Medical workers are very important to society, and many people are unaware that there are hundreds of career fields in health care that operate outside what many people are generally familiar with.
Each and every person who participates in the chain of care for patients and their health is needed, and job spaces in many of these fields are on the rise in terms of growth even when most other job openings are in decline. Medical technologists definitely fall into this category and are a fast growing career opportunity for those interested. Let’s take a closer look at the job of a medical technologist as well as where to look for jobs.
Generally speaking, medical technologists are mainly employed to analyze samples and cultures from patients, and perform tests on blood work and bodily fluids of patients to collect different data about the patient’s health. Blood work can provide necessary information about patients, such as blood cell counts, blood abnormality, as well as the presence of foreign bacteria.
Medical technologists are crucial since blood work is normally the first step in determining a problem or issue with a patient and their health. Blood work is done, sent to a lab, where a technologist can analyze the sample under a microscope and perform a variety of tests to provide the proper data for a physician to diagnose.
Where They Work
While many medical techs work at hospitals, many medical technologists are also employed in a growing number of other settings. For example, many labs will employ them to administer and analyze drug tests. Many companies, prisons, and government industries require drug tests for their workers or clients, and therefore, medical technologists are needed for these jobs on a regular basis.
In fact, while hospitals are expected to remain the largest employer of technologists, medical and diagnostic laboratories, offices of physicians and other ambulatory healthcare services will increasingly make up a larger and larger percentage of job positions. So if you are interested in this career path be sure to expand your horizons beyond the hospital as you may find easier opportunities to land work.
In a small lab setting medical technologists will generally perform a wide range of analysis tasks. However, if you find yourself working in a larger setting such as a hospital you will most likely become specialized in one specific area.
- Clinical chemistry technologist
- Microbiology technologist
- Blood bank technologist
- Immunology technologist
- Molecular biology technologist
The average starting salary for medical technologist jobs is around $50,000 a year. Medical technologists can expect of a high end salary of nearly $70,000, making the job a very well paying field, ad one that can expect a higher than average salary for the typical American worker.
To get started becoming a medical technologist, a Bachelors degree is a requirement. Many medical technologists major in health or science in order to get on track for their future career, although this is not required. Apprenticeships for medical technologist jobs are typically encouraged to understand and operate well on the job, and receiving a masters degree in a laboratory science or lab management is pushed for those who would like to succeed in the medical technologist career field.
nor to give yourself the best chance of landing the best job, it’s best to get certified by a nationally recognized Association. Here are some of the most qualified associations that can give you a certification as a medical technologist:
- Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology
- American Medical Technologists
- National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel
- Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts
This is a good in depth video on what it means to be a medical technologist and gives a great overview of the career. It includes a good interview with a medical lab tech. This is a video from a Canadian school, but the jobs are the same.