California students interested in becoming medical laboratory technicians can gain the necessary knowledge and technical skills from certificate and associate's degree programs most often found at 2-year institutions or hospitals. Certificate programs in this field are usually for those who already possess a degree in the health care field, and associate's programs may also require certification in a related field, such as phlebotomy. Students take courses with lab components and complete several months of clinical rotations in various laboratory settings. Upon completion of a program, students are eligible to take the medical laboratory technician certification examination to obtain licensure in California.
De Anza College
Located in Cupertino, De Anza College's Department of Medical Laboratory Technology offers associate's degree and certificate programs that include hands-on lab experience through coursework and clinical rotations. Both programs meet California's requirements for sitting for the certification exam for lab techs.
The certificate program is designed for those who hold an associate's degree in another field but lack the general education coursework the associate's program includes. Both programs include coursework in microbiology, phlebotomy, chemistry, biology, immunology, hematology, specimen processing, coagulation and immunohematology. Students participate in a total of 22 weeks of clinical rotations in four different laboratory settings.
Southwestern College offers an associate's degree program for aspiring lab techs at its Higher Education Center in National City. Applicants to the program must first be certified phlebotomists in California. The lab tech program consists of three semesters, plus summer school. Program topics include chemistry, biology, coagulation, clinical urinalysis, immunology and hematology. Theory is put into practice through lab courses and a 26-week clinical experience.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School||School Type & Setting||Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|De Anza College||2-year, public; small city|| AA in Medical Laboratory Technology,
Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Laboratory Technology
|$1,561 (in-state), $7,501 (out-of-state)*|
|Southwestern College||2-year, public; large suburb||AS in Medical Laboratory Technician||$1,338 (in-state), $6,602 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator