What Will You Learn by Taking Canadian Medical Lab Technician Courses?
You'll learn about various aspects of chemistry, medicine, human anatomy and physiology, and health technology since they are all related to the tasks included in a typical medical lab technician job description. You will also be taught about administrative and compliance procedures as well as quality control methods and laboratory mathematics.
Programs typically cover subjects like:
- Medical terminology
- Laboratory techniques (e.g., creating samples, using microscopes, and preparing slides)
- Human biology
- Medical microbiology
- Clinical/organic chemistry
- Medical computer software
You will be taught how to correctly wear gloves, eye shields, gowns, and other equipment meant to protect you against acidic solutions and to prevent the spread of pathogens within the laboratory.
Successfully passing all classes and obtaining a Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science certificate (which may not be required in some provinces) can qualify you to work in a number of medical-oriented facilities such as:*
- Clinical research organizations
- University or government-operated research laboratories
- Blood donor centres
- Pharmaceutical research facilities
- Physicians' offices
You will also develop your collaborative and interpersonal communication skills to help prepare you for working with a professional health care team. In addition to classroom courses, you will ultimately get to practice what you've learned by working several weeks as a medical lab technician intern.
Medical Laboratory Assistant/Technician Career Benefits
Becoming a medical laboratory tech or assistant is a great option for students who want to enter the health and medical field quickly and enjoy working alone or in small groups.
Room for advancement also exists. For example, after completing additional education, you might be able to move into the role of a medical lab technologist (which means getting to perform more complex lab tests) or decide to use your experience as a foundation to pursue further schooling to become a nurse, doctor, or scientist.
Finally, medical lab assistant and technician jobs generally offer good employee benefits and excellent working conditions.
Medical Lab Technician Salary
The median hourly wage earned by medical laboratory assistants and technicians in Canada is $16.54, which equates to yearly pay of about $37,280 for full-time work. But hourly pay can go as high as about $25.50, depending on experience and job location factors.**
Employment Outlook for Canadian Medical Lab Assistants/Technicians
Employment trends and projections for various Canadian provinces indicate that medical laboratory assistants and technicians can expect to experience good employment prospects going forward, especially in British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba.***
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* Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science, website last visited on February 25, 2016.
** PayScale, website last visited on September 4, 2015.
*** Government of Canada, Job Bank, website last visited on January 23, 2017.