Lab Assistant Certification and Training Programs

Lab assistants work in a clinical lab facility, and the tests they run can help doctors and nurses detect and treat diseases. Read about certificate and associate's degree programs for lab assistants, and check the licensure and certification requirements for this job. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Training Do Lab Assistants Need?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that lab assistants, also called lab technicians, usually need an associate's degree or a certificate from a community college, technical school or hospital ( On a rare occasion, some lab assistants can find a job straight out of high school and learn their skills on the job. When searching for a program in medical lab assisting, make sure the school is accredited by an agency such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Lab Assistant RequirementsAssociate's degree or certificate
Associate Degree ProgramStudy microbiology, phlebotomy, and human anatomy, partial online options available
Certificate ProgramComplete in a year or less, focused courses on area of study
Job RequirementsRegistration and licenses vary by state, American Medical Technologists certification
Median Salary (2018) $37,830 (for healthcare support workers, all other)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% growth (for healthcare support workers, all other)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Differences Between an Associate's Degree and Certificate Program?

With an associate's degree, you can expect to complete some general education courses such as math, science and communication. You go on to learn about human anatomy, microbiology, hematology, immunology and phlebotomy. Practical experience may be gained through internships and lab work in a supervised clinical setting. You may also have the option to earn this degree partially online. A hybrid program like this offers students the opportunity to complete some coursework from home while participating in an internship program through the school.

If you would like to complete your education in a year or less, a certificate program may be right for you. These types of programs require students to complete classes that are highly focused on their area of study. Expect to cover the core concepts of medical lab assisting and phlebotomy as you complete this program.

What Can I Do After Graduation?

According to the BLS, some states may require you to be registered or licensed to work in a laboratory setting. Additionally, many employers are drawn to applicants who hold a certification in their field by a professional organization such as the American Medical Technologists (AMT). The AMT offers a medical lab assistant certification exam for those who have fulfilled the education and work experience requirements (

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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