What Education Do I Need to Become a Med Tech?

The term 'med tech' can refer to medical technologists and medical technicians, two distinct professions with differing educational requirements. Read below to find out the differences between these jobs and the educational requirements for each. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Medical Tech Overview

Medical technologists, also known as clinical laboratory scientists or clinical laboratory technologists, perform very similar duties to medical technicians, also referred to as medical laboratory technicians or clinical laboratory technicians. Both are responsible for a variety of medical laboratory duties, such as running tests on bodily fluids and tissues, administering drug tests, and interpreting the results. The main difference is, as a medical technologist you perform complicated tasks and often supervise the medical technicians who perform the routine tasks. As would be expected, the education requirements for medical technologists are more demanding than those for medical technicians.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Medical Technologists Medical Technicians
Common Courses Biology, chemistry, English, and mathematics Biology, chemistry, clinical experience
Entry-level Education Bachelor's degree Associate's degree or certificate
Non-classroom Requirements Student lab, practicum and clinical experiences Clinical training in all lab disciplines, possibly full-time for up to a year
Degrees in Field of Study Medical Laboratory Technology Life science options

Medical Technologists

A bachelor's degree in medical technology or in a life science is usually the minimum education requirement for medical technologists. The degree that you receive should have extensive science and math coursework, including courses on phlebotomy, microbiology, hematology, in addition to courses dedicated to providing hands-on laboratory training.

Some states have medical technologist licensing requirements. To become licensed, you may need to hold a bachelor's degree and pass a licensing examination. Although not required, you may appear more attractive to potential employers if you've been certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology or a similar association.

Advancement to managerial or lead technologist positions may be done through gaining work experience and advancing your education through earning a graduate degree in medical technology.

Medical Technicians

To work as a medical technician, you will likely need associate's degree or certificate in medical technology or a related scientific field. These educational programs mainly consist of biology, chemistry, microbiology, and clinical experiences in real-world hospitals. After graduation, you may be able to transfer some of the credits earned through the associate's degree to an undergraduate program, which can result in being promoted to medical technologist.

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:

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