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Medical Technician

Career Overview

Medical technicians are also known as clinical laboratory technicians. They work under the supervision of a medical technologist or lab manager as staff members in a pathology laboratory. Medical technicians take samples of blood or tissue and perform tests on these and other anatomical samples. Technicians perform simpler tests than those performed by a technologist, and generally follow instructions provided by the technologist in the facility. Some technicians specialize in blood samples and are called phlebotomists. Tissue specialists are known as histologists.

Education

Most medical technicians graduate from an associate's degree program in medical technology, or hold a certificate from a vocational school.

Employment

There were 151,000 medical technicians working in 2006, according to data from the Department of Labor. Over half of those positions were in hospitals, with the rest in independent pathology labs, clinics or doctors' offices.

Job Outlook

Job prospects are excellent for this position. The number of positions is expected to grow faster than the average projected growth for jobs overall. It is also likely that as technology grows more sophisticated, the test procedures will become simpler and medical technicians will be qualified to perform them.

Salary

10th Percentile $23,480

Median Salary $35,380

90th Percentile $53,520

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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