Online Med Tech Certification Programs

Learn about the options to become a med tech online. Find out about the educational levels available, the classes you might take, and the certifications and licensure needed to work as a med tech. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Online Programs Are Available to Train as a Med Tech?

Med techs, more formally known as medical technologists, although the name can also include medical laboratory technicians and medical laboratory scientists, are allied healthcare professionals who perform lab-based tests on samples to help diagnose and treat the illnesses that patients suffer from. They can work in hospitals or clinics, as well as at off-site labs and research facilities. Training to become a med tech is often brief but intensive and can be completed largely online, although students will need an approved clinical lab nearby where they can perform their hands-on studies. Education in medical laboratory technology and science can be done at the certificate, associate's, and bachelor's degree levels, even online. As with many careers, a higher level of education may result in more responsibilities and higher pay, so consider the potential value of additional schooling carefully when deciding which education level to pursue. Licensure is also required in some states and may affect what level of education is best for you.

Medical Technologists Perform laboratory tests to diagnose illnesses and determine treatments.
Med Tech Certificate Programs 1 year of study or less, teaching basics to work in the field. Includes a lab component, so laboratory facilities must be accessible.
Med Tech Associate's Degree 2 years of study, including general education. Requires laboratory facilities. Minimum for most certifications.
Med Tech Bachelor's Degree 4 years of study, including general education. Lab facilities required. Option for more advanced certifications
Certification & Licensure Certification through organizations such as ASCP or AMT. Licensure is required in 11 states.

What Kinds of Online Certificate Programs Are There for Med Techs?

Certificate programs for medical technology are quick, often completed in under a year, and provide the baseline knowledge and experience needed to work in the field. Certificate programs include studies on phlebotomy, immunology, hematology, and clinical chemistry. Students planning to take these programs online should ensure that they have a clinical lab nearby at which they can perform required lab work and that the online college finds this site acceptable. Online programs which do not include any lab work should be avoided, as these will likely not meet the criteria for certification. While completing a certificate program is enough to begin working in states where certification and licensure are not required, most national certifying agencies prefer associate's or bachelor's degrees, so be sure to check the laws governing med techs in your state before signing up.

What Kinds of Online Associate's Degree Programs Are There for Med Techs?

Associate's degree programs online will generally take longer to complete, with at least 2 years of study that includes all relevant medical technology training and general education. An associate's degree will also likely require additional classes to help provide a deeper understanding of the medical technology courses, such as chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology. Many of the national certifications require an associate's degree or an equivalent amount of study in order to receive certification; while a few states do not require certification, some employers may require it anyway, so obtaining certification is beneficial.

What Kinds of Online Bachelor's Degree Programs Are There for Med Techs?

Online bachelor's degree programs in the field of medical laboratory technology are typically designed with the ultimate title of medical laboratory scientist in mind. Many of them are similar to the associate's degree programs for the first two years, and then begin to build off of that knowledge to enable their graduates to obtain higher level certifications. More general education courses may also be required, as may be advanced medical courses like biostatistics, virology, and interdisciplinary team work. As with other online programs, access to a clinical laboratory will be required, and it may be an option to take some courses locally to be used as transfer credit when that is a superior option. Graduates with bachelor's degrees entering the field of medical technology will generally be given greater responsibilities and may earn more pay as a result.

What Certifications and Licensure Requirements Are There to Work as a Med Tech?

Med techs have several options when seeking certification, as there are multiple agencies with slightly differing requirements. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)'s board of certification offers a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) certification which requires an associate's degree, and a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) certification which requires either a bachelor's degree or prior MLT certification and five years of experience. A Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA) certification may be available to those who have completed certificate programs, but has some differences in responsibilities compared to med techs. American Medical Technologists (AMT) offers certification as an MLT, also requiring an associate's degree, and as a Medical Technologist (MT), requiring a bachelor's. In 11 states and Puerto Rico, it is required that those working in the field of medical technology be licensed. Licensure is determined by the states, so requirements vary, but certification may help to meet licensure 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:
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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Southwestern College

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    • Montana: Missoula