2022 Guide to Online ABHES-Accredited Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) Degree Programs
Train to become a medical laboratory technician with an accredited medical laboratory technology (MLT) online degree program. MLTs work in laboratory and hospital settings to collect samples, perform tests, and maintain critical lab equipment. Entry-level positions typically require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, so find out what you can do to start a career or get ahead in your career. See what ABHES accreditation means as you compare highly rated degree programs.
What Is ABHES Accreditation?
The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) has been accrediting institutions since 1969. This non-profit accrediting agency is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and offers recognition, resources, and service to colleges, universities, and other degree-conferring institutions. Choose an ABHES-accredited MLT program to ensure it meets or exceeds the quality standards of this accrediting bureau.
ABHES Accreditation Eligibility
Institutions must submit an application to be considered for ABHES accreditation. Eligibility requirements ensure that the program is designed to lead to employment, evaluate student outcomes, offer participation in clinical experience activities, and use verified up-to-date coursework.
Accredited programs must offer a minimum number of training hours. For medical laboratory technology courses, this includes at least 60 semester hours and at least 800 hours of laboratory and clinical experience. This in-depth assessment process offers you peace of mind as you explore highly rated medical laboratory technician degree options.
Other Medical Laboratory Accreditations
ABHES is a distinguished accrediting board in the field, but there are other accreditations to consider. The National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) also verifies value, quality, innovation, and safety in healthcare educational programs. Compare NAACLS- or ABHES-accredited MLT online program options to find one that fits your goals.
NAACLS accreditation is available for associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in MLT. It uses an external peer review process to verify colleges and other institutions meet educational standards in the field.
What Is an Online ABHES-Accredited MLT Program?
An ABHES-accredited MLT program prepares you for entry-level or advanced positions in medical laboratory technology. Typically, associate’s degree programs use the term “medical laboratory technology,” while bachelor’s and graduate programs use the term “medical laboratory science” (MLS).
Train to perform chemical analyses, calibrate equipment, and perform other duties in a medical laboratory. Here are some related careers in laboratories you may pursue after completing an online degree:
- Clinical chemistry technologist
- Microbiology technologist
- Blood bank technologist
- Molecular biology technologist
- Immunology technologist
Earn an associate’s degree or higher degree in a NAACLS- or ABHES-accredited MLT program by taking a range of courses on these topics:
- Medical laboratory science
- Organic chemistry
- Clinical chemistry
- Molecular diagnostics
- Parasitology, mycology, virology, and bacteriology
You’ll also take general education courses, such as sociology, mathematics, and English literature. Most programs offer elective opportunities to focus your degree. These specialty courses help you prepare for a specialized position or learn more about an aspect of your career you’re most excited about.
Benefits of Online MLT Degree Programs
As a student of one of these online courses, you’ll have the opportunity to create a flexible schedule. Some online programs require you to attend lectures that are streamed in real time, while others offer recorded lectures to watch on your own time.
Online programs allow you to apply to your choice of ABHES-accredited schools without worrying about relocating. Stay in your home or apartment without traveling across the country or paying for on-campus housing. In some cases, an online program actually costs less than an on-campus alternative.
Expected Costs of an MLT Program
Typically, an ABHES-accredited MLT program offers an associate’s degree. Associate degree programs require about two years to complete, with tuition ranging from around $3,500 to over $14,000 per year, according to USA Student Debt Relief.
Bachelor’s degree programs can cost more per year and require an average of four years to complete. According to U.S. News and World Report, an online bachelor’s degree costs between $38,496 and $60,593.
Both associate’s and bachelor’s degree tuition can be partially or fully covered with loans, grants, or scholarships. Check your eligibility and the availability of third-party options and financial aid offered by your chosen college.
MLT to MLS Opportunities
An MLT degree is typically an associate’s degree. While this two-year opportunity helps you advance in your career and can qualify you for medical laboratory technician positions, you may wish to advance to a medical laboratory science (MLS) bachelor’s program.
An online MLT to MLS program can be completed in just one or two years. These transition programs offer students with an associate’s degree the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field for increased opportunities for raises, promotions, or new roles.
How To Apply to an Online School
Applying to an ABHES-accredited program is generally the same as applying to any college. College applications vary between institutions but typically require you to submit the following information:
- College application: Include your personal information, desired program, and other information.
- Resume: List your previous work experience, relevant extracurricular activities, GPA, and any rewards you may have received.
- Transcripts: Most programs will want official transcripts from your high school and any other degree you’ve earned.
- Standardized test scores: Many colleges require an ACT or SAT score.
- Letters of recommendation: You’ll typically need to ask for recommendations from at least one person who knows your work ethic and/or academic ability.
What Are the Benefits of an ABHES-Accredited MLT Degree Program?
There are many MLT programs with high ratings and relevant coursework, so why choose one with ABHES accreditation? See why these programs offer peace of mind, a competitive application, and career preparation you may not receive from other programs.
Peace of Mind
You only have so many options to learn about the quality of your online college. When you choose a NAACLS- or ABHES-accredited MLT program, you can breathe easy knowing that an independent organization assessed and approved the coursework, instructors, and overall methodology of your chosen school.
Earning a degree in medical laboratory technology may improve your application as a medical laboratory technician. An international accreditation helps employers understand the level of education you received, even if they aren’t familiar with the particular school you attended.
Prepare for a fast-paced career as a medical laboratory technician thanks to up-to-date coursework and skilled instructors. While there are programs that aren’t accredited that may offer the preparation you require, every ABHES-accredited online program has been determined to meet the standards you need to get started in your career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians earned median pay of $57,800 in 2021. The number of these positions is expected to increase by about 11% between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than the average job growth estimates.
- MLT programs can be completed fully online
- Most degree programs take between one and four years to complete
- MLT to MLS programs available for further training
- Prepares you for a career in medical laboratories
- Can be completed at your own pace
- MLT to MLS programs can be completed in as little as one year
- Programs can be covered by many available grants and scholarships
- Associate’s degree programs cost as little as $3,500 per year
- Online programs make it easy to work while you study