Medical Lab Technicians

The role of medical lab technicians (MLTs) is evolving as technology such as genetic testing advances. With an aging workforce, it is also anticipated that there will be an increasing number of Western Massachusetts job openings in the coming years.

Medical lab technicians perform routine medical tests for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

MLTs have many similar responsibilities to medical technologists, however because technologists have more education they perform more complex tests and are more likely to advance to lab management positions.

Medical lab technicians:

  • Use high technology equipment to test and diagnose patients
  • Use skilled manual techniques to examine and analyze standard, complex and specialized medical tests

Employment opportunities include:

  • Hospitals
  • Diagnostic labs
  • Clinical labs

Education and training requirements

A two-year associate’s degree is required to become a medical lab technician.  MLTs must also pass a certification exam.  MLTs frequently return to school to obtain their bachelors degree in order to advance to the role of medical technologists.  Please see the American Society for Clinical Pathology overview for more information about lab pathways.

Laboratory technicians and technologists are also expected to have:

  • Up-to-date knowledge of laboratory technology
  • Training in chemistry, biology, mathematics and statistics
  • Good communication skills
  • Work well in teams

Western MA Fast Facts

  • Workers in Pioneer Valley: 150
  • Education Requirements: Bachelor's Degree
  • Entry Level Wage: $15/hour
  • Experienced Salary: $23/hour
  • Learn more at