Lab Technician School
By now, you may already have an idea as to a lab technician's nature of work, the employment opportunities, and salary brackets, and you have been contemplating about making a career in this field. So where and how do you start? As with any other career in the field of health care, you will need to undergo a lab technician training program in order to acquire the knowledge and skills needed in performing the duties and responsibilities required in this field. Lab technician training programs are offered in most vocational/technical schools, community colleges, and lab technician schools as well.

For medical lab technicians, completion of an Associate's Degree from a lab technician school or community college is a requirement. As an alternative, some individuals choose to receive a certificate/diploma program from a vocational/technical school and select hospitals. There have been a few reported instances of lab technicians acquiring their skills on the job, but this may not be the best route to take. Online training programs are also available, but you will still need to undergo clinical training in addition to your online classroom sessions. This means that online training programs are offered in what is called as "hybrid" format -- a combination of online lectures and clinical training.

If you are planning to enroll in a lab technician program, whether it is from a community college, vocational/technical school, hospital, online program, or lab technician schools, it is highly recommended that you verify its accreditation. This means enrolling only in training programs which have been duly accredited by reputable organizations such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), and Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). By enrolling in an accredited program, not only are you ensured that it meets quality educational standards, it also allows eligibility for lab technicians to apply for certification as well.

Once enrolled in a lab technician program, you will be taking up important science subjects such as human anatomy, general medical terminologies, immunology, phlebotomy, pathology, and microbiology. It is crucial that you have a solid foundation in these subjects as these will be your guiding force on all your future laboratory work. If you wish to specialize in a particular area of laboratory work, you will also need to study further. You may take up courses in cell structure and functions, pharmaceutical analysis, chemistry, biology, and industrial microbiology, all of which will depend on the area you wish to specialize in.

Once you complete your lab technician training program, the next step will be to apply for certification. This may or may not be a requirement depending on the state you wish to be employed in, but getting certified is highly recommended as it helps provide better employment opportunities. If you are planning to enroll in a lab technician program but are worried about your financial capability, you may want to apply for financial aid from the Federal Student Aid Programs. You can also make inquiries with community colleges and lab technician schools about their scholarship programs.