Clinical Laboratory Technician/ Technologist Licensing and Certification

What credentials will you need to work as a clinical laboratory technician? This varies from state to state. Some jurisdictions do require licensing. You can find out by visiting your state’s health or professional licensing board. There are links to state boards on the site of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (a professional organization).

Certification is a separate process from licensing. It is a voluntary process in most areas but can be important for getting a job. The American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science notes that certification and licensing are distinguished partly by severity of consequence. There would be legal consequences for a lab worker who worked without a license. There wouldn’t be any consequence to working without a certification (provided one managed to get a job).
Medical laboratory technicians can become certified through either of two organizations. The American Medical Technologists (AMT) offers the Medical Laboratory Technician (AMT) credential. To sit for exams, you must have adequate education and, in some cases, work experience. (If your degree or certificate isn’t in medical technology, you have steeper requirements in other areas.)

The American Society for Clinical Pathology also certifies workers in the clinical laboratory profession. Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) is the designation for laboratory workers with associate’s degrees; Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) the designation for those with bachelor’s degrees. There are multiple routes to eligibility for each of these certifications. Depending on the degree you have, and whether or not you have completed an approved program in laboratory technology or science, you may have additional requirements (for example, work experience or military training). There are also specialty certifications available through the ASCP. They can help a person advance their career.