Clinical laboratory technicians, also known as medical laboratory technicians, perform routine lab tests for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. Often working under the supervision of a clinical laboratory scientist, they prepare specimens, perform manual tests and analyze blood, tissue, cells and body fluids. Clinical laboratory technicians work use medical laboratory equipment such as microscopes, computers, automated analyzers and other testing instruments.
Clinical laboratory technicians can work in a variety of different places, including hospitals, clinics, public health agencies and research institutions. Laboratories are typically open at all hours, so work hours and shifts vary.
Areas of Specialization
Clinical laboratory technicians may specialize in one of five areas: blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology or microbiology.
Clinical laboratory technicians earn an associate’s degree from an accredited two-year program.
Licensure and Certification
Certification is optional, but many technicians choose to become certified by taking a national exam given by the American Medical Technologists (AMT), American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or National Credentialing Agency (NCA).
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
Clinical laboratory technicians are expected to grow by 14% over the next 10 years. In central Iowa, the outlook is very good with a 23% growth rate.