Lab Technician Job
For You
As a medical lab technician, you will generally be involved in laboratory work -- collection and analysis of human specimens which are designed to help doctors and other health care professionals detect, diagnose, and treat a wide range of diseases and other health-related problems. Lab technicians may choose to become a general practitioner in the field of lab technology or specialize in a particular area of laboratory work such as blood bank technology, histology, and cytology. The quality of lab technician jobs and opportunities available to you will be determined by factors such as your educational background, working experience, certification, as well as your field of specialization.


Lab technicians who work as a general practitioner, just like his name suggests, will be involved with general laboratory work. This means they can carry out procedures and perform lab tests in many different areas such as serology, microbiology, hematology, urinalysis, chemistry, and blood banking. Although they are required to have general knowledge in each of these areas, they don't specialize in any of these areas. Despite this, lab technicians in this category must still be able to exercise independent judgment, have sound knowledge of specific laboratory procedures and techniques, and be able to discern those factors that have a potential influence on both laboratory procedures they carry out and the results obtained.

There are also medical lab technicians who underwent further study and acquired years of working experience in order to specialize in a particular area of the laboratory. A lab technician who handles lab work related with cytology (study of cells) is known as cytotechnician, and is responsible for the preparation and analysis of human cell specimens. Lab technicians who specialize in histology (study of tissues) are known as histologic technicians, conducting tests and analysis on human tissues in order to determine the proper treatment for tissue-related problems. Those who specialize in blood banking generally are involved with blood transfusion services, performing blood counts, and blood typing.

Based on the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for May 2009, the lab technician jobs held were 152,420, with an average hourly and annual wage of $18.20 and $37,680 respectively. A significant number of lab technician jobs came from general medical and surgical hospitals with a total of 69,500 lab techs employed. Other industries which offer the most number of lab technician jobs were medical and diagnostic laboratories (22,710), doctor's offices (21,490), ambulatory health care services (8,470), and colleges/universities/professional schools (7,780). The data from the BLS also indicates the states with the most number of employed lab technicians are Massachusetts, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Alaska, and Georgia.

In this field, the trend indicates rapid job growth, and job opportunities are forecasted to be excellent as well. Although most lab technician jobs will remain to be abundant in general and surgical hospitals, employment is expected to expand towards other industries as well, especially with their higher salary brackets. Employment rate of medical lab technicians is forecasted to grow at a faster than average rate of 14% between 2008 and 2018. This can be attributed to the increase in volume of required laboratory examinations resulting from the increase in population, and also with the advent of newer types of laboratory tests.