A medical technologist collects samples and perform laboratory tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. The following are typical duties a medical technologist may perform:

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findings
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types
  • Operate microscopes, cell counters, and other laboratory equipment
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians

The medical technologist exercises independent judgment in carrying out a broad range of complex chemical, serological, microscopic, and bacteriological laboratory procedures that help to identify and control disease. The technologist supervises laboratory technicians and assists in their training.

Medical technologists perform complex analysis, fine line discrimination and correction of errors. They are able to recognize interdependency of tests and have knowledge of physiological conditions affecting test results in order to confirm these results and to develop data which may be used by a physician in determining the presence, extent, and, as far as possible, the cause of disease.

Medical technologists assume responsibility for, and are held accountable for, accurate results. They establish and monitor quality control programs and design or modify procedures as necessary. Tests and procedures performed are supervised by medical technologists in the clinical laboratory center on major areas of hematology, microbiology, immunohematology, immunology, clinical chemistry, and urinalysis.


The minimum educational requirement for the medical technologist is completion of a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. This degree can include three to four years of course work plus a 12-month clinical experience in an accredited hospital laboratory educational program in medical technology. Universities and hospitals offer medical technology programs.

A bachelor’s degree program in medical laboratory technology includes courses in:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Mathematics
  • Computer science
  • Statistics
  • Clinical laboratory skills
  • Management

High school students who are interested in a career as a medical technologist should take courses in chemistry, biology, physics, computer science and mathematics.


Your medical technology curriculum should include a structured laboratory program, including instruction pertaining to theory and practice in hematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, immunology, immunohematology, and computer science.


  • McNeese State University
    Clinical Laboratory Science Program
    4205 Ryan Street, Box 92000
    Lake Charles, LA  70609-2000
  • Overton Brooks Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    510 East Stoner Avenue (113)
    Shreveport, LA  71101-4295


Some states require medical technologists to be licensed.To be licensed, a technologist often needs a bachelor’s degree and must pass an exam. Other requirements may be needed, such as a certification.

Medical technologists can obtain a general certification as a medical technologist or a certification in a specialty. Most credentialing institutions require that technologists complete an accredited education program in order to qualify to sit for an examination.

Examples of certifications are Medical Technologist (MT) by:

  • The Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP)
  • the American Medical Technologists
  •  Registered Medical Technologist (RMT)
  • Certified Medical Technologist (CMT) by the National Certification Agency for Medical Laboratory Personnel


Medical technologists may specialize in one of many areas of laboratory science, such as: immunology, histotechnology, or clinical chemistry. To specialize, medical technologists may have to complete additional education, work experience, or certification.


Medical Technologist Specialties

  • Blood bank technologists or immunohematology technologists: collect blood, classify it by type, and prepare blood for transfusions
  • Clinical chemistry technologists: prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids
  • Cytotechnologists: prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells with a microscope for abnormalities
  • Immunology technologists: examine elements of the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies
  • Microbiology technologists: examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms
  • Molecular biology technologists: perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests on cell samples

Work Schedule

Most medical technologists work full time. Technologists who work on facilities that are always open, such as hospitals or some independent laboratories may work evenings, weekend, or overnight hours.

Salary Information

The median annual wage for medical technologists was $57,580 in May 2012.

The median annual wage for medical technologists in Louisiana was $45,000 in March 2014.

Job Outlook

Employment of medical technologists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2012-2022. An increase in the aging population will lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions through laboratory procedures making an increase demand for medical technologists. Increasing patient access to medical care will also increase the demand for the services of laboratory personnel will grow.

Medical technologists work in  hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, doctor’s offices, colleges, universities, and professional schools.

 Video of Medical Technologist 


American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
2025 M Street NW
Suite 800
Washington DC, 20036
(202) 367 – 1174

Last Updated: April 3, 2015