What does a Medical Laboratory Technologist do?

Learn all about Medical Laboratory Technologist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Medical Laboratory Technologist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A medical laboratory technologist is a professional who performs tests on blood, tissue, and other body fluids to help diagnose and treat disease.

Medical Laboratory Technologist job duties include:

  • Perform medical laboratory tests, procedures, experiments, and analyses to provide information for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease
  • Operate and maintain a variety of medical laboratory equipment
  • Select and grow cultures of microorganisms for use in experiments
  • Prepare reagents, solutions, slides, and specimens for testing
  • Perform blood counts and differential leukocyte counts
  • Type and crossmatch blood samples for transfusion
  • Examine cells from body fluids under a microscope to detect abnormalities
  • Isolate and identify bacteria from patients with infections
  • Analyze fluid samples to determine chemical content or reaction to test drugs
  • Use computers to enter data and maintain records

Medical Laboratory Technologist Job Requirements

A Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) is a health professional who performs laboratory tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. MLTs work in hospitals, clinics, and private laboratories. They may also work in research laboratories or be employed by pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies.

Education: A MLT must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Certification: A MLT must be certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or equivalent. Experience: A MLT should have at least 1 year of experience working in a clinical laboratory.

Medical Laboratory Technologist Skills

  • Multitasking
  • Detail-oriented
  • Excellent time management
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Able to work independently
  • Able to work well under pressure
  • Able to follow instructions
  • Team player

Related: Top Medical Laboratory Technologist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Medical Laboratory Technologist

In order to become a medical laboratory technologist, one must first complete an accredited two-year degree program. Many community colleges and technical schools offer this type of program. Once the degree is obtained, the student must then pass a national certification exam administered by either the American Medical Technologists or the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel. After passing the exam, the technologist must then obtain a state license, if required. Some states do not require a license for this profession.

Related: Medical Laboratory Technologist Resume Example

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