Medical Laboratory Technician Job Description

A Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), also known as a clinical laboratory technician or medical laboratory assistant, is a skilled individual trained to carry out laboratory tests and operate laboratory equipment under the supervision of a certified medical laboratory technologist. They examine body fluid samples in a laboratory setting to detect parasites, bacteria, and other microorganisms that may be causing the patient’s disease. In order to diagnose and treat patients, laboratory tests are carried out in toxicology, hematology, chemistry, microbiology, and immunology. Medical laboratory technicians work in various healthcare facilities including hospitals, offices of physicians, research laboratories, health clinics, veterinary laboratories, medical diagnostic laboratories, and biotechnology companies.

Medical Laboratory Technician Job Description

A medical laboratory technician usually begins the day by setting up and adjusting lab equipment. Throughout the day, their tasks include collecting and receiving blood, tissue, urine, and other body fluid samples from patients. They are required to prepare these samples for routine testing through a microscope or automatic analyzer, which will give results detecting any abnormalities or diseases. The results will then be put into a computer for further analysis using graphs, charts, tables, etc. Some samples may need to be stored under controlled conditions for future use. At the end of the day, they clean up the lab equipment in preparation for the next day.

A career as a medical laboratory technician can be rewarding, but at the same time challenging. An individual must be able to work well in a team that can include scientists and physicians. Detail-orientation and patience are important traits of this profession. All information collected must follow the data protection act and patient confidentiality practice.

The medical laboratory technician job description includes:

  • Keep the laboratory and all equipment clean
  • Prepare the laboratory equipment and specimens for tests
  • Collect patient’s body fluids for lab test and analysis
  • Analyze and record test results in order to issue reports that utilize graphs, charts, and narratives
  • Perform blood counts and blood tests for transfusion purposes
  • Assist medical laboratory technologists in less complex laboratory tests and procedures

Medical Laboratory Technician Education

To enter into a medical laboratory technician program, an applicant must first possess a high school diploma. Students are then required to complete at least an Associate’s degree, i.e. a 2-year education program provided by a community college, technical school, vocational school, or university. There are also 1-year certificate programs available from hospitals for those already in related fields, such as nursing.

Because medical laboratory technicians do not have the same type of extensive education as a medical laboratory technologist, they are restricted in the duties they can perform, e.g. they cannot perform complex lab tests. It is therefore advisable for laboratory technicians to pursue further education to become a medical laboratory technologist.

Medical Laboratory Technician Training

Training programs aim at helping trainees acquire the necessary knowledge and skills they need to enter the workforce. Students undergo hands-on practice in real laboratory settings. Looking for a MLT school, check out the list below.

Balance your personal and professional commitments while earning a respected Ph.D., master's degree, or bachelor's degree online at Walden University. Programs offered in management, education, psychology and health and human services.


  • M.S. in Clinical Research Administration (MS CRA)
Develop the skills to succeed in today's highly competitive business environment. Everest College can prepare you for a rewarding career in some of today's hottest fields.


  • Diploma - Medical Assistant
Locations: Newport News

Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


  • Medical Assistant
Locations: Norfolk

Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!

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  • Medical Assisting - Associate
Locations: Roanoke
Don't wait another day to take the next step forward in your career. Kaplan University can give you the real-world knowledge and skills you need to succeed in your chosen field.


  • Associate of Applied Science: Medical Assisting
Locations: Hagerstown

Virginia College  continues the tradition ofgiving lives new direction, fulfilling our mission statement tostudents wherever they live and offering the chance to pursue adegree while maintaining commitments to work and family.


  • AAS - Medical Assistant
  • DIP-Medical Assistant
Locations: Richmond
The ITT Technical Institutes offer programs in some of today's hottest technical areas. With over 100 locations nationwide and several online programs available, the ITT Techs are one of the leading providers of technology education. Each ITT Tech offers convenient class schedules and Career Services are offered to help you find a job.


  • AS - Medical Assisting and Administration
Locations: Richmond

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.


  • Specialization in Nurse Educator (MSN)

Medical Laboratory Technician Certification

In most states, medical laboratory technicians do not require any certification; however, some states and employers may require a license before an individual can practice. Certified technicians usually have better job offers and higher salaries. Medical laboratory technicians that want to be certified should complete the accredited education program before they write the licensing exam. To maintain certification, continuing education credits are required every year.

Medical Laboratory Technician Salary

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Medical Laboratory Technician Job Description Summary

Here is a short recap of the medical laboratory technician job description:
  • Collect, analyze, and record body fluid samples
  • Work with medical laboratory technologists
  • 2 years of education
  • Certification only required in some states
  • 30% employment growth by 2022


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  2. A comment regarding your description of a medical laboratory technician. An MLT is not a medical assistant. An MLT is a CLIA position (defined by CMS regulations) that is board certified by the ASCP. There are minimum education requirements, training and internship requirements, and sits for the MLT examination. An MLT is to an MT (certified clinical medical technologist) as an LVN is to an RN.

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