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How do I get Lab Tech Training?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2018
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Lab tech training is available from a number of colleges and degree granting programs. Lab techs work in a variety of laboratory environments, ranging from hospital pathology labs to forensic labs which are used to evaluate evidence for law enforcement. Students who are interested in getting lab tech training should think about the areas they are interested in, and make sure that the school they attend offers the appropriate training. A prospective dental tech, for example, should not attend a school which focuses on forensic techs.

It is important to distinguish between a laboratory technician and a laboratory technologist when talking about lab tech training, because these two positions are very different. Technicians perform basic work under the supervision of someone else, while technologists have more advanced skills which allow them to perform more complex tests and procedures. Laboratory technologists tend to receive higher salaries because they are better trained, and they can work more independently.

To become a lab technician, a student will need to attend a two year training program. Some medical schools and many trade schools offer an associate's degree for lab technicians which will provide people with the skills they need to enter the market as a lab tech. These schools also prepare people for certification and licensure if these are required by the government in order to practice. Some hospitals also train lab techs, often offering job placement with the hospital upon graduation.

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For lab technologists, it is necessary to have a bachelor's degree as a technologist. This takes four years, and includes more extensive training which will allow people to use sophisticated lab equipment, and to perform complex tests and analyses. This type of lab tech training is available from some colleges and universities which offer medical training, and it will also prepare people for certification examinations and membership in professional organizations of technologists.

When considering lab tech training, people should also be aware that in addition to the initial entry-level training, they will need to pursue continuing education options. Continuing education can occur in the form of conferences, workshops, classes, and through trade journals, and it is critical for lab techs who want to keep up with developments in the field, and who wish to hone and refine their skills. Someone who demonstrates a commitment to continuing education will be more likely to be retained as an employee and rewarded with regular raises and benefits.

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