Medical laboratory technicians (or MLTs) collect blood and tissue samples for testing and analysis to assist healthcare professionals in diagnosing diseases and treating patients. The mean medical laboratory technician salary in the United States is about $37,739. Similarly, the annual salaries for MLTs in Australia and New Zealand is around AU$48,000 ($36,721 USD) and NZ$46,500 ($33,470 USD), respectively. In Canada, the annual salary for medical laboratory technicians is about C$58,000 ($44,185). The annual earnings in the UK are about £19,783 ($21,094 USD). Geographic region, experience, and work setting affect overall pay for medical laboratory technicians as outlined in further detail in this guide.
How Much Does a Medical Laboratory Technician Make?
The chart below outlines median annual salaries and their USD equivalency for select countries worldwide.
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Medical Laboratory Technician Salary Determinant Factors
The following paragraphs provide information from Payscale.com, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and country-specific employment resources on salary ranges and bonus earnings. As mentioned, these vary by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting. In addition to these factors, we will also discuss additional details on a career in this field and job outlook.
1. How Much Does a Medical Laboratory Technician Make by Country?
Medical Laboratory Technician Salary in the US
In the US, medical laboratory technicians earn between $26,000 and $55,000 per year, more or less. Bonus earnings up to an additional $5,200 can further boost income. Some professionals in this career work on an hourly wage of between $12 and $25, and overtime pay and shift differential is often provided, potentially reaching $35 per hour.
Medical Laboratory Technician Salary in Canada
Entry level medical laboratory technicians in Canada earn a starting salary of just under C$29,000 per year, increasing to about C$60,000 annually with experience. Further experience and training may boost one’s income to C$72,000 per year. Those working on an hourly wage earn about C$14 to C$26, while overtime hourly wages are about C$36.
Medical Laboratory Technician Salary in the UK
Medical laboratory technicians in the UK earn just under £20,000 per year. The starting salary for those entering this career is about £15,000 per year, increasing to nearly £33,000 with experience. Professionals in this career often move to advanced positions in this field; therefore, the highest salary range is achieved by those who remain in this role for the duration of their career. Bonus earnings can potentially add another £5,400 to one’s pay.
Medical Laboratory Technician Salary in Australia
In Australia, medical laboratory technicians earn between AU$38,700 and nearly AU$67,000 per year. Some in this career earn an hourly wage that ranges from $19 to $31, and it is common to receive overtime pay of an additional $20 per hour.
Medical Laboratory Technician Salary in New Zealand
Medical laboratory technicians beginning their career in New Zealand can expect to earn between NZ$33,500 and NZ$39,500 per year while in training. Annual earnings increase with experience to between NZ$41,000 and NZ$46,000, and senior level professionals with additional responsibilities may receive as much as NZ$51,500 per year.
2. How Much Does a Medical Laboratory Technician Make According to Experience?
The difference between salaries for those in training and those with the most experience is greatest in the UK, with the gap reaching £13,000 or 123%. In the US and Canada, earnings steadily increase throughout one’s career, peaking for those with 20 years’ or more experience. The difference between starting income and that of experienced professionals is 109% and 108%, respectively. While experience results in increased earnings in Australia and New Zealand, the difference is not as great. Annual salaries increase 73% and 55%, respectively.
3. How Much Does a Medical Laboratory Technician Make According to Work Environment?
Medical laboratory technicians work in hospitals, physician offices, and diagnostic laboratories. However, hospitals are the most popular work setting. Roughly half of all medical lab techs in the US work in hospitals. While salaries are steady across work settings, there may be more potential for bonus earnings in physician offices and diagnostic laboratories. These are often privately-owned, and thus profit is one of their concerns. By contrast, hospitals are often non-profit organizations. The potential for overtime pay is greater in hospitals though where care is provided 24-hours a day.
Most medical laboratory technicians work a full-time schedule; however, there are opportunities for part-time positions. MLTs who work in hospitals where around-the-clock care is provided seven days a week may be subject to a work schedule encompassing any day or hour of the week. This may include evenings, weekends, and holidays. Those working in physician offices and diagnostic laboratories typically work Monday through Friday during normal business hours. However, some weekends and evenings may be required at times. Most employed in this career indicate a high level of job satisfaction that often comes from a positive work-life balance and opportunities for flexible work schedules.
Bonuses and Benefits
Bonuses are common worldwide for those early in their careers as well as experienced medical laboratory technicians. Additionally, overtime pay and shift differential for evening and holiday work hours is often provided to professionals at all experience levels. Most professionals in this career in the US indicate they receive healthcare coverage. This coverage typcally includes medical, dental and vision insurance. However, about 17% receive no benefits. In other countries reviewed in this guide, about 40% receive no healthcare coverage as part of their benefits package.
A global aging population and increased diagnosis of conditions like cancer and diabetes that often come to those later in life are expected to fuel a need in medical laboratory technicians. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates 16% growth in this career between 2014 and 2024. This job growth rate is much faster than the average growth of most occupations. New Zealand has perhaps the smallest need for MLTs. While demand is expected to remain strong, job prospects in New Zealand are average due to a steady number of medical lab technicians.
To enter a career as a medical laboratory technician, the equivalent of a two-year associates degree is required as well as job specific training. Some countries and provinces require registration or licensure with the appropriate governing body in the area. This career may be a spring board for a more advanced position with higher pay. It is common for medical laboratory technicians to further their education or training and progress to higher level healthcare positions.
While medical laboratory technicians earn lower salaries in comparison to other healthcare positions, the required level of training is minimal in comparison. In addition, there are opportunities to advance to other more skilled healthcare positions using experience from this field. Those who works as MLTs indicate a high level of job satisfaction. And the career outlook is positive with an aging population and increase in health conditions that often require blood and tissue samples.