Medical Laboratory Technology Career Overview
Southwestern Illinois College’s Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program prepares students with the entry-level skills necessary to become a medical laboratory technician.
Medical Laboratory Technicians:
- Examine and process body fluids and cells
- Look for bacteria, parasites and other microorganisms
- Evaluate the chemical content of fluids
- Match blood for transfusions
- Test for drug levels in the blood to show how a patient is responding to treatment
- Prepare specimens for examination
- Count cells
- Look for abnormal cells in blood and body fluids
- Use automated and computerized instruments, microscopes, cell counters and other sophisticated laboratory equipment
The American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science website provides career and certification information.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides additional information regarding the MLT field.
Nationally, about 80 percent of MLTs are employed in hospital laboratories.
Opportunities are also available in:
- Independent labs
- Physician’s offices
- Public health agencies
- Federal government agencies
- Pharmaceutical and industrial firms
- Research and educational institutions
Ninety-five percent of SWIC medical laboratory technology graduates are working in hospital medical laboratories.
Job opportunities continue to grow as the elderly population continues to increase.
Starting salaries are about $30,000-$40,000 annually and vary depending on the size and location of the health care facility.
Salaries are higher when working on the second or third shifts.