Medical Lab Assistant Training and Education Programs

Medical lab assistants help healthcare providers diagnose patients, though they work behind-the-scenes in a laboratory rather than face-to-face with patients. Learn about certificate and associate's degree programs for aspiring medical lab assistants, explore some of the common coursework, and review the licensure, registration, and certification requirements. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Education or Training Do I Need as a Medical Lab Assistant?

Medical lab assistants or technicians usually need an associate's degree or a certificate to fulfill the education requirements. On a rare occasion, you may be able to find a job offering on-the-job training. Most students seek the route of earning their associate's degree in about two years. The program you choose should be approved by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Program OptionsCertificate or associate's degree
Common CoursesMicrobiology, immunology, human anatomy and physiology, clinical chemistry, phlebotomy
Certification RequirementsVary 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 Classes Do I Take In an Associate's Degree Program?

An associate's degree program usually has some general education requirements for students to complete like algebra, composition and literature. Your medical education begins with introductory courses in human anatomy and physiology, hematology, clinical chemistry and microbiology. An option may also be available to explore deeper immunology, phlebotomy and pathogenic microbiology. Along with your formal coursework, you participate in clinical labs and internships to get valuable practical experience.

If you are interested in distance learning, you may be able to find partially online or hybrid programs. In a hybrid program, you usually complete some courses online while also working in an approved clinic to gain your hands-on experience. Check the technical requirements of the online program you are interested in before enrolling.

What Should I Do After Graduation?

Some states may require you to become licensed or registered. You also have the option of becoming certified with the American Medical Technologists (AMT) as a Medical Lab Assistant ( The AMT specifies that while certification is not required, it is preferred by many employers. After completing your education and the required work experience, you may sit for this exam. The exam covers areas like chemistry, hematology and microbiology. Questions on medical terminology, safety standards, patient test management and ethics can also be found on the test.

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.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Pearl River Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Poplarville
  • Northern Michigan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Marquette
  • University of Alaska

    Campus Locations:

    • Alaska: Fairbanks
  • Southwestern College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Dayton
  • Westmoreland County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Youngwood