About Our Program

What is a Medical Laboratory Technician?

Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLTs) constitute a large portion of the 300,000 medical laboratory professionals working in the United States. According to the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP), "a medical laboratory technician searches for basic clues to the absence, presence, extent, and causes of diseases. This skilled individual is responsible for performing laboratory tests efficiently and accurately for high-quality patient care."

Program Description:

The Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program prepares graduates to work in a clinical laboratory within a hospital, health care facility, or in an industrial laboratory.

Students collect specimens from the patient and perform laboratory testing in all areas of the clinical laboratory including immunohematology, clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, serology and urinalysis.

Mission Statement:

The Medical Laboratory Technician Program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College is committed to improving the quality of life and employability of the citizens of southeast Kentucky by training dedicated professionals to enter the workforce in the field of Medical laboratory science.

Program Goals

The goals of the Medical Laboratory Technician Program at SKCTC are to:

  • Disseminate information about Medical laboratory science to potential students so that they may consider MLT as a profession
  • Provide adequate, timely, and effective training to students who choose Medical laboratory science as a profession
  • Meet the increasing demand for qualified laboratory professionals
  • Establish a positive rapport with local Medical laboratory professionals to aid in the education of our students and to aid in supplying the increasing demand for qualified laboratory professionals


Upon satisfactory completion of the program, a student is awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree as a Medical Laboratory Technician. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national board certification exam. The most nationally known and accepted certifying agency is the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP). The issuing of the Associate of Applied Science degree is NOT contingent upon students passing this examination or any other certification or licensing examination as a graduation requirement.

Job Outlook:

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 census, the number of MLTs who held jobs in 2012 was 161,500!! Employment of medical laboratory technicians is projected to grow 30% from 2012-2022, much faster than average for all occupations. An increase in the aging population will lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes, through laboratory procedures. Medical laboratory technicians will be in demand, to use and maintain the equipment needed for diagnosis and treatment. Federal health legislation will increase the number of patients who have access to health insurance, increasing patient access to medical care. As a result, demand for the services of laboratory personnel will grow. This means the health field will need approximately 209,400 MLTs by the year 2022!!

Medical and Clinical Lab Employment Outlook

Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm

Pay scale:

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical laboratory technicians was $37,240 in May 2012.

Important Qualities:

Ability to use technology. Medical laboratory technicians must understand how to operate complex machinery.
Detail oriented. Medical laboratory technicians must follow exact instructions from physicians in order to perform correct tests or procedures.
Dexterity. Medical laboratory technicians require skill while working with their hands. They work closely with needles and precise laboratory instruments and must be able to handle these tools effectively.
Physical stamina. Medical laboratory technicians may work on their feet for long periods while collecting samples. They may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples for testing.