Become A Lab Technician
Clinical laboratory technicians or lab technicians are a team of medical professionals who are responsible for performing clinical laboratory tests for the purpose of detection, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases or illnesses. Lab technicians work under the supervision of a medical technologist or physician in examining and analyzing specimens such as body fluids, tissues, and cells. They perform a wide variety of tests on these specimens, including immunologic, chemical, bacteriological, hematological, and bacteriological tests. If you are looking to become a lab technician, you may want to have a general background about their duties and responsibilities, the educational, training, and certification requirements, and salary information as well.


When collecting specimens such as blood, urine, stool, and sputum, lab technicians check for presence of parasites, bacteria, and other microorganisms. They may conduct an analysis on the chemical composition of body fluids, ensure that blood transfusions use the right blood type, and analyze the drug levels in the blood in order the determine how a patient'ss treatment is progressing. Other tests include blood count, liver function tests, tests for glucose or blood sugar levels, and tests for triglyceride levels. The results of their tests are important in determining if a patient has an infection or a particular health problem. It also helps doctors make decisions as to what appropriate course of action or treatment a patient needs.

In order to become a lab technician, you must first enroll in a lab technician training program in order to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties and responsibilities involved in this field. A high school diploma or equivalent GED will be required before one can enter any lab technician training program, which is usually a two-year Associate's Degree course. Training programs are usually offered in community colleges, vocational/technical schools, and in select hospitals as well. Your training program will include important science subjects such as biology, physics, chemistry, microbiology, pathology, immunology, and pharmaceutical analysis.

After completing education and training, it is also highly recommended that you apply for certification. Certification, although not always required prior to employment, is a good indication of competence and is also an assurance of the quality of your knowledge, skills, and experience as a lab technician. Most employers also prefer to hire lab technicians who have been certified by reputable bodies or professional associations such as the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel, and the American Medical Technologists.

Any individual looking to become a lab technician must also possess certain qualities such as good analytical judgment, excellent problem solving abilities, keen eye for details, superb physical fitness and manual dexterity, and the ability to work under pressure. Lab technicians are usually employed in hospitals, but may also find employment in doctorss offices, medical/diagnostic laboratories, colleges/universities/professional schools, and ambulatory healthcare services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lab technicians were earning an average of $35,380 during May of 2008. The lowest salary range was less than $23,480 and the highest salary range was over $53,520.