The medical technician field is a broad category that incorporates several different roles, from phlebotomist to histotechnician. Most of these roles will require a mix of patient and lab time, with some skewing more in the direction of lab work, while others include a higher level of patient work.
The general field in which a medical technician works is known as medical technology (or clinical laboratory science), and it’s a field that is spread through many areas of healthcare, ranging from public health to the pharmaceutical industry. A medical technician is an entry point in medical technology, and there are many career paths that one can specialize in. Medical technicians will often advance in their careers to become medical technologists, who are more specialized, earn a higher salary, oversee other technicians, and perform more complex tasks. A technologist role also requires a bachelor’s degree, while a technician typically requires an associate degree or a certification that qualifies the candidate for the position.
Medical Technology Programs
There are several different medical technology programs out there, and the one you choose will depend on your desired career path. As mentioned above, you will need an associate degree if you want to become a medical technician, and a bachelor’s if you want to become a technologist. You will also need certifications and extra training for certain sub-specializations. At our Chicago medical laboratory technician school, for example, we prepare you for several entry-level positions through our multi-skilled approach. Upon completion of the program, you will have career opportunities in an exciting growth field.
Medical Technology Courses in Chicago
In broad terms, when studying for your associate degree or certification for medical technology, you will likely take courses in the fields of chemistry, microbiology, biology, math, anatomy and physiology. At our Chicago medical laboratory technician school, we offer classes such as:
- Medical terminology
- Health and disease
- National phlebotomy certification
- EKG technician certification
- Medical office management
- Contemporary issues in health and wellness
- Foundations in health education
- Global health practices
- Health and wellness psychology
- Law and ethics in healthcare today
With these classes, you can tailor a path toward your ideal career in medical technology, and you can prepare yourself for several professions within the industry.
Salary and Job Description
As a medical technician, you will perform a variety of tasks depending on the career path you will ultimately follow. In most cases, you will be expected to:
- Perform laboratory tests
- Draw blood and collect tissue samples
- Dispose of needles and other sharp instruments properly
- Sterilize syringes and needles before they are used
- Explain various procedures to patients
- Find the right blood sample for a transfusion
- Analyze the results of a lab test
- Look for anomalies in cells
- Work with a medical technologist
The annual median salary for a medical lab technician is around $43,000, with certain variations depending on your work environment and specialization. For example, if you are a biology technician, you will earn a salary of about $43,800 per year. As a phlebotomist, you may earn $33,670 on average.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to know more about the steps you need to take in order to become a medical technician, contact us today. At our Chicago medical laboratory technician school, you will have all the educational tools you need to get started in your career. Our focus is to provide you with the accreditation that will give you a head start in the medical technology field.