Training Needed to Work in a Medical Laboratory

Find out about career options in medical laboratories. Get information about the training and degrees needed for these careers, along with certification options. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Training Do I Need to Work in a Medical Laboratory?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a bachelor's degree in an area of medical technology is usually the education requirement for a job as a laboratory technologist. Laboratory technicians typically hold associate's degrees or certificates from community colleges or vocational schools. Some hospitals offer on-the-job training to those with a high school diploma or its equivalent, but your certification options would be reduced if you chose this route.

Some states require licensure, registration or certification for technicians and technologists, and many employers desire certified applicants. Certification is offered by a number of certifying organizations, including the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and American Medical Technologists (AMT). The ASCP offers technician and technologist certifications in specific areas of medical laboratory technology, including blood banking, hematology, microbiology and chemistry.

Training RequirementsCertificate or associate degree for technicians, bachelor's degree for technologists
Program FormatOn campus or online; some hybrid programs
Program LengthOne year for certificate, two years for associate, four years for bachelor's

What Are My Education Options?

Certificate programs offer basic training in laboratory science, and they can generally be completed in one year or less. If you're interested in more in-depth training, you could enroll in an associate's degree program. Associate's degrees can be earned in two years or less. Your curriculum may include some general education classes, along with classes in medical laboratory technology. Expect to learn concepts such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, hematology and immunology. If you're interested in distance learning, you may have the option of enrolling in an online program, in which you could complete some coursework online and an internship in a medical laboratory.

What if I Already Completed Some College?

If you hold an associate's degree, you could complete a bachelor's degree program in two years. You would spend time in a classroom and a laboratory. Your courses might include forensic science, microbiology, mycology and body fluid analysis. Bachelor's degree programs in medical laboratory science may be completed fully or partially online; however, fully online programs may require students to be currently employed in a hospital or clinical lab in order to carry out hands-on learning tasks. If you don't have an associate's degree, it would take four years to complete a bachelor's program.

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

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson
  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Master

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  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • 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

  • College of Health Care Professions

    College of Health Care Professions responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at College of Health Care Professions:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio
  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
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    Online Programs Available

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