Med Tech Training: Essential Information
A medical technician works in a medical laboratory analyzing samples, conducting research, and performing tests for medical establishments in order to diagnose and treat various medical conditions. Medical technicians are not required to attend medical school and are involved primarily in carrying out routine tests, sometimes in a particular area of specialization.
If you have found yourself searching for ''med tech classes near me,'' you may be interested in learning about the numerous med tech education options available across the United States. A number of colleges and universities offer online med tech training programs that result in certificates, associate's and bachelor's degrees in medical or clinical laboratory science, medical laboratory technology, or a related discipline. Due to the intensive, hands-on nature of the field, these programs are typically offered in hybrid format, which combines online didactic coursework and practical, in-person lab experiences. When looking into med tech programs, students should look for programs that are fully accredited for certification purposes. Some programs will require students to be or have been employed in a medical lab. Bachelor's programs in this field will often require students to have already earned an associate's degree accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technology
In an online associate's med tech program, students learn about immunohematology, microbiology, hematology, and chemistry. The program may focus on scientific and mathematical concepts, human anatomy, biology, pharmacology, epidemiology, emergency medicine, and more. Taking med tech classes online can be valuable, but many programs still require at least some laboratory work and in-person schooling. Be sure to look into these requirements when choosing a medtech course.
Many of these programs require students to be already working in a medical lab setting prior to enrollment. They then complete the practical portions of their programs at their place of employment. Programs typically take roughly two years to complete.
- Collection of body fluids, blood and tissues
- Testing and reporting procedures
- Human anatomy
- Pharmacology and drug research
- Epidemiology and virology
- Pharmacy mathematics
- Lab safety and equipment
Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science
An online med tech bachelor's program may require applicants to have completed a NAACLS-accredited associate's degree program and be a working certified medical or clinical laboratory technician. Programs may take up to four years to complete, depending on the school.
- Clinical parasitology
- Clinical hemostasis
- Hematology and Microbiology
- Laboratory operations
Med Techs: Certification Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), not all states and employers require medical laboratory technicians and technologists to be certified; however, employers may prefer to hire certified workers. Certification involves meeting certain educational criteria and passing an examination.
In addition to medical technician training, it is possible to get med tech certification online for those who have pursued an associate's or bachelor's degree in the field. Individuals who complete a med tech associate's degree program may wish to seek the Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) certification offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Those who complete a med tech bachelor's program may pursue the Medical Technologist (MT) certification offered by the AMT. These degrees are required for these certifications, and some work experience may be required as well. Depending on their specific degree, graduates of bachelor's programs may also be eligible for the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) credential administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). The ASCP requires renewing certification periodically, which helps med techs keep up to date on current best practices in their industry. These certifications are voluntary in some states and mandatory in others, so be sure to check out the requirements for your educational pathway.
Because both associate's degree programs in medical laboratory technology and bachelor's degree programs in clinical laboratory science may require that students either have medical lab working experience or currently be working in a lab, pursuing a degree in this field online may be quite convenient as it will accommodate working schedules.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all clinical laboratory technologists and technicians was $53,120 as of May, 2019. This is higher than the national average for jobs across the United States. The job outlook for this field is good, with 7% projected growth between 2019 and 2029. This is also faster than the national average, which may be attributed in part to the United States's growing and aging population and the increased need for medical care.