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Blood Bank Technology Specialist (SBB)

What is a blood bank technology specialist? Learn more...

A specialist in blood bank technology (SBB) works in a laboratory overseeing and performing routine tests as well as advanced and specialized tests on blood samples. They work in hospitals, labs, transfusion centers, research facilities, and community blood banks. They test for blood group antigens, investigate abnormalities identifiable in the blood, take care of blood collection and processing, draw and type blood, and perform pre-transfusion screening.

Become a Blood Bank Technology Specialist

What type of education and training do you need?

To enter this career, you will need a bachelorís degree. Ideally you should earn a degree in a biological science, physical science, chemistry or math. When you finish your bachelorís degree, you will need to pursue SBB training and certification. These programs are generally one-year long, but there are also combined SBB masters programs. Most SBB programs require a baccalaureate degree from an accredited program and a certification in medical technology.

In an SBB program you would learn about transfusion medicine and laboratory management. Coursework will also cover immunology, collection and storage of blood, immune mechanisms, donor processing, component therapy, transfusion and complications of transfusion, and administration and data processing. Be sure any training program you apply for is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) as well as the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Certification is available when you complete your training through the AABB, in conjunction with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists Board of Registry. If you pass the exam you will be certified as a Specialist in Blood Banking Technology (SBB), or as a Technologist in Blood Banking (BB).

Job outlook for blood bank technology specialists

The average salary is between $50,000 to $60,00 and even $70,000 for managers, which will increase with experience and added responsibilities. This job is in short supply and is projected to grow. While it requires four years of schooling and additional training, this could be a fascinating lab science career for you in health care that promises growth, stability, and long term job security.

Higher education is a must if your goal is to become an SBB. Explore schools that offer biological or physical science programs. You may also be interested in learning more about the certification process for blood bank technology specialists across the country. Another option is to take some time to explore additional careers in health care that may peak your interest.