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What does a Lab Technician do?

Learn all about Lab Technician duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Lab Technician.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A lab technician is responsible for performing various tests in a laboratory setting. These tests may be related to the analysis of blood, urine, or other bodily fluids. The technician may also be responsible for setting up and maintaining lab equipment.

Lab Technician job duties include:

  • Operate and maintain lab equipment
  • Calibrate lab equipment
  • Perform lab tests and experiments
  • Record and analyze data
  • Prepare lab reports
  • Maintain lab inventory
  • Ensure lab safety
  • Train new lab technicians
  • Troubleshoot lab equipment

Lab Technician Job Requirements

A Lab Technician typically needs an Associate's degree in medical laboratory technology, although a Bachelor's degree may be preferred by some employers. Certification from a professional organization, such as the American Medical Technologists, is also generally required. Experience in a clinical laboratory is also necessary. Lab Technicians typically perform routine tests in order to help diagnose patients' illnesses.

Lab Technician Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Observation skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Record keeping
  • Research skills
  • Scientific method

Related: Top Lab Technician Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Lab Technician

There are many ways to become a lab technician. One way is to attend a two-year college and earn an Associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology. Another way is to attend a four-year college and earn a Bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science.

The most common way to become a lab technician is to attend a two-year college and earn an Associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology. The first year of this program will focus on general education courses. The second year will focus on courses specific to medical laboratory technology, such as chemistry, biology, and microbiology.

After completing the educational requirements, students must then pass a certification exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Once certified, they will be able to work as entry-level lab technicians in hospitals, clinics, or research laboratories.

Those who wish to advance their career may choose to attend a four-year college and earn a Bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science. This degree program will build on the knowledge and skills learned in the Associate’s degree program. In addition, students will take courses in management and leadership, which will prepare them for supervisory positions in the field.

Once again, after completing the educational requirements, students must pass the ASCP certification exam. Those who hold a Bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science may also choose to pursue additional certifications in specific areas of interest, such as blood banking or histology.

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