The competition for those seeking a career as a medical technician is fierce! You’ve probably heard about the projected job growth within the health care industry.
According to the U.S. government, there will be hundreds of thousands of positions that must be filled. Between now and 2018, the tremendous growth in the U.S. population specifically of senior citizens, will require thousands of health care workers to be trained and hired to meet the demand.
Now just because the jobs will be available doesn’t mean it’s going to be a walk in the park finding a job. The bigger the demand, the more applicants you can expect to compete against. Even medical school programs specifically for technician training are reporting record numbers of enrollment.
The Keys To Standing Out From The Crowd – Education & Certification
Here’s a critical point you must take into consideration. Before you run out and enroll in a medical technician program. Think about what your present and future goals are for your career and your life. Be as specific as possible. Are you interested in getting your education as quickly as possible? Or are you willing to and can you afford to enroll in a degree program?
The answers to these questions will also determine your job prospects.
You can get your education by enrolling in a vocational school program that can be completed in about 9 months or a little longer. You will graduate with either a diploma or a certificate.
Understand that graduating with a certificate is not the same as being a certified professional. Instead it simply means you completed a course specifically to work as a medical technician. Now there’s certainly nothing wrong with choosing not to become certified. However, there are drawbacks for those that do not.
Let’s take a look at the advantageous of becoming certified.
In this scenario you will get your associate’s degree. This will take about 2 years to complete. Then you can take a certification exam offered by one of several organizations including the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel.
Passing this certification exam will demonstrate to an organization looking to fill a position that you are well qualified to handle the job. Health care is an area where the lives of everyday people will be in your care in some shape or form. Hospitals, doctors and others need individuals who have already prepared themselves at the highest levels.
Also some states make certification or licensing mandatory. If you live in one of these states you will have to become certified by state law. Check with your state’s certification requirements.
Since this position can be employed at several different types of health care organizations. Including, hospitals, labs, outpatient surgical centers, assisted living facilities, private doctor’s offices, dialysis centers and several others.
The job responsibilities can vary from one place to the next. Essentially, a medical technician performs various duties that help doctors diagnose, treat or cure various medical conditions.
Lab testing of specimens from patients as ordered by doctors.
Compiling and recording the test results.
Operating various equipment used to analyze and diagnose.
Depending on the size of the organization, administrative support may also be a part of the position. This may also include medical billing.
Very important role as support for pathologists and other medical staff.
Your salary really depends on where in the country you reside, the type of organization, your educational level, whether or not you are certified.
According to the American Society for Clinical Pathology, certified technicians make at least 10% more than those who are not certified.
The U.S. Department of Labor conducted a survey of more than 157,000 individuals whose job title was that of a medical technician or medical lab technician.
10% of those surveyed earned an average yearly salary of a little more than $24,000.
The biggest percentage of those employed earn on average of $36,000 per year.
The salaries can vary depending on how many years of experience one has coupled with the amount of education and certification. Typically those that have been working for several years in this profession reported salaries averaging over $55,000 a year.
The Bottom Line
If you’re considering a career within the health care industry, you’ll need to be motivated and determined. The jobs will be there. But so will the competition. Prepare yourself well and you’ll increase your chances of getting a job as a medical technician.
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