How to Become a Medical Technologist With a Chemistry Degree

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Medical technologists work primarily as analysts who examine bodily fluids and tissues
Medical technologists work primarily as analysts who examine bodily fluids and tissues (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Chemistry degrees can be very flexible, especially when combined with some specialized training. The hard sciences provide graduates with a basic a understanding of how the world around us works, and chemistry is a solid foundation for a career in the medical field, with some on-the-job training. If you want to become a medical technician, and you hold at least a bachelor's degree in chemistry, then you have a valuable requirement for an entry-level position in the field.

Tailor your resume to match the job description for a medical technologist, also known as a clinical laboratory technologist. Your college or university should have provided you with plenty of hands-on laboratory time while you were earning your degree. But if you have little or no hands-on experience, or if you feel that your chemistry experience isn't really suited to a medical technologist job, then focus your resume on the specific classes you took that you feel prepared you for a career in the medical field. Consider putting in some volunteer time at a lab to expand on your experience.

Get a national medical tech certification from the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the American Medical Technologists, the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel, the Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts, or another reputable agency. Being nationally certified is a requirement, and being certified by a recognized association will make you a desirable job candidate when you apply for the job.

Check with your state licensing board to see if you live in a state that requires you to be licensed before you can work as a medical technologist. While all medical techs are required to earn a national certification, local licensing requirements vary by state.

Choose a setting you'd like to work in. Medical technologists can work in laboratories at hospitals, universities, pharmaceutical companies, and research facilities just to name a few places.

Apply for medical technician jobs with companies or institutions you'd like to work for. Don't just apply to one or two places; it's best to apply to several openings so you improve your chances of getting a job.

Tips & Warnings

  • Speak to people who work at the lab or labs you might be interested in. Ask them what kind of requirements there are to getting hired there, what their average workday is like, and what you should do to secure a job interview with someone there.
  • Consider pursuing graduate-level education or more formal hands-on training if you want to move into higher positions within the medical technology field.

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