Approximately 331,700 medical and clinical laboratory technologists are employed in the United States; nearly 50 percent work in hospitals. Other employers include clinics, physicians' offices, pharmaceutical labs, public health agencies, and research institutions. Some technologists work in Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and blood banks as well as in the armed forces and the U.S. Public Health Service.
Medical technologists may concentrate on such areas as research, education, health policy development (particularly in government organizations), veterinary science, public health and epidemiology study and application, or diagnostic equipment research and development.
Graduates of schools of medical technology may receive job-placement assistance from the career services offices at their schools. Hospitals, laboratories, and other companies employing medical technologists often get in touch with these career services offices and notify them of job openings. Positions may also be secured with the assistance of various registries of medical technologists. Newspaper advertisements, online job sites, and commercial placement agencies are other sources of initial employment.
Advancement can be relatively rapid in the field of medical technology. With satisfactory experience, certification, and perhaps more training, a medical technologist may advance to a supervisory position. Specialization can also lead to advancement. A medical technologist who has gained expertise in a specialty area, such as cell marker technology, biogenetics, or product development, is likely to see an increase in salary, professional prestige, and responsibilities. Considerable experience is required for advancement to a position as chief medical technologist in a large hospital. Graduate training is necessary for advancement to positions in research and teaching.
Advancement prospects may be better in large hospitals or independent laboratories that have many departments.
Tips for Entry
To learn more about the field, read
- Clinical Laboratory Science (https://www.ascls.org/communication/clinlabsci-journal)
- Lab Medicine (https://academic.oup.com/labmed/issue)
- Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology (https://cytopathology.org)
- Clinical Laboratory News (https://www.aacc.org/publications/cln)
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Attend the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science's Annual Meeting and Exposition and other association conferences to take continuing education classes, learn about potential employers, and network.
Visit https://www.ascls.org/what-is-a-medical-laboratory-science-professional to read "What Is a Medical Laboratory Science Professional?" to learn more about preparing for the profession.