Through a combination of clinical practice in medical facilities, labs and classroom courses, an AS in Medical Laboratory Technology program teaches students to analyze sample tissues in medical labs. Students also learn about the maintenance and troubleshooting of instruments that are used in medical laboratories. This 2-year program is available at most technical, community, and junior colleges. Programs sometimes are offered as Associate of Applied Science degrees. Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Associate's Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology
Students learn through a blended curriculum of coursework, lectures and lab studies. Hands-on experience is gained through clinical rotations at hospitals. Courses in medical laboratory technology programs may include:
- Medical terminology
- Urinalysis and body fluids
Popular Career Options
Graduates find career opportunities within hospitals, physicians' offices and diagnostic laboratories. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the aging population and the number of new tests available both contributed to a growth of 11% for medical lab technologists between 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that medical and clinical lab technologists earned a median annual wage of $61,070 in May 2018. Possible career titles for graduates include:
- Clinical laboratory technician
- Medical technician
- Medical laboratory technician
Continuing Education Information
Associate's holders may enter into entry-level careers as medical technicians; however, gaining a career as a medical technologist typically requires the completion of a bachelor's degree in medical technology. Some states require individuals working in laboratories be registered or licensed, although this may vary by state, stated the BLS.
Certification may not be required, but it can demonstrate competency to potential employers. Organizations that offer certifications include the American Medical Technologists, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the American Association of Bioanalysts and the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel, Inc.
Associate of Science programs in medical laboratory technology combine theoretical coursework in medicine with practical training in healthcare institutions. As a result, graduates are ready for entry-level careers and for more advanced studies in the subject.