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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technicians in Chicago, Illinois

Medical laboratory technician career and educational opportunities abound in Chicago, Illinois. There are currently 8,090 working medical laboratory technicians in Illinois; this should grow 18% to about 9,570 working medical laboratory technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for medical laboratory technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.1% over the next eight years. Medical laboratory technicians generally perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

A person working as a medical laboratory technician can expect to earn about $18 hourly or $37,580 per year on average in Illinois and about $17 per hour or $35,380 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for medical laboratory technicians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Healthcare Technical in Illinois, 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: medical laboratory technician , pathologist assistant, and laboratory supervisor.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a medical laboratory technician, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. The most common level of education for medical laboratory technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn 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 Chicago include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • 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

Kaplan College-Merrillville - Merrillville, IN

Kaplan College-Merrillville, 3803 E Lincoln Hwy, Merrillville, IN 46410. Kaplan College-Merrillville is a small college located in Merrillville, Indiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 405 students. Kaplan College-Merrillville has a one to two year program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Assistant.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician which graduated six students in 2008.

Indiana University-Northwest - Gary, IN

Indiana University-Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 46408-1197. Indiana University-Northwest is a small university located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,794 students and an admission rate of 80%. Indiana University-Northwest has an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician which graduated six students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College, 1900 W Van Buren, Chicago, IL 60612-3197. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,202 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College has an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician which graduated one student 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.

LICENSES

LABORATORY ANALYSIS TECHNICIAN

Licensing agency: Illinois State Police
Address: Illinois State Police, Division or Office, 25 E. Monroe St., Room No. 401, Springfield, IL 62794-9461

Phone: (217) 786-6925
Website: Illinois State Police

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.