Hospital Technician: Job Description & Career Info

Mar 24, 2019

Learn what hospital technicians do. See what kind of education and training are required. Get the details about career prospects and potential earnings to decide if this career field is right for you.

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Career Definition for Hospital Technicians

Hospital technicians work in laboratories and assist doctors in diagnosing, testing, and treating illnesses and diseases in patients. Among the things hospital technicians help determine are kinds of tumors in the body, the concentration of white blood cells, bone marrow counts, and whether a patient has an infection, virus or disease. Technicians analyze and provide technical data for patients involved with medical problems.

Education Bachelor of Science degree, some jobs require a master's degree
Required Skills Medical knowledge, understanding of math and science, quickly learn innovative techniques, recall information, technical skills, maintain laboratory equipment
Median Salary(2017)* $51,770 (medical and clinical technologists and technicians)
Job Outlook(2016-2026)* 14% (medical and clinical technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most hospital technicians are required to have at least a Bachelor of Science degree, while others need to have a master's degree in this field. While in school, students learn how to perform tests, work medical equipment, and analyze test results. A major portion of the curriculum involves chemistry, biology, and laboratory work.

Skills Required

It is essential for hospital technicians to have a strong grasp of medical knowledge and understanding of math and science. It's important for hospital technicians to quickly learn innovative techniques, recall information, and have technical skills knowledge. Hospital Technicians need to know how to maintain, use, and install medical laboratory equipment.

Career and Economic Outlook

Hospital technicians work in hospitals, medical laboratories, clinics or health offices, and hospital technology is becoming an increasingly popular occupation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, expects that job opportunities for medical and clinical technicians, a field that includes hospital technicians, will increase by 14% over the 2016-2026 decade. The BLS also reported that the median annual wage for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians was $51,770 in 2017.

Alternative Career Options

Similar career options in this field include:

Chemical Technician

A chemical technician plays a support role in the research performed by chemists and chemical engineers. They set up lab equipment for experiments and conduct tests as directed, recording observations and measurements for analysis and reporting to others. This job requires two years of postsecondary education or an associate's degree in chemical technology or a related field with an emphasis on lab study. Chemical technicians also receive on-the-job training. According to the BLS, jobs in this field are expected to increase by 4% from 2016-2026. Chemical technicians earned median pay of $47,280 in 2017.

Biological Technician

Biological technicians test, analyze, and observe fluid, tissue, and similar samples as part of experiments directed by medical scientists and biological scientists. They set up and take down equipment in workspaces. They also record their findings and share this information with others on their research team. Biological technicians typically have a bachelor's degree in biological sciences with an emphasis on lab work. The BLS predicts that jobs in this field are expected to increase 10% from 2016-2026; biological technicians were paid median wages of $43,800 in 2017.

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