PROS / This medical career has a high number of anticipated job openings expected over the next ten years.
CONS / Employers generally require a bachelor's degree, but the salary ranges are lower than some careers that require less education.
VERDICT / Medical laboratory technologist is a health care job that offers numerous job opportunities but doesn't have the best schedule flexibility.
A part of the medical field that many people do not see is the work done within laboratories. Medical laboratory technologists work in labs to analyze and test tissue and fluid samples for diseases or other issues. This medical career requires state licensure and often a bachelor's degree, and it offers a respectable salary range as well as a decent amount of job availability and growth.
The salary range for medical laboratory technologists is the average range for many undergraduate health care jobs. While not one of the highest paying medical jobs, the average salary is much higher than the overall average for all occupations in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you have a certification in a specialty area, you could earn more.
Employers usually prefer to hire a medical laboratory technologist with a bachelor's degree either in a medical laboratory technology program or in a related science or medical career. This usually means spending about four years at a university program, which might be a drawback if you don't have the time or resources to put into your schooling. Some universities offer bachelor's programs in this field, and requirements for admittance vary.
This health care job has high job availability compared to other undergraduate careers in medicine. The rate of new job openings for medical laboratory technologists and technicians over the next few years is above the national average for most jobs. The low average wage isn't quite as high as other careers we reviewed, but it's still higher than the national average wage for all occupations in the United States. There is also opportunity for specialization. You can certify in various specialties, such as cytotechnology, which is the study of cells for diseases like cancer.
Medical laboratory technologists primarily work in laboratories analyzing medical biologic samples, such as blood and urine. The types of samples and tests vary according to what is needed. Laboratories can be in hospitals, which is the most common, or as standalone facilities, often as part of corporations. There are also potential positions in physician offices. Because this medical career works mostly in laboratories, it's a great health care job choice if you prefer minimal interaction with patients.
Depending on the facility, medical laboratory technologists may have a variety of shifts to work. Because laboratory samples often need to be processed or monitored around the clock, shifts may be 24/7. Newer employees typically work the least-popular shifts, such as graveyard or swing.
A medical laboratory technologist career offers a great salary range that can be well above the average salary for occupations in the United States. With higher job availability than many other health care jobs on our review, medical laboratory technologist is a medical career worth considering, especially if you're worried about a lack of bedside manner.