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Medical Technician Certification and Certificate Programs

Medical technicians are allied health personnel who play a variety of supporting roles in health care. Explore some of the content of certificate programs for medical technicians, and learn how certification can be earned. Also, check out the requirements for admission and see what the national career data states for medical technicians.

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Essential Information

Medical technician certificate programs provide an overview of basic health care issues, followed by training in a few specific testing and procedural skills. Training also prepares students for the licensure and certification exams required by many states. In addition to proof of immunizations, liability insurance and high school completion, programs may request the completion of certain coursework.

In these programs, candidates learn how to perform the many tasks performed by medical technicians working in clinical laboratories or in hospitals settings. They learn how to prepare specimens, operate testing machinery, chart results and prepare samples for review by a physician or other specialists. Several organizations offer certifications for medical technicians. Basic eligibility includes an examination.

Educational Prerequisites

Applicants are required to have high school diplomas or equivalent. They must also have sufficient science courses. Eligible candidates must provide proof of current immunizations and personal liability insurance.

Course Topics

Certificate programs for medical technicians include classroom studies, lab studies and clinical education in the form of internships. Some courses may be offered online. The curriculum might include courses in the following areas:

  • Hematology and immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Clinical and urinalysis
  • Medical terminology
  • Immunization and injection
  • Direct patient care
  • Phlebotomy

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clinical laboratory workers, such as medical technicians, were projected to see an employment growth of 14% between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). The population growth and the increase in the number of laboratory tests both contribute to the favorable employment opportunities. The BLS also reported that medical technicians earned a median annual wage of $36,280 as of May 2010.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Medical technicians continue to learn through on-the-job training. An associate's degree is often required for medical technician positions; however, certificate holders may work as technicians and pursue further education while gaining work experience. Further training, such as bachelor's degree programs, may open doors to positions as medical technologists or supervisors.

Medical technicians working in labs are required to be registered or licensed in some states. Although licensing requirements may vary by states, applicants are usually required to pass written examinations. Many employers also require their technicians to be certified. Certification can be obtained through such associations as the American Medical Technologists (AMT), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB).

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