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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technicians in Birmingham, Alabama

For those living in the Birmingham, Alabama area, there are many career and education opportunities for medical laboratory technicians. There are currently 2,430 jobs for medical laboratory technicians in Alabama and this is projected to grow by 20% to about 2,910 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical laboratory technicians are expected to grow by about 16.1%. Medical laboratory technicians generally perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

The income of a medical laboratory technician is about $13 hourly or $28,760 yearly on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $35,380 annually on average. Incomes for medical laboratory technicians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Healthcare Technical in Alabama, and not quite as good as the overall Healthcare Technical category nationally. People working as medical laboratory technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: hemodialysis technician, blood typer, and blood or blood bank technician.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical laboratory technician. Given that the most common education level for medical laboratory technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a medical laboratory technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical Laboratory Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical laboratory technicians perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. They also may work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

Medical laboratory technicians assemble and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment. They also ready standard volumetric solutions and reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures. Equally important, medical laboratory technicians have to analyze the results of tests and experiments to insure conformity to given requirements, using special mechanical and electrical devices. Finally, medical laboratory technicians conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood and urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to uncover abnormalities or diseases, and enter findings into computer.

Every day, medical laboratory technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for medical laboratory technicians to analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs and narratives. They are often called upon to conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts. They also confer with a pathologist to establish a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found. They are sometimes expected to conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood and urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to uncover abnormalities or diseases, and enter findings into computer. Somewhat less frequently, medical laboratory technicians are also expected to perform medical research to further control and cure disease.

They also have to be able to obtain specimens, cultivating, isolating and identifying microorganisms for analysis And finally, they sometimes have to analyze the results of tests and experiments to insure conformity to given requirements, using special mechanical and electrical devices.

Like many other jobs, medical laboratory technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Dentist. Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting vitality of teeth.
  • Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
  • Optometrist. Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.
  • Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician. Provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
  • Sonographer. Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Laboratory Technician Training

Jefferson State Community College - Birmingham, AL

Jefferson State Community College, 2601 Carson Rd, Birmingham, AL 35215-3098. Jefferson State Community College is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,718 students. Jefferson State Community College has an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

Bevill State Community College - Sumiton, AL

Bevill State Community College, 101 State St, Sumiton, AL 35148. Bevill State Community College is a small college located in Sumiton, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,860 students. Bevill State Community College has an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician.

CERTIFICATIONS

Medical Laboratory Technician: Certification translates to an advantage in the work place.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Medical LabTechnician: All laboratory professionals, including Medical Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technicians and Medical Laboratory Assistants have long played a vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Registered Vascular Technologist: The examination's content outline includes: cerbrovascular, venous, peripheral arterial, abdomenal/visceral, miscellaneous conditions/tests, and quality assurance.

For more information, see the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers website.

Donor Phlebotomy Technician: This certification is for current Phlebotomy Technicians who take blood from patients for testing or for a blood bank, prepare samples for testing, and carry out those tests.

For more information, see the American Society for Clinical Pathology website.

Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.

For more information, see the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology website.

Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant: The Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant is one of NHA's National Certification Examinations that is designed for only healthcare school graduates and medical professionals.

For more information, see the National Healthcareer Association website.

Phlebotomist: The National Phlebotomy Association specializes in the training of Phlebotomists.

For more information, see the National Phlebotomy Association website.

Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician: Certification protects the public from unsafe and incompetent caregivers, gives consumers more choices in seeking health care providers, distinguishes among levels of care, and may give certified individuals a competitive advantage.

For more information, see the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission website.

Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.

For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.

Clinical Nephrology Technologist: The National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).

For more information, see the Professional Testing Corporation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.