Medical Technology Degree Programs and Schools
A Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology is the usual qualification for becoming a medical laboratory technologist. Accredited schools offer bachelor's degree programs and associate-to-bachelor's articulation programs in this field, which can help you to become certified or licensed as a technologist. Read more about the training, job outlook and salary potential for this field. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What You Need to Know
Medical technology is helpful with detecting, diagnosing, and treating illness in patients. Programs are available at the bachelor's level with online options for working professionals.
|Degree Options||Bachelor's degree in medical technology or medical/clinical laboratory technology; certificate and associate's degree in related field.|
|Schools||Look for schools meeting career/education goals or that take previous work experience into account; online programs are beneficial for those already in the field; intensive clinical lab rotations exist as well.|
|Base Salary (2014)||$59,430 (Median salary for all medical technologists).|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Is Medical Technology?
Clinical laboratory professionals are part of the medical team that fights disease through detection, diagnosis and treatment. Clinical laboratory personnel take and analyze samples, run tests and match blood for transfusions. Professionals in this field are commonly known as medical laboratory scientists or technologists. Laboratory personnel might also work in a variety of sub-fields, such as immunology, histotechnology, cytotechnology, phlebotomy and molecular biology science.
What Degree Programs Are Available?
Medical technology degree programs are commonly available at the bachelor's degree level and might be offered under similar titles, such as medical or clinical laboratory technology. Certificate and associate degree programs are available in related fields, but these programs commonly prepare individuals to become subordinate technicians and shouldn't be confused with 4-year medical technology programs. If you've already earned a related certificate or associate degree, you might be able to transfer directly into a 4-year medical technology program.
Bachelor's degree programs in medical technology commonly include courses in research and design, financial operations, communication with other healthcare workers and a wide array of specialized tests. These degree programs usually include coursework in the areas of chemistry, microbiology, mathematics, statistics and biological science. You might also complete rotations at clinical laboratories.
How Can I Choose a School?
When applying to a medical technology program, you should be sure that a prospective school meets your educational needs and career goals. In some cases, you must have completed a minimum amount of relevant coursework in order to apply. If you already hold a certificate or associate degree, or are already a working medical laboratory technician, you might prefer a program that takes previous work experience or education into account.
As a working professional, you might benefit from schools that offer online bachelor's degree options, which are often shorter degree-completion programs that allow you to study around your work schedule. For additional hands-on experience, you could choose a school that offers intensive clinical laboratory rotations. For a broader scientific education, you might prefer a degree that places a greater emphasis on biological studies.
What Can I Expect From a Career in This Field?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that employment of medical technologists would rise 22% during 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). The median annual wage for medical technologists was estimated to be $59,430 in 2014. Licensure might be required in some states, which would typically necessitate a bachelor's degree.
You can obtain voluntary certification through professional organizations, such as the American Society of Clinical Pathology's Board of Certification or American Medical Technologists. You can pursue general credentials or specialize in a particular discipline, such as blood banking, microbiology or cytogentics. Continuing education is usually required to maintain certification and licensure, and becoming a member of a credentialing organization can give you access to seminars, courses and online professional development resources.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: