How to Earn a Medical Technologist Certification Online
Prepare for a career working in a laboratory performing tasks that may help save or improve lives. Read on to learn about medical technologist education and training programs offered online and on-campus, and see how to obtain professional certification.
How Do I Earn Medical Technologist Certification?
When considering your application for employment as a medical technologist, many employers require, or at least prefer, that you possess certification. In addition, many states require certification, though these requirements vary. You can certification through several different organizations, including the American Medical Technologists (AMT) and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
You will need a bachelor's degree in medical technology or a related field that includes coursework in biological science, chemistry and mathematics. Additionally, you'll need a strong history of clinical experience. This can be earned while completing your degree or while working as a certified medical technician, a position that requires only an associate's degree or certificate. Once you have completed the requirements for certification, you must pass an examination. Certification examinations are commonly computer-based and offered at testing centers throughout the United States.
|Certifications||American Society for Clinical Pathology Certification; American Medical Technologists Certification|
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree with clinical experience|
|Online Degrees||Bachelor's degrees available partially online|
|Common Courses||Chemistry, immunology, toxicology, hematology, microbiology|
|Median Salary (2018)||$52,330 (for all clinical laboratory technologists and technicians)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||13% growth (for all clinical laboratory technologists and technicians)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Study in a Degree Program?
While preparing for a career as a medical technologist, you'll become proficient in many aspects of laboratory-based medicine, including advanced laboratory skills, clinical chemistry and quality control. Since medical technologists conduct tests on bodily fluid and tissue samples, you'll learn to identify bacteria, parasites, toxins and other abnormalities. You will also study the many types of scientific principles that can be applied to the testing methods technologists use. These include immunology, immunohematology, toxicology, hematology and microbiology.
Can I Earn My Degree Online?
Due to the laboratory requirements, you will only rarely find medical technologist bachelor's degree programs offered online. These programs typically require you to complete an associate degree in medical technology and possess relevant work experience prior to applying. These requirements will help to provide you with a foundation in the practical skills required for the field.
You'll then complement your associate's degree training with online work delivered through a coursework delivery platform, such as Blackboard. In order to utilize this system, you will need a computer with high-speed Internet access. You will take predominantly seminar-based courses, which will require you to watch recorded lectures, complete assignments and participate in discussion groups with fellow students. You may need to complete additional clinical training, though you can usually complete this at a local hospital or medical laboratory that is approved by your online institution.