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Lab Technician

Growing populations and new, innovative laboratory tests mean that the number of medical tests performed should climb in the next few years. As medical technology moves forward, the need for laboratory technicians rises. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for lab technicians in the red-hot health care field are expected to increase faster than average. Lab technicians prepare and analyze samples sent to their labs. People with a knack for science and close attention to detail are well-suited for this growing field. To get the training you need to work as a lab technician, you should seek out an associate's degree or certificate program, either online or on-campus. Schools offering lab technician programs require you to complete coursework in topics such as biology, organic chemistry, urinalysis, and practical lab work. This training will prepare you for the hands-on challenges of a career as a lab technician.

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Lab technician jobs are among those in the medical profession requiring somewhat less education than nursing or a full MD degree - which means that it takes less time to prepare for lab technician careers. If you think one of the many lab technician jobs in the health care field might be for you, read on!

Jobs as lab technicians involve performing the kind of clinical laboratory testing that is vital to the detection and diagnosis of disease. At lab technician schools, you will learn how to examine and analyze bodily fluids, tissues and cells, looking for disorders due to bacterial infection, parasites, viruses and other microorganisms.

In addition to diagnostic procedures, lab technician education also includes pharmaceutical training. Jobs in lab technology require knowledge of how to analyze the chemical content of blood and other body fluids as tests are conducted in order to determine how the body is responding to drug treatment.

Lab technician training includes classes in biology and chemistry as well as coursework in how to research and document facts. The typical length of time spent training for lab technician careers is about two years. Those who successfully complete lab technician education receive an associate's degree from a two year college, or a certificate from a training hospital, vocational or technical school, or even a branch of the Armed Services.

In addition to Lab technician training, a number of states require that such personnel be licenses and/or registered. This information is available at any local office of a state health department or board of occupational licensing.

The job outlook for lab technician careers is somewhat mixed at the present time. On one hand, some of these jobs are being made obsolete by technological advances. On the other hand, the average age of Americans is rising; the aging of the "baby boom" generation and a falling birthrate means that people aged 60 and over will make up perhaps the largest segment of society by the year 2020. What this means is that there will be greater demand for health care services; therefore, there should be a greater demand for lab technicians, although these jobs in lab technology will likely be different from what they are today.

Lab technician jobs that are expected to grow in number include research technician and research assistant. In general, these job openings will be in hospitals and major medical centers. If you are looking to enter the job market quickly in the field of health care, consider training for one of numerous lab technician jobs.