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How do I Become a Medical Technician?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois

There are four steps required to become a medical technician: apply for admission to an accredited post-secondary education program, pay the tuition, complete the course work, and gain the necessary experience. Once you have completed these steps, you will have become a medical technician. The field of medical technology is one of the fastest growing industries, with excellent job prospects and advancement opportunities in the next 20 years.

A medical technician is responsible for examining and analyzing body fluids and cells. They complete complex tests to assist in the diagnosis of a host of illnesses and to determine the effectiveness of a particular course of treatment. The tools used by a medical technician include microscopes, computerized cellular analysis software, digital cell analysis and other automated tools.

A medical technician holding a urine sample.
A medical technician holding a urine sample.

The sophistication of the tools available has grown considerably, changing the main tasks of a medical technician from repetitive processing to detailed and complex analysis. Working with data modeling software, the medical technician is an integral part of the laboratory staff, adding information and details about changes at the cellular level. People who want to become a medical technician often enjoy detailed analysis and problem solving.

Medical technicians use tools such as microscopes.
Medical technicians use tools such as microscopes.

Review the accredited, post-secondary institutions near you that are offering an undergraduate degree in medical technology, biology, chemistry or another life science. These programs are typically available at the university, community, or career college level. An accredited school is able to provide courses that are transferable between the post-secondary institutions. In addition, government student aid is available for programs from these schools. To qualify for this type of program, you will need high school credits in calculus, biology, chemistry, physics, technology and English.

Tuition costs for a medical technician program range from $18,000 to $26,000 US Dollars (USD) per year. Invest the time to research scholarships, bursaries or student loan programs that can help with this cost as you become a medical technician. Look for part-time employment on campus, as these positions offer flexible scheduling.

In the medical technician program, you will take courses in chemistry, microbiology, statistics, math and laboratory techniques. Additional courses in management, computer applications and data analysis offer the chance to broaden your skill set and qualify for unique positions. Written communication courses are designed to improve your writing and grammar skills so that you can create reports at a professional level.

Most medical technician programs offer a cooperative learning or job placement program, designed to help students gain the necessary experience while in school. Look into the details of these programs and determine what the qualification criteria are for acceptance. Many employers make their employee selection based on the grade point average of the applicants. Those with the highest marks are offered the best opportunities.

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    • A medical technician holding a urine sample.
      By: Photoroller
      A medical technician holding a urine sample.
    • Medical technicians use tools such as microscopes.
      By: WavebreakMediaMicro
      Medical technicians use tools such as microscopes.