How to Become a Clinical Technician: Career Path Guide
To become a clinical technician, you need to begin by determining if this career path is right for you. Are you interested generating vitally important data for identifying and treating cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions? Does the prospect of having a career that allows you to advance to positions of greater responsibility interest you? If so, then you may be well suited for a career as a clinical technician.
Below we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in a career as a clinical technician. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!
Education Needed to Become a Clinical Technician
To become a clinical technician you must earn a two-year associate's degree from an approved Clinical Technician program, or in a closely related field, such as Medical Laboratory Assistant. Depending on the state/province or the employer, you may need to pass a certification exam as well, which you can take through the following agencies:
• American Medical Technologists (United States)
• American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (United States)
• The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (Canada)
You may also pursue a bachelor’s degree to become a clinical technician. If pursing this route, take courses in chemistry, biology, microbiology, mathematics, and statistics, as well as courses on clinical laboratory skills, management, and education.
Clinical Technician Job Description
Clinical laboratory technicians (sometimes known as medical laboratory technicians), are responsible for performing a variety of lab tests and procedures, in order to assist physicians in diagnosing, monitoring, treating and preventing disease. Their primary responsibility is to perform simple tests and procedures, such as examining and analyzing tissue samples and body fluids.
Clinical Technician Job Duties
Although the job duties you'd perform as a clinical technician can vary, you could generally expect to be responsible for the following:
• Receiving patients and explaining laboratory test procedures
• Collecting blood, urine and other samples from patients
• Logging and processing patient samples
• Performing laboratory tests and analysis such as flocculation tests, microscopy, cell culture plating, electrocardiograms, etc.
• Interpreting test results and communicating them to others
• Administrative duties such as completing forms, compiling data, preparing reports and maintaining records and files
• Ensuring compliance with safety regulations in the use of equipment
• Ensuring proper storage, handling and disposal of hazardous materials
• Maintaining equipment and performing minor repairs
• Maintaining inventory, and recommending and purchasing equipment and material
• Keeping abreast of new developments in the field to update skills and knowledge
Clinical Technician Salary
The salary level for clinical technicians can vary depending on a multitude of factors, such as their level of experience, their level of education, where they work and many others.
Clinical Technician Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average annual salary level of workers in the Medical Laboratory Technicians occupational group (which includes clinical technicians) in Canada is $40,543.
Clinical Technician Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary level of workers in the Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians occupational group is $46,680.
Who Hires Clinical Technicians?
There are many employers, representing many different industries that are interested in the skills, knowledge and competencies of clinical technicians, including:
• Hospitals and clinics
• Public health laboratories
• Pharmaceutical or chemical industries
• Biotechnology companies
• Forensic and law enforcement laboratories
• Veterinary clinics
• Public or private research laboratories
• Colleges and universities
• Transplant and blood donor centers
• Fertility clinics
• Cosmetics industry
• Food production industry
Clinical Technician Job Opportunities
Clinical Technician Jobs - Canada
Clinical Technician Jobs - United States
Careers Similar to Clinical Technician
Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to Clinical Technician, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.
References: How to Become a Clinical Technician
Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a clinical technician.
Alberta Learning and Information Services website: alis.alberta.ca
Explore Health Careers website: explorehealthcareers.org
Service Canada website: www.servicecanada.gc.ca
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov
Scholarships for Becoming a Clinical Technician
Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Clinical Technician can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!
Becoming a Clinical Technician: Applicable Majors
Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a clinical technician. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!