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 in laboratory technology or laboratory operations. 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 in Laboratory Technology. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technicians may perform the following tasks:

  • 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:

$843

Future growth:

very strong growth

Employment by state:

ACT 1.5%

NSW 31.5%

NT 1%

QLD 22.3%

SA 6.6%

TAS 2.1%

VIC 19.6%

WA 15.5%

Hours worked:

35.4

Unemployment:

average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 23.6%

Proportion of female workers 76.3%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 7.5%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 17.9%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 31.1%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 21.1%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 17.9%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 4.6%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 36.5%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 61.2%

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

Additional Information
Graduates from accredited courses may be eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS). Some employers require eligibility for professional membership of AIMS. Visit their website for more information.
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