Career Growth Opportunities for Medical Technologists
Medical technologists are scientists who perform laboratory tests to analyze various bodily cultures and specimens. They enter the field with a bachelors' degree. After working in the field of medical technology, some professionals may wish to advance their career. They might consider specializing in one particular area of medical laboratory science, supervise others as a blood bank supervisor, or determine the cause of illness or death as a pathologist assistant or pathologist. Some information on these careers is presented here.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2018)**||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Education or Experience|
|Microbiology Medical Technologist||$60,429||12% (medical and clinical technologists)||ASCP certification|
|Blood Bank Supervisor||$76,537||27.5% (medical and health services managers, medical and diagnostic laboratories)||Experience and ASCP Certification|
|Pathology Assistant||$80,193||13% (health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other)||Pathology assistant program and certification|
|Pathologist||$201,342||11% (physicians and surgeons, all other)||Medical degree and residency|
*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com
Microbiology Medical Technologist
One option for medical technologists seeking to advance their career is to specialize in specific areas of medical technology. A specialization they may consider is that of becoming a microbiology medical technologist. These specialists culture specimens and then examine the cultures under a microscope for bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Microbiology medical technologists must have a bachelor's degree and generally can have increased job prospects when they obtain the Specialist in Microbiology certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Blood Bank Supervisor
Some medical laboratory technologists may wish to undertake supervisory roles. One path you may consider is that of becoming a blood bank supervisor. A blood bank supervisor ensures the correct storage, labeling, and screening of blood and plasma that is utilized at a hospital or clinical facility. They must ensure that the correct tests are performed to ensure blood is correctly typed. Blood bank supervisors must also be responsible for the performance of other blood banking technologists, and ensure that all regulatory procedures are appropriately followed. Blood bank supervisors should have a bachelor's degree and typically have supervisory experience. Certification as a Specialist in Blood Banking through the ASCP may make a candidate more appealing to potential employers.
Medical technologists who enjoy performing the full range of clinical lab functions may wish to become a pathology assistant. Pathology assistants work closely under the direction of a pathologist. They must be comfortable with preparing and examining a range of tissue samples, and utilize a range of equipment found in the pathology laboratory. Pathology assistants also perform postmortem evaluations of deceased individuals. Pathology assistants must attend a post-baccalaureate or master's program in pathology assisting, and become certified through the ASCP.
Some medical technologists may wish to complete the educational requirements required to be a pathologist. Pathologists are physicians who analyze samples to determine a clinical diagnosis and share this information with a physician to collaborate on an appropriate treatment. They may also complete autopsies and review medical data in order to understand a cause of death. To become a pathologist, it is necessary to complete four years of medical school and a three to four-year residency program. You must also be certified as a physician by your state.