More than 319,000 medical technologists and medical laboratory technicians hold jobs in the United States, according to the American Medical Technologists organization. Employment for medical laboratory workers is only expected to grow through 2018, and at a faster than average rate than most occupations.
Where Do They Work?
Medical technicians and technologists can work for several different types of clinical facilities. For instance, medical laboratory technicians typically work in hospitals and medical facilities. However, additional employers include medical and diagnostic laboratories, physician's offices, educational institutions, and ambulatory care centers.
How Much Do They Earn?
The annual salary of medical technicians and technologists varies depending on the city or state in which the worker is employed, and on the employer.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2008, the average salary for a clinical technologist was $53,500 per year. Those on the lower end of the wage spectrum earn about $36,000 per year, while those on the higher end of the wage spectrum earn $74,000 per year.
On the other hand, the average annual salary for a medical technician was $ 35,380 in May 2008. About 50 percent of the medical technicians surveyed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics earned between $28,420 and $44,310 per year.
Wages by Employer
In 2007, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics performed a study of wages earned in three distinct employer categories:
- Private Clinics
- Physician's Offices
The following is a list of different laboratory technologist and technician disciplines, along with their corresponding hourly wages at each type of medical employer:
Cytotechnologist: $27.55 (Hospitals), $28.75 (Private Clinics), and $26.24 (Physician's Offices)
Histotechnologist: $22.93, $23.35 and $25.00.
Medical technologist: $23.45, $23.00 and $20.00.
Histotechnician: $20.00, $20.00 and $21.00.
Medical laboratory technician: $18.54, $17.00 and $16.96.
Phlebotomist: $12.50 $12.50 and $ 13.00.
Wages by City
Currently there are many job opportunities for medical laboratory technicians in a variety of cities. Here's a sampling of medical lab tech wages by city:
- San Antonio, Texas: $16.43 to $21.46 per hour
- Santa Ana, California: $34 to $40 per hour
- San Diego, California: $4,622 per month
- Raleigh, North Carolina: $16 to $17 per hour
- Fresno, California: $60,000 per year
- Vacaville, California: $4,000 per month
What Is The Job Outlook?
Medical/clinical laboratory technicians make up one of the fastest growing professions in any industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected to grow by 14 percent through 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
There is some speculation that advancements in technology could decrease the need for lab technicians. In the meantime, however, more diagnostic laboratory tests will be required to accommodate the aging baby boomer population. Although hospitals are predicted to be the predominant employer for medical laboratory technicians, other medical facilities, such as ambulatory care services, are showing increased employment opportunities.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics