What Are the Requirements to Be a Med Tech?
A med tech, also called a clinical laboratory technician or medical laboratory technician, performs medical testing that helps doctors and other healthcare providers determine the health and condition of patients. Read on to learn more about the education, licensing, and certification of med techs.
As a med tech, you'll be trusted to perform testing on blood, body fluids, and other specimens to assist physicians with diagnosing patients. You may conduct tests to figure out if a patient has a specific disease or illness, determine blood types, or prove how well a patient is responding to medical treatment.
Important Facts About Medical Technician
|Work Environment||Doctor office, hospital, or laboratory|
|Similar Occupations||Chemist, clinical scientist|
|Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)||13% (for all clinical laboratory technologists and technicians)|
|Median Salary (2018)||$52,330 (for all clinical laboratory technologists and technicians)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), you'll need to earn an associate's degree to become a med tech. You may also complete a hospital training program or get training through the armed forces. In some cases, you may be trained on-the-job. If you want to work in forensic science, according to the Board of Directors of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS, www.ascls.org), you'll need to earn a bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science or a degree within the physical or applied science fields.
According to the ASCLS in June 2019, eleven states and Puerto Rico require licensing for laboratory personnel. These states include California, Hawaii, Florida, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, Nevada, West Virginia, Montana, and Georgia. To become licensed, you'll have to meet the state requirements, which usually include passing an exam, holding a college degree, meeting continuing education requirements, and paying licensing fees. Some states may accept licenses from other states.
Employers may prefer to hire you if you hold a professional certification, according to the BLS. There are multiple organizations offering certification for med techs, including American Medical Technologists (AMT). To gain the Medical Laboratory Technician certification from AMT, you need to hold an associate's degree in medical technology or have at least 60 semester hours of education in medical technology and related areas with six months of experience working in a medical lab or have completed a military training program. You also need to pass the certification exam.