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What does an MLT do?

Are you interested in an exciting, rewarding career? Do you also like science? If so, the field of Medical Laboratory Science may be for you. Anne Arundel Community College has an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), which prepares students to work in hospital clinical laboratories, physician office laboratories, health clinics, and reference laboratories.


MLT Facts:

  • Medical laboratory technicians play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Medical laboratory technicians examine and analyze body fluids and cells, use sophisticated instrumentation, and may perform manual testing as well. 
  • The opportunities for employment for an MLT are many. There is a shortage of laboratory workers now, which will increase as members of the baby boomer workforce retire.
  • You can continue your education in laboratory medicine to become a Medical Technologist and earn a Bachelor of Science degree. With this degree you can further your education in medical, dental, pharmacy, physician assistant, and pathology assistant programs, to name just a few of the careers that MLTs have pursued.    
  • You can also continue your education and earn a Bachelor of Technical and Professional Studies (BTPS) in Laboratory Management from the University of Maryland University College.
  • The average salary for a medical laboratory technician was $37,970, with 10% earning more than $58,910 in 2012.  
  • What would you learn in the 2-year program? You would learn about the immune system, how to diagnose bacteria that cause disease in patients' samples, and to be able to tell the physician which antibiotic to prescribe to the patient. You would also learn about the blood group systems and be able to perform many blood banking procedures including finding a compatible donor unit for a patient. You would also learn about hematology, which is the study of the blood cells. In the clinical chemistry laboratory you’d analyze samples for drugs of abuse, as well as for cholesterol and glucose. You would spend your sophomore spring semester rotating through four different hospital or clinical laboratory departments. And you would be prepared to take a national credentialing examination after you graduate.