A High School or Advanced Level of the General Certificate of Education is a milestone in every student’s life. The field that we choose at this stage decides our career path. It is very important to select courses judiciously at this stage. If Science is the subject of interest, let us understand how lucrative it is to choose Lab Technician as a career option.
Who is a Lab Technician?
A Lab Technician or a Laboratory Technician is a professional who handles laboratories of diverse industries like healthcare, education, and research. They are skilled workers who have experience in diverse fields such as medicine, biology, environment, geology, electronics and other fields of engineering. Further going into the detail of this topic, let us discover what does a Lab Technician do?
What does a Lab Technician Do?
The major responsibility of a Lab Technician is to assist the scientific community by collecting and analyzing samples using various instruments. In simple words, a Lab Technician collects samples depending on the field of his work, performs various tests on the samples and finally records the findings for further study. Their analysis serves as the basis for various research works, inventions, and discoveries. We can see that a Lab Technician plays a very important role in the field of any scientific study. Now let us venture further into this domain and find out how one can become a Lab Technician?
How to become a Lab Technician?
In order to become a Lab Technician, you need to complete a Certificate or Associate’s degree program. A Certificate program is mostly offered for 15 months. Existing professionals in the field of Science can take up this course. An Associate’s degree program is more elaborate and it lasts for about 2 years in most of the colleges and universities. This course can be opted by a High School pass out. Bachelor’s degree in Laboratory Technology is another course in this field and it takes roughly 4 years to be completed. Bachelor’s degree also gives you a scope to specialize in a particular field like medical or clinical. This degree offers you more knowledge and ultimately a bigger salary because of its exhaustive nature. So the basic requirement to become a Lab Technician is an Associate’s degree. After completing High School or Advanced Level of the General Certificate of Education if you have enough time, go for a Bachelor’s degree. In case you are short of time, an Associate’s degree would suffice. Now you must be thinking, what after completing the course?
List of Lab Technician Courses
As discussed in the above section, after completing High School, an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree can be taken up by the students to pursue this career. Students can take up either a general course or a specialty course. A general course enables you to take up jobs in multiple domains and a specialty course helps you in developing a niche. Below mentioned is the list of courses that you can opt for:
- Basic Laboratory Procedures
- Medical Technology
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Electron Microscopy
- IVF Lab Technology
The way forward after completing the course
After completing the course, you can be hired as a Biological Technician, Chemical Technician, Medical or Clinical Technician. There is always a demand for Lab Technicians in Medical Colleges, Schools, Universities, Scientific Labs and Research Labs. So the job opportunities are endless and it is expected to remain strong. According to recruiters, the requirement for Lab Technicians is growing constantly. This field is also lucrative from remuneration perspective. As per 2017 reviews, the median annual salary for a Lab Technician varies between $45,339 and $56,000. After learning about the highly rewarding nature of this career, let us also discover whom you can choose as your employers.
The job market for Lab Technicians is highly competitive. Some of the well-known employers are:
It is one of the leaders in diagnostic solutions in the health management domain.
It is a clinical laboratory and it processes nearly 10 million tests every year.
DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc.
It has a large number of dialysis centers and it provides services to multiple hospitals. This company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
Genomic Health, Inc.
It is into clinical diagnostics tests for cancer. It is a California based company.
Myriad Genetics, Inc.
It is the principal provider of laboratory services with specializations in neuroscience, autoimmune diseases, urology, oncology, and dermatology.
Quest Diagnostics, Inc.
It is one of the leading clinical diagnostics service providers in the U.S. It is also among the largest employers.
Sonic Healthcare Limited
This is another company that offers tests in a wide range of specialties. Headquarter of this company is in Australia. It also has branches in New Zealand, Europe, and the U.S.
SYNLAB International GMBH
This company is also well-known for diagnostics test and analysis in various fields. It offers services in more than 30 countries worldwide.
It is headquartered in Erlangen, Germany. It provides diagnostics services in diverse fields like drug testing, immunology, hematology, clinical chemistry and many more.
Laboratory Corporation of America
It is one of the largest laboratories in the world. It also caters to diverse customer needs with respect to diagnostics.
All this while we discussed who is a Lab Technician, what are the job responsibilities of a Lab Technician, why is this career a lucrative option, what is the basic qualification required to become a Lab Technician and finally what are the career prospects for this profile. Now let us also figure out the best institutes or universities that offer Lab Technician courses.
Study Destinations that offer Lab Technician Courses
There are many institutions that offer Lab Technician Courses. While selecting courses, make sure to choose the ones that are certified by valid certifying agencies because most of the employers value only certified courses. For example, The American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) and American Medical Technologists (AMT) are well-known agencies that certify these courses. Well-known institutions that offer Lab Technician Courses are:
Miami Dade College
It is a state college that is located in Miami, Florida. It was founded in the year 1959. It has seven campuses and two centers. It is the largest college for Higher Education in Florida and second largest in the United States.
This university is located in Huntington, West Virginia, United States. It was founded in the year 1837. Under this university, there are nine undergraduate colleges that cater to various disciplines. The Forensic program of this university is the first in the world that received accreditation.
University of Kentucky
This university is situated in Lexington, Kentucky. It was established in the year 1865. It is one of the best-known research universities of the United Kingdom. It offers a platter of courses in the field of Social Science, Life Science and Humanities.
Indiana State University
This university came into existence in 1865. It is situated in Terre Haute, Indiana. It offers more than 100 undergraduate programs. In addition to this, the university also offers more than 75 professional and graduate programs.
University of New Orleans (UNO)
It is a research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It comprises of four colleges in varied the field of Engineering, Sciences, Business Administration, and Arts.
Many universities and colleges also offer financial aids like scholarships to students. As a student financial aid is also one of the factors that need to be considered before choosing a college, university or course. Some of the institutions that offer a scholarship for Lab Technician course are:
- Sheridan College (Ontario)
- Georgian College
- Durham College
- Northern Michigan University
- Northern Oklahoma College
List of top colleges and universities in India for Lab Technician Courses
- A.d.n. Institute of Paramedical Sciences
- Abhinav Institute of Technology & Management
- Academy of Medical Sciences
- Adesh Institute of Medical Science & Research, Bathinda
- Adv. V. R. Manohar Institute of Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology, Nagpur
- Al Shifa College of Paramedical Sciences
- Annamalai Devadoss Institute Of Medical Science
- Asian Institute of Health Sciences
- Baba Shahib Ambedkar Institute of Technology and Management
- Bhartiya Mukt Vidyapeeth (bmv)
- Indira Gandhi National Open University
- Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth
- Kerala University of Health Sciences
- Baba Farid University of Health Sciences
- Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education
- University of Calicut
- Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
- Manipal University
- University of Delhi
- Bharati Vidyapeeth University
Lab Technician career is a promising one. It has a wide variety of choices. Moreover, there are many good universities that offer valid courses. Even the job market is competitive. It is a smart choice to make for aspirants wanting to pursue a rewarding technical career.