Medical lab techs, sometimes called clinical lab techs, are allied health professionals who collect samples and perform complex lab tests and procedures that help physicians and other healthcare professionals detect, diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases. Rapidly changing technology and a shortage of skilled laboratory professionals has resulted in a shortage for this field. The demand for medical lab techs is projected to grow 11% by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with growth primarily attributed to an aging population and increased prenatal testing.
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Medical lab tech salary
According to the BLS, clinical lab techs earned a median annual wage of $53,120 in 2019. This annual salary breaks down to about $1,022 per week and $25.55 per hour in a 40-hour work week.
Per 2019 NurseFly salary data, travel medical lab techs earned $1,754 per week during that same period. Travel allied health professionals who claim a permanent tax-home may earn more with tax-free stipends. Travel med lab techs may receive health insurance per diems for meals or other incidentals and housing allowances as part of their overall compensation package.
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Laboratory Technician FAQs
What are the best agencies for Laboratory Technician jobs?
The agencies on NurseFly that currently have the most Laboratory Technician jobs are Cross Country Allied (176), MedPro Healthcare Allied Staffing (176), and trustaff allied (172).
How Much Do Laboratory Technician Jobs Pay?
For jobs available on NurseFly as of Tuesday, October 27th 2020, the average weekly pay for Laboratory Technician jobs is $1,653, but can pay up to $2,600 per week. In 2020, Medical Lab Technicians jobs on Nursefly paid a gross average weekly pay of $1,611 per week working an average of 36 hours per week. This includes non-taxable compensation like living stipends, meal stipends, and housing which add up to an average value of $1,205 per week.
- min - $1,000
- avg - $1,653
- max - $2,600
What does a medical lab tech do?
Medical lab techs are tasked with a variety of duties that vary based on where they work and the primary goals of the work being performed. Some of the tasks they commonly perform include:
Setting up, maintaining, and calibrating lab equipment
Operating sophisticated lab equipment
Collecting blood, tissue, urine, and other samples from patients
Preparing reagents or solutions to combine with samples
Analyzing blood, tissue, urine, and other samples
Recording findings from medical tests
Entering results into patients’ medical records
Discussing results with physicians or other health care professionals
Where do medical lab tech work?
Medical lab techs work in medical laboratories, but these labs exist in various settings. Employers may include general medical and surgical hospitals, private practices, outpatient care centers, health care clinics, independent medical, and diagnostic labs. Where medical lab techs work may also depend on whether they specialize in a certain area, such as phlebotomy, immunology, blood bank, pathology, cytotechnology, microbiology or histotechnology.
What skills make a good medical lab tech?
Good medical lab techs have strong backgrounds in math and science, and precise technical skills to effectively fulfill a variety of laboratory-based tasks. Top technical skills include in-depth knowledge of laboratory equipment and testing, microbiology, chemistry, phlebotomy, quality control, data entry, and occupational health and safety. They excel at using computers, electronics, and medical software, including electronic medical records, laboratory information system, and test result delivery software. Med techs also have numerous transferable skills, including attention to detail, organization, written and verbal communication, analytical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and multitasking.
How to become a Travel Medical Lab Tech?
Medical lab technicians generally only need an associate degree from a program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science or a certificate from a vocational or technical school or hospital program. However, some employers require med techs to have a bachelor’s degree and clinical lab technologists need at least a bachelor’s degree.
Several states also require licensure or certification for medical techs. Certification as a medical laboratory technician is possible through the American Society for Clinical Pathology or American Medical Technologist. Most states use ASCP Board of Certification examinations for licensing purposes. Most medical facilities require one to two years of laboratory experience before transitioning to travel medical lab tech positions.