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Health Careers Resource Center > Health Programs > Medical Laboratory Technology at a Glance

Medical Laboratory Technology at a Glance

What does a medical laboratory technician do?

  • Works in a laboratory setting, using sophisticated equipment to perform complex chemical and analytical tests that play a critical role in detecting, diagnosing and treating diseases
  • May perform many types of tests in a small laboratory, but usually works within a specialty area in a large lab
  • Makes cultures of body fluid and tissue samples to determine presence of microorganisms, tests for drug levels in blood that show how a patient is responding to treatment, types and cross-matches blood samples for transfusions, evaluates test results and analyzes findings for doctors
  • Performs lab tests that help physicians make diagnoses but does not interact directly with patients 

What is the career outlook?

  • Work is in laboratory settings under safe conditions for handling infectious specimens
  • May work day or nights, including weekends and holidays on rotating shifts, increasing salary from base rates
  • Most jobs available in doctors’ offices and diagnostic laboratories, though also in educational services and other ambulatory health-care services
  • In Texas: projected job growth 23 percent through 2018, median salaries $16.03 per hour or $33,300 annually*
    Dallas County: median salaries $16.45 per hour or $34,200 annually*

Statistics are included only as guidelines and will vary with fluctuations in the economy and job market. More specific local hiring and salary information can be obtained at college information sessions.

Medical Laboratory Technology

Awards and coursework El Centro Credit hours Continuing Education contact hours
Medical Laboratory Technology Associate in Applied Sciences DegreeX60 
Although licensure is not required to work as a medical laboratory technician in the state of Texas, almost all medical lab tech employers require the appropriate level of education from an accredited institution and certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). For more information, visit the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science website.

Measures of effectiveness El Centro
Licensure exam pass rates for students**

Licensure/Certification through the American Society for Clinical Pathology
Employment rates for graduates***62%

What are the program prerequisites?

Here is a link to the current course catalog listing all of the prerequisites, courses included, and the length of the program. Medical Laboratory Technology AAS

Other helpful links:

Who can help me decide which health science career is right for me?

Contact the Health Careers Resource Center.

What more do I need to know?

  • Acceptance to the Medical Laboratory Technology program is by a competitive selection process based on a weighted point system.
  • Learn more about Medical Laboratory Technology.

*America’s Career Infonet 2011 data for medical and clinical laboratory technicians
**Licensure Data Reporting System from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 2012-2013
***Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Perkins 2012-2013