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Medical Laboratory Technician Salary & Career Outlook

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Medical laboratory technicians don’t just spend time in the laboratory collecting samples and analyzing them to determine what is wrong with a patient; they also spend a significant amount of time discussing with physicians and surgeons and charting out the most appropriate course for treatment.

MLTs often spend years in institutions obtaining the right training and education to do this to the very high level required. For their efforts, they receive the daily satisfaction of knowing that they continue to contribute to life-saving efforts and a significant yearly salary.

But exactly how much does a medical laboratory technician earn each year? And what factors can affect these figures to either increase or lower them? We provide answers to all of these questions in the sections below.

Medical Laboratory Technician Salary Overview

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical laboratory technicians earn a median salary of about $57,800 annually. This is based on data obtained in May 2022.

As we’ll see below, medical laboratory technicians can fall above or below this figure, depending on several factors.

Across the duration of a career in MLT, technicians often move from being in the bottom percentile up to the average and finally to the top percentile of earners. Below is a breakdown of medical laboratory technicians’ salaries by percentile.

Medical Laboratory Technicians Salary by Percentile

Those who fall into the bottom ten percent of MLT salary earners can still look forward to an annual salary of about $30,280. Again, this is according to data provided by the BLS.

Those who fall into the bottom 25 percent will earn around $37,990, while the median salary remains as specified above.

Moving up the ladder, earners in the top 75 percent category get to take home as much as $74,530, while those who fall into the top percent earn an average yearly salary of $79,340.

Medical Laboratory Technician Salary by Establishments

There are several determinants of how much a medical lab technician earns yearly. Among the most important is the nature of the establishment in which they happened to have secured employment.

Data shows that technicians who work in outpatient care centers earn the highest median average salary at about $60,110. Those who work in general medical and surgical hospitals (both government and private) make an average annual wage of $59,930.

On the lower end, MLTs in medical and diagnostic laboratories enjoy a median average salary of $48,660, while those in colleges and universities earn around $48,290 on average.

MLTs in physicians’ offices are rounding up the list, with an average salary of $47,890 per year.

Medical Laboratory Technician Salary by State

Apart from the specific establishment you secure employment in, your state of practice also plays a huge role in how much you’ll earn as an MLT and what percentile category you will fall into.

Data shows that MLTs in New York earn the highest national average with a yearly salary of $72,500, while those in Rhode Island follow with an annual mean wage of $70,580.

Connecticut and Oregon followed with an annual mean salary of $70,220 and $69,330, respectively.

California rounds up the list of the top five highest-paying states for medical laboratory technicians, with a mean salary of $68,450 every year.

Other Factors Affecting Medical Laboratory Technician Salary

Other than establishments and location, the following factors play significant roles in determining how much an MLT earns every year.


Naturally, entry-level professionals earn less than those in the field for a long time.

If you want to increase your earnings as a medical laboratory technician, sometimes you must spend more time on the job. Garner more experience and improve your expertise. With time, you will find yourself climbing the ladder and bringing in more yearly income.

Statistics released by PayScale in April 2022 showed that the entry-level salary (less than 1 year) for MLTs was $40,274, while the early career salary for workers between 1-4 years on the job was $41,058.

Mid-career salary for 5-9 years workers was $43,262, while those with 10-19 years of experience can expect to earn an average of $47,521 based on experience alone. Lastly, workers with 20 or more years of experience take home an expected $55,466 yearly.


Employers sometimes favor certified medical laboratory technicians over those who are not. It is widely agreed upon that certified medical laboratory technicians can secure employment much more easily than those not permitted.

This also extends to potential salary, as employers are sometimes more incentivized to pay more to certified MLTs.

Continuing Education

Another way to improve your potential salary as a medical laboratory technician is through continuing education. Just like any other profession in healthcare, medical laboratory technology is always improving with innovations every day.

By staying on top of these innovations through continuing education, you put yourself in a place to negotiate a higher salary package.

Securing supervisory and management roles by increasing your academic qualifications is also possible. You can do this, for example, by pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Medical Laboratory Technician Career Outlook

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical laboratory technicians can expect a 7% growth in demand between 2021 to 2031. This will lead to an average of 25,600 new openings every year.

Factors Responsible for the Projection

A lot of the projection above was made due to the continual need to replace old MLTs who migrate to different fields or retire.

Additionally, the increase in the aging population and the need to continue diagnosing diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cancer through laboratory procedures will lead to even more MLTs being needed to maintain and utilize the appropriate equipment.