Degree programs in medical technology prepare students for certification as clinical laboratory scientists. They may also provide a foundation for graduate study or entry into a medical doctorate program.
Available degrees may include a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science and a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. Bachelor's degrees typically take four years to complete.
The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, www.naacls.org, accredits medical technology and related programs that meet its standards for training medical technologists. Technologists in some states may need to pursue licensure after earning their degrees.
Degrees in Medical Technology
Prerequisites for admission may include completed coursework in math, chemistry and the biological sciences. Bachelor's programs might require 180-200 credit hours of coursework, including both general education courses and courses in the major field. Coursework covers the five diagnostic areas, including chemistry, hematology, immunohematolgy, immunology and microbiology. Typical courses might include:
- Clinical Chemistry
- Molecular Genetics
Popular Career Options
As technology allows new diagnostic tests to be developed, the demand for tests will increase. Medical technologists are employed in hospital laboratories as well as governmental, pharmaceutical and other diagnostic or research laboratories.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, predicts 14% employment growth for medical technologists between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary for medical and clinical technologists was $60,520 in May 2015.
Licensing, Certification and Continuing Education Information
Some states require licensing for medical laboratory personnel. Requirements may include a bachelor's degree and successful completion of an exam. There are several organizations that provide certification, including the American Medical Technologists, www.americanmedtech.org, and the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel, www.ascp.org.
Medical technology undergraduate programs may allow students to specialize in medical or laboratory science in addition to medical technology. Depending on the state in which they wish to practice, graduates may need to attain licensure before starting a career in the field.