Clinical Laboratory Science

Educational Programs

Diploma
Erwin Technical Center
Marion County Technical & Adult Education

Certificate
Sarasota County Technical Institute

Associate Degree
Brevard Community College
Broward College
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Indian River State College
Keiser University
Miami-Dade College
St. Petersburg College

Professional Associations
American Medical Technologists
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
American Society for Clinical Pathology

Medical laboratory technicians (MLTs) often work under the supervision of medical technologists to perform routine clinical laboratory tests on blood, tissue, and body fluids to help in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Technicians' duties include collecting blood samples, preparing chemical solutions, preparing and analyzing specimens, keeping records of laboratory tests, running and maintaining quality control, troubleshooting instrumentation, and reporting results to head nurses or physicians. Medical laboratory technicians must be self-motivated, accurate, dedicated, and pay great attention to detail.

Medical Laboratory Technician

Areas of Specialization
Like medical technologists, technicians use laboratory instruments ranging from microscopes and computers to automated analyzers in the areas of chemistry, hematology, urinalysis, immunohematology/blood banking, immunology, and microbiology.

Work Environment
Medical laboratory technicians work in hospitals, physicians’ office laboratories, reference laboratories and educational facilities.

Job Outlook
The number of Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists employed in Florida in 2006 was 8,559. It is projected that in 2014 there will be 10,170, an annual average growth rate of 2.4 percent. The 2004 Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 13,000 new laboratory professionals will be needed in the United States each year; however, current training programs only graduate 5,000 students each year.

Length of Training/Requirements
The period of training in order to sit for the licensure exam is two years in a community college resulting in an associate degree. One year of training in a vocational education institution will result in a certificate or Applied Technology diploma which is transferrable to Florida community colleges toward an associate degree. Studies begin with classroom instruction followed by practical laboratory application in urinalysis, hematology, immunology/serology/immunohematology/blood banking, microbiology, and clinical chemistry.

Advancement
Medical laboratory technicians can advance to medical technologists with additional education and experience and by passing the licensing exam at the technological level.

Licensure/Certification
Graduates completing medical laboratory technician training programs must pass a national certification examination and obtain a Florida Clinical Laboratory Personnel license before seeking employment in Florida. Graduates of National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)-accredited associate degree programs who pass the technician licensure exam are eligible to sit for the technologist level exam without further training or experience. Maintaining national certification is voluntary and may be obtained from the American Society for Clinical Pathology or the American Medical Technologists. Continuing education hours are required every two years for license renewal.

Salary
The average hourly wage for medical laboratory technicians was $17.75 in 2009.



Updated: 2009