A two-year degree qualifies graduates for the fascinating career as a medical laboratory technician (MLT). Medical lab technicians use science and modern technology to help clinicians make more accurate diagnoses. Earning a four-year Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) degree prepares professionals to work as technologists, providing them the opportunity to perform more complex lab tests and improve their chances for promotion.
This difference between the two makes the MLT to MLS bridge programs popular in the lab tech profession. NMU Global Campus offers an online MLT to MLS bachelor’s degree program designed with working lab technicians in mind. The online program allows students to plan time for classes around their busy professional and personal lives.
While a technician has a solid knowledge base of lab subjects, those with an MLS degree develop more in-depth knowledge in clinical training and lab concepts. They also increase their chances of advancing to lab supervisor or lab manager positions.
The High Demand For Laboratory Technologists
One of the reasons laboratory professionals seek a higher degree is to advance their careers in a rapidly growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 7% increase in both technicians and technologists by 2031.
Technologists tend to earn higher salaries than technicians. The BLS reports the average medical laboratory technologist salary as $57,800, but the data includes technician salaries. Salary.com reports the average annual salary of technologists alone at $75,380.
Demand for medical laboratory technologists is partly driven by an aging U.S. population that requires more tests for the accurate diagnosis of diseases. Standard tests include those for cancer or type 2 diabetes. Testing during prenatal care is also common, typically to search for any signs of genetic conditions.
Job Duties for Medical Laboratory Technologists
A medical laboratory technologist has the skills and knowledge to perform various tests. These include bacteriological, chemical diagnostic, hematological, immunologic, and microscopic tests and analysis of blood, stool, synovial fluid, semen, tissue, and urine. Technologists are trained to use sophisticated lab equipment that searches for the presence or absence of diseases and conditions.
Doctors and other clinicians depend on technologists to provide them with accurate and informative test results that they can use to make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. Technologists understand how to use lab testing equipment to get the best results and maintain the proper functioning of the equipment.
Medical Laboratory Technologist Jobs
Professionals with an MLS degree typically do more than technicians in lab settings, such as preparing specimens for testing and performing detailed manual tests. According to a list compiled by the BLSMedical laboratory technologist, jobs include various specializations.
- Blood bank technologists collect and classify blood by type and prepare blood transfusions.
- Clinical chemistry technologists analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids.
- Cytotechnologists examine cells for abnormalities that may signal cancerous growth.
- Immunology technologists examine how the immune system responds to foreign bodies.
- Microbiology technologists examine microorganisms such as bacteria.
- Molecular biology technologists perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests.
These specializations are available for technicians who complete an MLT to MLS program. Additionally, Graduates from a bachelor’s degree program also position themselves for supervisory roles overseeing technicians and other technologists in lab settings.
Why Choose the NMU MLT to MLS Program?
The NMU MLT to MLS online bachelor’s degree program offers working professionals high-quality CLS coursework and workplace leadership courses designed to prepare graduates for management roles in clinical settings.
Earning the MLT to MLS degree prepares graduates to work in clinical, research, commercial, and forensics laboratories. They understand how to use sophisticated, modern tools to provide diagnostic data supporting more efficient healthcare and better patient outcomes. They ensure quality control, support product development, and solve problems.
Most students with an associate degree can finish the MLT to MLS bridge program online in two years. The 100% online program is NAACLS accredited. Graduates from the NMU program have an almost 100% job placement rate. They also hold a more than 95% passing rate on national certification exams.
Entering an online MLT to MLS program allows lab technicians to continue working in the field while advancing their education. It’s a critical step forward for medical lab professionals aspiring for positions with more responsibility, higher pay, and supervisory duties.