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                           Laboratory Careers

In this section you will find information on the following careers:

Radiologist Technologist and Technician

Chemical Technician

Medical Laboratory Technologist and Technician

Nuclear Medicine Technologist


Radiologist Technologist and Technician

  Have you ever had an x-ray? A radiologist technologist

or technician positioned the body part being x-rayed

against a table or platform and used radiation to take

an image of internal structures of your body.

   X-rays are an important tool to diagnose health

conditions. But radiologist technologists and technician

use more than x-rays to diagnose conditions. Read on to find out more about this career!

What They Do: Radiology technologists and technicians perform diagnostic (identifying an illness or health condition) tests that produce an image of an internal body part. Tests that produce images include x-rays, CT scans, magnetic resonance imagery (MRI), and mammography tests.

   Radiology technologists and technicians also develop the x-ray films and prepare patient for exams. They position the patient’s body correctly and position the x-ray machine at the correct angle to achieve the best image. They protect the patient from x-rays by shielding other parts of the body that are not being examined.


   Radiologic technologists and technicians work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, doctors’ offices, and medical laboratories.


Education/Training: There are education and training programs for

certificate, associate degrees, or bachelor degree programs in

radiology technology. Most technologists have 2-year associate

degrees. Programs include classroom and clinical (in an x-ray

department) experience.

Salary: The average wage for radiologic technologists is $$61,240

per year, but salaries vary by place of employment.



Chemical Technician  

   Do you enjoy doing labs in science class that study chemical reactions? Do you think you might like to have a career in chemistry but don’t want to spend years studying? Consider a career as a chemical technician! You will work in a career that interests you and pays well, and you don’t need an advanced college degree.


Read on to find out more about a career as a chemical technician!


What They Do: Chemical technicians work in laboratories to

perform chemical testing on a variety of samples. They set

up laboratory instruments and equipment prepare chemical

solutions used in testing, and conduct experiments on

medical and industrial test samples.

   Chemical technicians also prepare graphs and charts of test results to present their findings. They work in laboratories, in research, for pharmaceutical companies, and in colleges and universities.

Education/Training: Chemical technicians need an associate’s degree (2 year degree) from a technical or vocational school. They take classes in chemistry, math, biology, and computer science. Labwork is important preparation for a chemical technician.


Salary:  The average wage for a chemical technician is about $48,160 per year. This varies by place of employment. For example, chemical technicians who work for colleges or universities earn $48,610 while those who work for testing laboratories earn about $39,590 per year.


Medical Laboratory Technologist and Technician

   Do you like doing experiments in science lab? Do you like taking measurements of different chemicals or finding out about chemical reactions?

Medical lab technologists do that and a lot more in hospital or clinic laboratories. Read on to find out more about this career!

What They Do: Medical laboratory technologists

perform tests on a variety of body fluids and tissues in

order to diagnose diseases and assess patient health.

The tests may be chemical or they may be on blood

cells and blood components, such as serum and

plasma. Body fluids tested include blood, urine,

sputum, and spinal fluid.


Technologists also examine various samples to look for bacteria and parasites, to match blood types for transfusions, and to test drug levels.


Education/Training: Medical technologists need a 4-year college degree which usually includes clinical work in a laboratory. Most technologists also pass a national exam to be certified.

Salary: The average salary for a medical technologist is $52,330 per year. Wages can vary depending on the place of employment. Medical technologists who work in hospitals earn more than those who work in colleges or doctors’ offices.


Nuclear Medicine Technologist

  Do you want an exciting career in medicine? Read about

what you would do as a nuclear medicine technologist and

what preparation you need to have this career!


What They Do: Nuclear medical technologists operate

equipment that use radionuclides (atoms that give off

radiation) to produce body images of patients. They prepare drugs that are used in the imaging processes and administer them to patients having tests.


   Nuclear medicine equipment called a “scanner”, allows detailed images of tissues and organs to be taken. Abnormal tissues show abnormal amounts of radioactivity and this show up on the images.

   Technologists wear protective gear such as gloves, leaded aprons, and badges that measure radiation levels to make their job safe.

Education/Training: There are one-year training

programs in hospitals, two-year programs at

community colleges, or four-year programs at

colleges and universities. People who enter the one-

year program usually have some other type of

medical training and are looking to specialize.

Salary: Wages vary depending on the level of education and training. People with more advanced degree are more competitive in the job market and earn more money. The average wage for nuclear medicine technologists is $76,820 per year, but technologists who work in outpatient care centers earn slightly over $104,730 per year.




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