Advantages & Disadvantages of Being a Medical Lab Technician

by Luke Arthur; Updated September 26, 2017

The job of medical lab technician involves taking samples from patients and then testing them. Working as a lab technician can provide you with some benefits such as helping others and making a fair salary. At the same time, the work can be hard and the opportunities for advancement are limited.

Pay

One of the benefits of being a medical lab technician is the pay. As of 2008, the median income for medical lab technicians was about $53,000. This number can often be higher because of the amount of extra hours that lab techs can put in. If the lab is busy, you can often work extra hours and get paid overtime.

Make a Difference

Another advantage of working as a medical lab technician is that you can make a difference in peoples lives. You will test blood and other samples to determine what is wrong with a patient. In many cases, the work that a lab technician does leads to someone's life being saved. When working in this type of capacity, you know that your job is important everyday.

Difficulty

One of the disadvantages of working as a medical lab technician is that the work can be difficult. The majority of your day will be spent on your feet walking around in the lab. You do not get a lot of time to relax because your lab is filled with work that needs to be done.

Opportunity for Advancement

Another potential disadvantage of this type of career is that you have limited opportunity for advancement. When you are a lab technician, there are not a lot of other careers that you can get into in the medical field. You could go through additional training and become a technologist. Then you could eventually become the manager of a lab, but beyond that, you really do not have anywhere else to go. It may be a long time before one of these positions becomes available and if you are interested in moving up, you may have to go to another lab.

2016 Salary Information for Phlebotomists

Phlebotomists earned a median annual salary of $32,710 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, phlebotomists earned a 25th percentile salary of $27,350, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $38,800, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 122,700 people were employed in the U.S. as phlebotomists.

About the Author

Luke Arthur has been writing professionally since 2004 on a number of different subjects. In addition to writing informative articles, he published a book, "Modern Day Parables," in 2008. Arthur holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Missouri State University.