Physician's Technician: Job Description & Career Info

Learn about the specific work a physician's technician performs. Explore required skills and education as well as salary and job outlook to determine if this is the right career choice.

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Career Definition

Physician's Technicians are also known as clinical laboratory technicians. These technicians conduct laboratory tests on blood, urine and tissue samples collected from patients. Some physician's technicians specialize in one type of test. Others, especially in smaller physician's offices, have more varied duties. Physician's technicians work under the supervision of physicians and laboratory managers.

How to Become a Physician's Technician

Required Education

Physician's technicians have earned either a 2-year vocational certificate or an A.A. degree in medical technology. Physician's technicians can expect to complete coursework in chemistry, biology and technical classes teaching how to use automated equipment, according to the College Board. Physician's technicians may need to pass an exam in order to be licensed in some states.

Skills Required

Much of the work of physician's technicians is repetitive, yet it requires close attention to detail. Laboratory work frequently involves long periods of standing and careful visual focus. Physician's technicians are good at taking direction and using their knowledge to work independently.

Career and Economic Outlook

Jobs for medical and clinical laboratory technicians, including physician's technicians, are expected to grow 30% from 2012-2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also states that these workers made a median annual wage of $37,240 in May 2012.

Alternative Careers

Biological Technician

For those who want to work in a laboratory assisting with medical research projects, becoming a biological technician may be another good career option. Somewhat similar to a physician's technician, a biological technician prepares samples that may include food, bacteria, blood or other biological substances. They assist medical scientists with experiments relating to identification of organism characteristics or the creation of new drugs to cure and prevent disease.

A bachelor's degree in biology or a related field is required, and coursework should include chemistry, ecology, microbiology and mathematics. The BLS expects about 8,000 new jobs will be created in this occupation between 2012 and 2022. It also determined in 2012 that biological technicians received a median yearly salary of $39,750.

Medical Assistant

If working in a medical practice and providing support to doctors and nurses sounds more appealing, a career in medical assisting should be considered. Medical assistants not only perform scheduling and clerical tasks, they also interact with patients, measure vitals, prepare lab specimens, record medical histories and administer injections under doctor supervision. To gain employment, a high school diploma may be the only required education, but many employers prefer to hire those who have completed a medical assistant certificate or diploma program. Optional professional certification can also provide an advantage when looking for a job.

According to BLS projections, medical assistants may experience see employment opportunities grow by 29% from 2012-2022, and these medical professionals can expect to earn $29,370 in median annual wages, based on 2012 BLS statistics.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics