Lab Technician Salary
Overview
As a member of the health care team, the medical lab technician works under the supervision of a medical lab technologist or a physician, responsible for the collection and analysis of specimens from the human body such as blood, urine, stool, sputum, cells, and tissues. The work of lab technicians is crucial -- the results of their specimen analysis will help the physician detect and diagnose a particular disease, and determine the proper treatment as well. For an individual contemplating of having a career in this field, it's not uncommon to have questions about important issues such as lab technician salary.


Based on the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for May 2009, the average hourly and annual salary for lab technicians were $37, 860 and $18.20 respectively. As for the percentile salary estimates, the lowest 10% were earning an hourly rate of $11.46 and an annual rate of $23,850. The top 90% in this occupation posted an average salary of $26.55 per hour and an annual average of $55,210. Of all the industries employing medical lab technicians, general medical and surgical hospitals top the list when it comes to employment, employing an average of 69,500 lab technicians. Average hourly salary for this industry is $18.66, with an annual average of $38,820.

Although hospitals are most common place of employment for medical lab technicians, they are not the highest paying industry for this occupation. Junior colleges, despite having just an average of 470 employed workers, pay the highest with an hourly wage of $23.10 with an annual salary average of $48,040. The second highest paying industries are Scientific Research and Development Services which pay an average of $20 per hour, with an annual salary average of $41,610. Other top paying industries include Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation), Home Health Care Services, and Colleges/Universities/Professional Schools, all of which also pay over $40,000 annually.

The differences in medical lab technician salary are generally determined by many factors such as level of education and experience. Lab technicians with a more in-depth educational background and working experience will more likely be entitled to a higher salary range as compared to a fresh graduate. The same also applies for lab technicians who have acquired certification from reputable organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Lab technicians such as a histotechnician and phlebotomist have specialized in certain areas of the laboratory and are generally entitled to higher salary thresholds.

If you are aiming for higher pay, you might want to seek employment from the highest paying industries as stated in the previous paragraphs. The geographical location of employment also plays a determining factor when it comes to lab technician salary. The amount of pay in a particular location may be dictated by the local economy and the cost of living, whether it's on a town or city. In addition to their salary, lab technicians are also entitled to benefits such as vacation leave, holidays, and sick leave, all of which are paid. Some employers also provide lab technicians with retirement plan/benefits and reimbursement of select expenses.