tasks performed by these professionals in clinical laboratories or hospitals. For admission, students will need to provide proof of immunizations, liability insurance and high school completion. They may also need to have completed specific coursework.
There are some programs that are available online. Students should check with their admissions office to determine which courses can be completed through distance education.
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Medical Technician Certification
Students learn to prepare specimens, operate testing machinery, chart results and prepare samples for review by a physician or other specialist. Certificate programs for medical technicians include classroom studies, lab studies and clinical education in the form of internships. The curriculum might include courses in the following areas:
- Hematology and immunology
- Clinical and urinalysis
- Medical terminology
- Direct patient care
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and clinical laboratory technicians were projected to see an employment growth of 18% between 2014 and 2024 (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 and clinical lab technicians earned a mean annual wage of $41,420 as of May 2015.
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).
Students can work as medical technicians after completing all of a certificate program's course and clinical experience requirements. Licensing regulations for these professionals vary in each state, and some employers require professional certification before hiring employees.