Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technologists in Columbia, Maryland

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for medical laboratory technologists in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 3,250 working medical laboratory technologists in Maryland; this should grow by 27% to about 4,120 working medical laboratory technologists in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical laboratory technologists are expected to grow by about 11.9%. Medical laboratory technologists generally perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Income for medical laboratory technologists is about $29 per hour or $62,050 per year on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $25 per hour or $53,500 per year. Medical laboratory technologists earn more than people working in the category of Healthcare Technical generally in Maryland and more than people in the Healthcare Technical category nationally. Jobs in this field include: chemistry technologist, clinical immunology specialist, and clinical research associate.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including six within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical laboratory technologist. Given that the most common education level for medical laboratory technologists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a medical laboratory technologist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Laboratory Technologist

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

In general, medical laboratory technologists perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. They also may train or supervise staff.

Medical laboratory technologists analyze laboratory findings to check the precision of the results. They also prepare and maintain laboratory apparatus. Equally important, medical laboratory technologists have to enter data from analyses of medical tests and clinical results into computers for storage. They are often called upon to operate, calibrate and maintain apparatus used in quantitative and qualitative analysis, such as spectrophotometers and computer-controlled analyzers. Finally, medical laboratory technologists establish and monitor quality assurance programs and efforts to insure the precision of laboratory results.

Every day, medical laboratory technologists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for medical laboratory technologists to conduct chemical analysis of body fluids and spinal fluid, to establish presence of normal and abnormal components. They are often called upon to furnish technical data related to test results to physicians, family members and researchers. They also supervise and direct lab assistants, medical and clinical laboratory technicians and technologists, and other medical laboratory staff working on laboratory testing. They are sometimes expected to design and modify procedures, techniques and tests used in the analysis of specimens and in medical laboratory experiments. Somewhat less frequently, medical laboratory technologists are also expected to obtain and mount biological material on slides for microscopic study and diagnosis, following standard laboratory procedures.

Medical laboratory technologists sometimes are asked to collect and study blood samples to establish the number of cells or their blood group and compatibility for transfusion purposes, using microscopic techniques. and cultivate and help in identifying microbial organisms, and perform various tests on these microorganisms. And finally, they sometimes have to conduct medical research under direction of microbiologist or biochemist.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia 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.
  • 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 Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
  • 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.
  • Veterinarian. Diagnose and treat diseases and dysfunctions of animals. May engage in a particular function, such as research and development, consultation, administration, technical writing, sale or production of commercial products, or rendering of technical services to commercial firms or other organizations. Includes veterinarians who inspect livestock.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Laboratory Technologist Training

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has 2 areas of study related to Medical Laboratory Technologist. They are:

  • Cytotechnology/Cytotechnologist, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Stevenson University - Stevenson, MD

Stevenson University, 1525 Greenspring Valley Rd, Stevenson, MD 21153-0641. Stevenson University is a small university located in Stevenson, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,435 students and an admission rate of 62%. Stevenson University has a bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist which graduated four students in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist which graduated eight students in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore, 520 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1627. University of Maryland-Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,156 students. University of Maryland-Baltimore has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist which graduated twenty-three and two students respectively in 2008.

Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD

Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251-0001. Morgan State University is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,554 students and an admission rate of 34%. Morgan State University has 2 areas of study related to Medical Laboratory Technologist. They are:

  • Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science & Allied Professions, Other Specialties, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated five and three students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Clinical Laboratory Consultant: The Certified Laboratory Consultant (CLC) is a medical laboratory expert who functions independently in providing laboratory-related guidance to healthcare facilities.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Medical Technologist: In order to become certified by the ASCP Board of Registry you must meet the academic requirements, the experience/training requirements and then successfully complete a certification examination.

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

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.

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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.