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Career Facts – What You Need to Know as a Medical Laboratory Technologist

By May 1, 2024No Comments
Medical Laboratory Technologist

As part of Canada’s fourth largest group of healthcare professionals, medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) play an integral role in our healthcare system. Patient diagnosis and care, patient wait times and effective treatment all depend on the performance and evaluation of lab testing behind the scenes. And these crucial professionals are in massive demand.

While this poses a widespread challenge for our healthcare system, if you’re looking to make a powerful difference in the lives of others and have considered medical technologist school or a medical laboratory technologist program, now is the time to start training.

But before you make this investment in your future, we recognize you’ll want to know the opportunity before you and precisely what it will take to achieve success; this post is for you.

MLT Career Facts – What You Need to Know!


The Position

MLTs are highly trained healthcare professionals responsible for testing and analysing biological samples in a laboratory, to aid physicians in the effective diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease. In the lab, they prepare samples for testing, conduct test procedures, interpret results, record their findings, and send them to the physician. They may be generalists or decide to specialize in a specific area of medicine, such as immunology, transfusion medicine, or hematology.

MLT Responsibilities

  • Set up, operate, and maintain state-of-the-art lab equipment and computerized instruments, as well as microscopes, cell counters, and many more,
  • Conduct and interpret analysis of blood, urine, and cerebrospinal and other body fluids,
  • Study blood cells and other tissues to determine their relation to various physiological and pathological conditions,
  • Prepare tissue sections for microscopic examinations,
  • Perform and interpret blood group, type, and compatibility tests for transfusion purposes,
  • Validate and report test results,
  • Establish procedures for the analysis of specimens and for experiments,
  • Conduct quality control assessment of testing techniques,
  • May supervise and train other medical laboratory technical staff, students, and helpers.

Outlook, Trends and Prospects

According to Job Bank Canada, there was a labour shortage for MLTs over the last three years and the outlook for the 2023-2025 period looks “very good”.

The factors that have contributed to this outlook are, “Employment growth will lead to several new positions. A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements. There are a small number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.”

The prospects are remarkable for those graduating from leading-edge medical technologist programs. “This occupational group is expected to face labour shortage conditions over the period of 2022-2031 at the national level.” This creates extraordinary career opportunities for you as you look to your healthcare future. You can find detailed info about the MLT 10-year labour market conditions here.

Income Potential

You can review income potential by province, but the wage range for Canada is $25.00 per hour on the low side, $45 per hour on the high side, and the median is $36.24 per hour.

Employment Opportunities

There are myriad healthcare clinics and institutions that will welcome the expertise and support of an MLT. Some of these include:

  • Hospitals
  • Medical laboratories
  • Community healthcare clinics
  • Private clinics
  • Research institutions
  • Blood banks
  • Post-secondary schools.

A Brief Overview of Skills You’ll Need as an MLT

  • Ability to select and maintain the proper equipment and tools for the job,
  • Perform quality control tests,
  • Monitor equipment and machinery,
  • Manage time effectively,
  • Troubleshoot and be able to think critically and problem solve creatively,
  • Be attentive to details,
  • Think analytically,
  • Tolerate stress,
  • Learn actively and perpetually,
  • Adapt well to shifting situations and circumstances,
  • Collaborate well,
  • Lead effectively,
  • Be innovative.

Educational Requirements

Your education and training for this highly specialized profession matters.

As you review medical laboratory technologist schools and a medical technologist course, you’ll want to ensure that the curriculum and standards meet those of the governing bodies who drive quality requirements within the industry, both the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) and the Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Association of Ontario (MLPAO).

  • Accreditation is key, indicating that the program you’ve selected is held to the highest industry standards and able to effectively prepare you for the certifying examinations.

Anderson College’s Medical Laboratory Technology Hybrid program was granted two-year ‘accreditation with condition’ status in 2023, through EQual – Accreditation Canada. As a new program, ‘accreditation with condition’ is the highest status that a program can receive. Students must graduate from an accredited educational program to qualify to complete the CSMLS certifying examinations in Canada and register with the College of Medical Laboratory Technologist of Ontario (CMLTO) to be eligible to work in Ontario.

  • Professional, Supportive Environment is Essential

Anderson College is dedicated to aligning our program offerings with market needs; this ensures our graduates are in-demand and highly sought after. We recognized the massive shortage of MLTs and in 2021 launched our program with a powerful response from both the MLPAO and CSMLS. As a student of Anderson, you will receive training from industry experts, in state-of-the-art simulated labs, have opportunity to complete a practicum with potential healthcare employers and be surrounded by a caring community of support.

  • Hear from the Experts

To learn more, direct from our MLT Program Lead, Medical Lab Technologist, Kim Alkalay, connect with her interview at “Expert Insights on Medical Lab Technologist Training” for an in depth look at what to expect.

Our students always say it best! Hear from graduate Jianjie, who was once right where you are. “All You Need to Know About Medical Lab Technology – A Student’s Insight.”

There are near limitless possibilities for your future as an MLT; our healthcare system requires trained professionals to support their teams, and patients and their families need your help in receiving the care they deserve.

If you’re still considering if this career aligns with your interests, take our “Anderson College Career Training Readiness Quiz”.

But when you’re ready to take the leap and discover the incredible opportunities that await you within this Medical Laboratory Technology career, we’re here to help you navigate the steps all along the way to get there. Book a virtual appointment today with one of our admissions advisors and let’s get you started!

Your future in healthcare awaits.

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