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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technicians in Tucson, Arizona

Medical laboratory technician career and educational opportunities abound in Tucson, Arizona. There are currently 2,410 jobs for medical laboratory technicians in Arizona and this is projected to grow by 34% to about 3,230 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.

Medical laboratory technicians earn about $19 hourly or $39,950 yearly on average in Arizona and about $17 per hour or $35,380 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as medical laboratory technicians in Arizona earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. Jobs in this field include: hemodialysis technician, medical laboratory technologist, and biotechnician.

There are twenty-one schools of higher education in the Tucson area, including one within twenty-five miles of Tucson where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical laboratory technician. Medical laboratory technicians usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years training to become 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 Tucson include:

  • 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Laboratory Technician Training

Pima Community College - Tucson, AZ

Pima Community College, 401 North Bonita Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85709-5000. Pima Community College is a large college located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,529 students. Pima Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Laboratory Technician. They are:

  • Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician, associate's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Histologic Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and eight students respectively in 2008.

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: Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona photo by Howcheng

Tucson is situated in Pima County, Arizona. It has a population of over 541,811, which has grown by 11.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Tucson, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tucson are priced at $179,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Tucson, down from 1,131 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tucson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 22.9% of Tucson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tucson is 9.2%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Tucson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Tucson is home to the Arizona Correctional Training Facility and the Silverbell Golf Course as well as Vista del Pueblo Park and Verde Meadows Park. Shopping centers in the area include Gaslight Square Shopping Center, Grant Park Shopping Center and Grant Plaza South Shopping Center. Visitors to Tucson can choose from LA Quinta, Casa Tierra Adobe B & B Inn and Best Western Executive Inn for temporary stays in the area.