Health Career Profiles

Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT)

Career Description

Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) is a healthcare professional who with the use of microscopes, chemical analyzers and other high-tech instruments, carefully analyzing samples of patients’ tissues and bodily fluids and convey what they find to a patient’s doctor to aid in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. MLT’s also conduct quality control assessment of testing techniques and analyzers to ensure accuracy of results. There are three main fields of medical laboratory technology studies; general MLT, cytotechnologist, and clinical genetic technologist. This field of study requires an in-depth understanding of the biological and chemical sciences.

Approximate Salary:

$27.00 – $37.00/hour

Academic and Licensing Requirements

  • Completion of High School or equivalent with the requisite academic courses
  • Completion of a 3 year general Medical Laboratory Technologist program, cytotechnology program or clinical genetics program.

Upon completion of study, an individual is required to write the national certification exam which is administered through the Canadian Society for Laboratory Science.

Once an individual has passed the national certification examination they must obtain a license with the Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists.

Where to study in Nova Scotia

  • Nova Scotia Community College — 3 year program (After year 1 you may challenge the medical laboratory assistant national exam administered by CSMLS and be employed as a medical laboratory assistant.
  • Dalhousie University — Offers a post diploma program to complete a bachelor of Health Science degree. The curriculum is equivalent to two years of full-time university study. You may take these studies part time.

Interesting Fact:

“It has been estimated that 75% of medical diagnostic decisions are made on the basis of laboratory results”.