Medical Technology Major
Medical technologists (a.k.a. clinical laboratory scientists) are board-certified, licensed professionals who analyze clinical samples (body fluids, specimens, infectious agents), usually in a hospital or clinical laboratory. Doctors rely on this work, as 75% of medical diagnoses are made based on clinical lab tests performed by medical technologists.
What Will I Learn?
Major-specific courses in biology, microbiology, genetics, chemistry and immunology combined with general education courses in humanities and social sciences will get you ready for your fourth year of clinical training in a hospital or approved medical center.
What is Unique About Our Program?
You will acquire critical clinical laboratory skills as part of your senior year internship, leading to immediate employment at a highly competitive salary upon graduation.
All students majoring in medical technology are advised by the program director for the medical technology and cytotechnology programs, Dr. José de Ondarza. In addition to a regularly scheduled meeting during the academic advisement period, you are encouraged to attend campus visits by clinical hospital representatives (usually every fall), medical technology orientation (fall), and job shadowing opportunities. Your advisor is always available to discuss academic progress, clinical internship applications, job opportunities and course selections. A clinical laboratory sciences student club is also periodically active.
Job shadowing lets you observe professionals in the field and decide if a clinical laboratory career is right for you. You can choose to job shadow at the local hospital in Plattsburgh or in your home town. Opportunities at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) in Plattsburgh can be arranged through your medical technology advisor.
What Are My Career Opportunities?
Medical technologists are highly sought-after professionals who are actively being recruited by employers nationwide. The median salary for medical technologists in 2019 was $68,000, and starting pay is $28–$30/hr.
Graduates from SUNY Plattsburgh are, in addition, licensure-qualifying in New York State, further boosting their recruitment. As many medical technologists in the workforce today are reaching retirement age, job prospects are excellent.
Most medical technologists work in clinical hospital laboratories. Work opportunities can also be found in industry, public health departments, clinical equipment sales, private diagnostic laboratories, research institutes, and higher education institutions.
Although there is no requirement for an advanced degree beyond the 4 year bachelor’s degree, many opportunities for advancement exist. Medical technologists can qualify to be certified as specialists in one or more laboratory disciplines, such as blood banking, microbiology or hematology or earn an advanced degree (master’s) in their field, or in laboratory management. Others avail themselves of opportunities to apply to medical school or graduate school after several years of clinical laboratory work.