Careers in the medical field can be personally rewarding as well as lucrative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average pay rate for a medical lab tech hovers around $23 per hour, which is more than three times the current minimum wage as of May 2015.
The BLS also expects the demand for medical lab techs to increase by around 22 percent in the next decade. With the changes in the U.S. healthcare system, as well as the growing need for well-trained medical personnel, this could be a good profession for you.
What a Medical Lab Tech Does
As a medical lab tech, you scientifically collect and test samples of materials and liquids such as blood and human tissue. All medical lab techs are required to follow very specific methods of collection — this is why they have to be properly trained and develop the skills necessary to expertly perform their roles. The majority of medical lab techs work in hospitals, although some work in other medical-related facilities, such as in the labs operated by larger primary care physicians.
Medical lab techs work in very sanitary workspaces, wearing protective gear and lab coats. In general, taking work home would be unusual, unless it were some kind of paperwork. It’s important for all medical lab techs to remember that what they do should be handled with the utmost privacy.
What Are the Benefits of Being a Medical Lab Tech?
Medical lab techs typically are able to work in the ever-changing field of medicine, but they do not require the training of a doctor. In fact, in some states, medical lab techs only need to possess an associate degree instead of a bachelor’s degree.
Other advantages to becoming a medical lab tech include:
- Job Security — As the population increases and baby boomers continue to age, the demand for trained medical lab techs is expected to increase as well. You will have an easier time finding employment compared to less in-demand careers. You will also have more opportunities to change positions within this field, as there will be more job openings.
- Regular Hours — Typically, medical lab techs work predictable hours each week. This affords them the opportunity to be at home with family and enjoy the pleasures of life. This work-life balance is essential for overall well-being.
- Chance for Advancement — A well-trained medical lab tech can move up the corporate ladder and achieve promotions, as well as managerial or supervisory duties. This, in turn, leads to higher pay rates.
- Job Satisfaction — As a medical lab tech, it can be extremely satisfying to know you’re helping others. Medical lab techs are often at the forefront of studying how to make better medicines and more effectively treat conditions.
These are just four reasons why many people are choosing to become a medical lab tech. There are many other benefits to becoming a medical lab tech, as well as specific benefits to earning your medical lab tech degree. These include being able to study at your own pace, being able to hold down a job and meet family responsibilities while earning your degree, and saving money on tuition and gas money.
What Kind of Personality Fits Best With Medical Lab Tech Training?
Not everyone can or should become a medical lab tech. A career as a medical lab tech may be right for you if you:
- Want to help people — Anyone who enters into the medical field should be eager to help other people. After all, the human condition is at the heart of serving in this way.
- Enjoy science — If you’ve always been intrigued by science and scientific principles and methodologies, you may do well with medical lab tech training.
- Want to earn your degree quickly — A medical lab tech associate degree can be attained in much less time than it takes to become a doctor or nurse.
- Like to have an interesting work environment — Most medical lab techs work in hospitals, but others may work for private companies, such as pharmaceutical manufacturers. The work is always fascinating, and the possibilities to advance science in the fight against diseases can be very rewarding.
If you think you have the type of personality that would make you an exceptional medical lab tech, start your journey right away. There’s no better time to jump into this growing field. Contact us today to get started.