How do I Choose the Best Lab Tech School?
The best lab tech school will offer you access to the latest laboratory equipment so you can learn the professional skills used in a laboratory. These skills can include phlebotomy procedures or clinical chemistry, for example. Lab technicians typically complete a certificate program or a two-year associate's degree. Certain careers that are very technical can require a bachelor's degree or beyond.
Look for a lab tech school that offers training in the latest biological and chemical trends and techniques. The program also should offer plenty of hands-on training to help you develop your expertise. Learning to care for and use laboratory instruments also is important.
As a lab technician, you often will work in a clinical or medical laboratory, using testing to detect and diagnose diseases. Working in technology, chemistry, engineering or biology also is possible with training from a lab tech school. Typical employers are healthcare providers, university laboratories and government agencies. Lab technicians also are employed by insurance companies sometimes.
A strong background or aptitude in mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry is helpful to have before attending a lab tech school. Depending on what area you choose to specialize in, your lab tech training can include courses in biology, cell functions and structure, basic chemical principles, pharmaceutical analysis and industrial microbiology. The more complicated your career choice, the more lab tech training you are going to need.
You will need strong computer skills to process the information with which you work. As a result, your lab tech training should include practice on the most current computer software used in laboratories. Computer skills that you learn should include preparing spreadsheets and other professional documents.
The level of education you have often will relate to how much responsibility you are given. An entry-level lab technician might perform general maintenance or housekeeping in a lab. More advanced responsibilities involve conducting routine tests and assisting others in more complex testing. Other lab technicians are responsible for supervising other employees and carrying out more complex tests.
Also, remember to choose a lab tech school that is accredited. One of the most important benefits of an accredited program is that it is proven to meet certain educational standards. It also usually is easier to advance your education with an accredited program. In addition, accreditation often opens the doors for various types of financial aid.
Depending on where you live, you might have to be certified to become a lab tech. This usually will involve passing an examination. As a lab technician, you also might be expected to receive ongoing training to keep up with the latest technology and techniques. You can do this by attending seminars or continuing your education.
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