Students in the Medical Laboratory Technician program learn to perform routine clinical laboratory tests such as hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, serology/immunology, coagulation, molecular and other emerging diagnostics. They develop communication skills, as this career requires frequent interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service, and patient education. A combination of fundamental laboratory techniques and clinical experience prepares graduates for work in laboratories serving the health care sector. Graduates are prepared to complete the ASCP Board of Certification to become certified Medical Laboratory Technicians.

Graduates are prepared to complete the ASCP Board of Certification to become certified MLT.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Are you analytical, accurate, and interested in science, technology, and health care? The Medical Lab Tech program may be a good fit for you.

    Students entering the Medical Laboratory Technician program should:

    • Have good reading, math, and comprehension skills.
    • Be in good physical and emotional health.
    • Be flexible, adaptable, and enjoy working with people.
    • Be self-confident, independent, and a self-directed learner.
    • Meet Wisconsin Caregiver Law requirements.

    Program Basics

    • Associate degree, requiring a minimum of two years to complete.
    • Financial aid is available to those that qualify.
    • August program start date; however, some classes will be available in January.
    • Qualified students may take some courses immediately upon program acceptance.
    • Students must achieve a grade of a C or better in each course of the program curriculum to be eligible to progress.
    • Current Healthcare Provider CPR certification must be maintained throughout the clinical experience portion of the MLT Program.
    • Sign off as qualified in Essential Functional Abilities after acceptance to the program and prior to clinical placement.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application and $30 Application Fee
    • Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Assessment or equivalent (only one is required). Students who do not meet one of these may be conditionally accepted to the program:
      • HESI Exam: schedule and pay for HESI by calling 608.822.2313 or by going to https://www.swtc.edu/placement-testing
      • Bachelor's Degree
      • High School GPA of 2.8+ and ACT composite of 20+ (within the last 4 years)
    • Admissions Meeting: schedule by calling Student Services at 608.822.2354

    Additional Health Requirements

    During their first semester course work after acceptance into the MLT program, students must complete the required Background Information Disclosure on MySWTC.

    In the student's final year of the MLT program, an application for clinical placement is made and the following requirements must be completed at that time:

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics
    • Computers
    • Customer and Personal Service

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Practice laboratory safety and regulatory compliance
    • Collect and process biological specimens
    • Monitor and evaluate quality control in the laboratory
    • Apply modern clinical methodologies including problem solving and troubleshooting according to predetermined criteria
    • Correlate laboratory results to diagnosis of clinical conditions and/or diseases
    • Perform information processing in the clinical laboratory
    • Model professional behaviors, communication, ethics, and appearance

    Graduation, Exam and Employment Results

    The Graduation, BOC Exam Results show how graduates of the Southwest Tech Medical Laboratory Technician program fared compared to the national average over the past few years. Employment data for SWTC MLT graduates is summarized in the Graduate Success Report .

    Technical Skill Attainment (TSA)

    This TSA scoring guide will be used to document your attainment of technical program outcomes for the Medical Laboratory Technician Degree. To meet the requirements on the scoring guide, you will be asked to draw upon the skills and concepts that have been developed throughout the program and are necessary for successful employment in your field. Results will be used to inspire continual improvement of teaching and learning in Wisconsin Technical College System. In addition, this assessment will provide feedback to you about your performance.

  • Career Pathways
  • Career Pathways

    Career Pathways offer new ways to achieve your education goals. Instead of studying just one program, the Career Pathways model links related academic programs in a sequence. Each program offers direct job preparation AND a path to the next higher academic program. Learn More

  • Career Opportunities
  • Medical Laboratory Technician - Performs routine laboratory tests on blood, urine, and body fluids to help in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury in:

    • Hospital
    • Clinical laboratory
    • Reference laboratory

    Laboratory Technician/Research Assistant - Performs routine and special laboratory tests in:

    • Laboratory settings: research, industrial, environmental and food science labs.

    With additional training and/or work experience, graduates may find employment as:

    • Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Medical Technologist)
    • Medical Microbiologist
    • Laboratory Computer Sales or Training Specialist
    • Laboratory Sales/Product Representative
    • Instrument Service Technician
    • Quality Control Officer
    • Biomedical Instrument Specialist
    • Clinical Research Associate
    • Safety Officer
    • Laboratory Science Instructor/Trainer

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Additional Info
  • Essential Functions for Medical Laboratory Technicians

    Students enrolling in and graduating from a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program must meet the essential function requirements of the academic program and of the corresponding MLT profession. They must complete programs consisting of academic study, simulated laboratory practice, and clinical laboratory experience. Students must be able to contribute to the progress of their peers, complete tasks assigned by instructors and clinical supervisors, and provide services that contribute to the well-being of patients. The essential functions of the MLT are as follows:

    Observation / Visual

    The MLT student must be able to:

    • Observe laboratory demonstrations of specimens, techniques, and instruments.
    • Characterize the color, consistency, and clarity of biological specimens or reagents.
    • Use a microscope to discriminate among fine differences in structure and color including hue, shading, and intensity.
    • Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on a video monitor.

    Movement / Motor Function

    The MLT student must be able to:

    • Move freely and safely about a laboratory.
    • Perform continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting or standing over several hours.
    • Travel to clinical laboratory sites for practical experience, which may over 45 miles from campus.
    • Reach laboratory bench tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds, or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
    • Maneuver phlebotomy and culture collection equipment to collect laboratory specimens from patients.
    • Operate laboratory equipment (pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures.
    • Use an electronic keyboard to operate laboratory instruments and calculate record, evaluate, and transmit data.

    Communication Skills

    The MLT student must be able to:

    • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (textbooks, journals articles, handbooks, and procedure manuals).
    • Follow oral and/or written instructions in order to correctly perform laboratory test procedures.
    • Clearly, effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory test orders and specimen collection instructions.
    • Communicate with instructors, peers, laboratory staff, and other health care professionals orally and in recorded format.

    Intellect

    The MLT student must:

    • Possess the intellectual skills: comprehension, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and self-analysis.
    • Exercise sufficient judgment to recognize errors and take appropriate corrective actions.

    Behavior

    The MLT student must:

    • Organize work and manage the use of time in order to complete technical tasks within realistic time limits.
    • Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively use his or her intellect to exercise appropriate judgment in a distracting environment under stressful circumstances.
    • Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
    • Follow established safety procedures in order to minimize risk of injury to self and co-workers.
    • Adapt to working with unpleasant biological specimens.
    • Be supportive of peers and health care professionals in order to promote a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and patient care.
    • Be honest and forthright about errors.
    • Be able to critically evaluate his or her performance, accept constructive criticism, and be responsible for improving performance.
    • Be compassionate and ethical.
    • Possess the intellectual skills: comprehension, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and self-analysis.

    Students with disabilities should consult with Southwest Tech's Disability Services regarding reasonable accommodations needed to perform successfully in this program.

  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information or to request Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    Medical Laboratory Technician Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title Challenge Exam
    (Demonstration)
    Challenge Exam
    (Standard)
    CLEP Credential Portfolio
    10-513-110Basic Lab SkillsYes
    Work Experience Documentation
    10-513-111PhlebotomyYes
    Requires demonstrated recent work experience
    10-513-113QA Lab MathYes
    10-513-114UrinalysisYes
    10-513-115Basic Immunology ConceptsYes
    10-801-195Written CommunicationYes
    College Composition CLEP test would also be accepted for credit. However, the challenge exam is the preferred method.
    10-801-196Oral/Interpersonal CommunicationYes
    10-809-188Developmental PsychologyYes
    CLEP Test - Human Growth and Development
  • Accreditation