Imaging & Diagnostic Testing

Medical Laboratory Technician

Career Progression

Entry Level

Medical Technician

Mid Level

Medical Lab Scientist, Medical Lab Technologist

Senior Level

Clincial Lab Scientist

Pathway Category

Entry Level: These positions are the best entry points for someone with little experience or education, as they typically require only a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) or a technical certification/ training and little to no prior related work experience. Many workers enter this industry through the Direct Patient and Therapeutic Care families. Although these careers start with lower wages, they are often a great starting point with huge potential for promotion and advancement with hard work, dedication, and planning.

What does a person in this career do?

You have an eye for detail! You’re more comfortable working behind-the-scenes by running tests and evaluations that help to investigate, diagnose, and treat patients. Your sharp mind and problem solving abilities work best when put to use in a laboratory or other facility with less direct contact with the general public.

Occupations in the Imaging & Diagnostic Testing family often play a supportive role in running tests and evaluations that aid in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, injuries, or other physical conditions. This is one of the fastest growing areas of health sciences and offers a great way to enter the field without extensive education and experience requirements.

These professionals will have some direct patient interaction, such as when drawing blood or taking X-rays, but most of their time is spent in laboratories or other off-site locations while remotely assisting health care professionals by conducting prescribed tests, investigating results, and communicating findings. These professionals may also make recommendations for additional tests or specialized treatments based on their findings.  These roles are great for people who are curious, have an attention to detail, and like to solve puzzles or problems. New and exciting innovations to technology and medicine will continue to expand the opportunities in this family, especially in the areas of genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and on-demand advanced health screenings.

Description of duties

Perform medical tests for use in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and other medical conditions in humans. Receive, prepare, and test blood or tissue samples for further analysis and development of medical treatments and corrective measures. Clean, sterilize, and maintain instruments and equipment to ensure a safe and accurate testing environment.

Quick Facts

Wage/Salary Range

Education & Training

Typical Work Environments

Personality Traits

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Knowledge and Skills Required

  • Medical Equipment and Software
  • Chemistry and Biology
  • Measuring and Data Analysis
  • Mathematics and Science
  • Active Listening and Critical Thinking
  • Hazardous Materials Storage and Disposal

Other Job Titles

  • Lab Tech
  • Cytotechnologist
  • Histotechnologist
  • Clinical Laboratory Technician
  • Medical Technician
  • Lab Assistant
  • Medical Research Analyst