How Much Does a Medical Lab Assistant Make?

How much does a medical lab assistant make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical lab assistants was $32,700 in May 2018.

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Job Description

The job description of a medical lab assistant may vary depending on the employer, but there are some common duties. These professionals typically work in hospitals or clinics and are responsible for collecting and processing blood and other specimens. They may also perform administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments and ordering supplies. In some cases, they may also be responsible for training new employees.

Duties

A medical laboratory assistant (MLA) is a vital member of the health care team who performs routine technical tasks in medical laboratories under the direction of a medical technologist or other Health Care professional. MLAs work in hospitals, clinics, and public health facilities. They may also be employed in research laboratories or by pharmaceutical companies or commercial laboratories that provide testing services to physicians and other health care providers.

MLAs collect and process patient specimens for analysis, prepare laboratory instruments and equipment for use, maintain stock levels of supplies, and perform basic administrative duties. They also play an important role in quality control by verifying the accuracy of test results and keeping meticulous records.

Salary

The median annual salary for medical lab assistants was $32,710 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,700.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for medical lab assistants is good. Employment of medical lab assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is faster than the average for all occupations. The aging Baby Boomer population will have greater need for diagnostic testing, which will lead to more demand for medical lab assistants.

Education and Training

Medical lab assistants (MLAs) are integral members of the medical laboratory team. They perform a variety of tasks, including specimen collection, processing and testing. Most MLAs have at least an associate’s degree in medical laboratory science or a related field. Some states have certification requirements for MLAs.

Certification

Medical lab assistants, also called medical laboratory technicians, typically need at least an associate’s degree to enter the occupation. Some states regulate medical lab assistants, and certification might be required to work in certain settings. Employment of medical lab assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the population continues to age, there will be an increasing need for diagnostic testing, which should lead to greater demand for medical lab assistants.

Skills

Although medical lab assistants hold only an associate degree their skills are in high demand by hospitals. They perform many of the routine tests that doctors order and play an important role in patient care.

Medical lab assistants need strong communications skills to interact with patients, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. They must be able to follow instructions carefully and pay attention to detail. They also need good organizational skills to keep track of the large volume of paperwork that is generated in a hospital laboratory.

Work Schedule

The work schedule for a medical lab assistant may vary depending on the employer. Many times, medical lab assistants work full time during regular business hours. However, they may be required to work evenings, weekends, or holidays in some settings, such as hospitals. Some medical lab assistants may also have to be on call.

Pros and Cons

Working as a medical lab assistant has its pros and cons. Like any job, it has its share of challenges and rewards. Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking of becoming a medical lab assistant.

Pros:
-Medical lab assistants are in high demand. The job market for medical lab assistants is expected to grow by 11% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 This means that there are many opportunities for those who are qualified.
-The median annual salary for medical lab assistants was $36,280 in May 2019.2 This is a good wage, especially for positions that only require an associate’s degree or postsecondary nondegree award.
-Most medical lab assistant positions only require on-the-job training.3 This means that you can get started in your new career relatively quickly and with little upfront investment.

Cons:
-Medical lab assistants work in hospitals and other healthcare settings, which can sometimes be stressful environments. You may be required to work long hours, weekends, or holidays depending on the needs of the facility where you work.
-There is a risk of exposure to blood and other bodily fluids when working as a medical lab assistant. You will need to follow safety protocols to minimize this risk, but it is something to be aware of before taking a position in this field.
-The job market for medical lab assistants is expected to grow by 11% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 This means that there is potential for increased competition for jobs in this field.

Find a Job

Where you work will physician’s offices, hospitals, or other healthcare facilities. outlook for Medical assistants is positive, with an expected 19% growth in employment from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Most Medical Assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate. Programs typically last about 1 year and are available in many community colleges, technical schools, and trade schools. Some states regulate medical assistants and some employers prefer to hire those who have completed an accredited program.

Medical assistants typically need to complete a postsecondary educational program. Most programs last about 1 year and lead to a certificate or diploma. A small number of these programs award an associate’s degree.

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