How to become a Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and other procedures used in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the human body.

Personal requirements of a Medical Laboratory Technician

  • Attention to detail
  • Able to work accurately and with minimal supervision
  • Able to do repetitive work without losing concentration

Education & Training for a Medical Laboratory Technician

To become a medical laboratory technician you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a medical laboratory technician through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Duties & Tasks of a Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technicians:

  • set up equipment used in the laboratory and clean it after use
  • prepare and stain slides of microorganisms for microscopic examination
  • under supervision, collect blood samples, perform blood counts and carry out tests to determine bleeding, coagulation time, blood types and other characteristics
  • communicate results of tests to the medical officers who have requested them.

Working conditions for a Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technicians work as part of a team with doctors, scientists and laboratory assistants.

Employment Opportunities for a Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technicians are employed primarily in pathology practices or hospital laboratories. There are also opportunities with other government authorities such as agriculture departments and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and at universities.

Specialisations:


Phlebotomist

A phlebotomist practises the drawing of blood for therapeutic, transfusion, diagnostic or experimental purposes.

Avg. weekly wage:

$900

Future growth:

Stable

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 1.1%

NSW NSW 28.5%

NT NT 0.6%

QLD QLD 13.2%

SA SA 7.9%

TAS TAS 1.3%

VIC VIC 35.6%

WA WA 11.7%

Hours worked:

33.2

Unemployment:

Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 26%

Female 74%

Education level:

Not completed Year 12: 8.9%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 21.4%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 39.3%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 11.8%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 13.6%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 5%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.8%

20-24 - 9.7%

25-34 - 24.7%

35-44 - 21.1%

45-54 - 27.1%

55-59 - 8.3%

60-64 - 4.6%

65 and Over - 3.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.




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