How to Start Your Career as a Travel Medical Technologist or Med Lab Tech
The travel medical technologist and medical lab technician markets are booming.
In fact, candidates can consistently find hundreds of travel job opportunities for med techs (MTs) and medical lab technicians (MLTs) available with Med Travelers, an AMN Healthcare company.
According to Med Travelers’ manager of recruitment Meaghan Watson, up to 30 new assignments open every day nationwide, including in states like Hawaii and Alaska.
"If med techs want to get into travel, now is definitely the time," Watson said. "Higher pay is the main driving factor for med techs. Also, you can see various parts of the country and get paid to do so. You will also become well-rounded in your role as you meet new people and see different approaches to doing things. You can choose what works for you and be an even better-med tech over time."
Another reason to consider traveling as an MT and MLT? With so many available jobs, candidates can find plenty of options to fit their work and lifestyle goals—ranging from those early in their careers who want to explore the country, to more experienced travelers who are seeking more flexibility in their work schedule.
Travelers can work with their recruiter to choose when and where they want to work, and can even take some time off between assignments.
Requirements for Med Tech & Med Lab Tech Travelers
The rewards of being a travel medical technologist or medical lab technician are excellent, but getting some work experience is a prerequisite to travel. The recruiters at Med Travelers point out that these medical laboratory professionals need the following in order to apply for travel assignments:
- A bachelor's degree and at least one year of post-graduate experience in an acute care setting. When an MT or MLT traveler goes to work in a short-staffed hospital, there is little time for training, so you’ll need experience in a hospital/acute care setting. Work as many benches as you can because the more well-rounded you are in the lab, the more opportunities you'll find as a traveler. Many travel assignments are for generalists, but having strong blood bank or microbiology experience can help you get placed in an assignment.
- Your medical lab certification. Travel jobs that accept uncertified candidates are rare, according to Watson. Almost all assignments require ASCP certification, and most will take AMT certification, which is not as common as ASCP.
- An updated list of the instrumentation you use. Hospitals like to see what instruments and computer systems you've used. This information is an indicator of much training you will need.
Get Ready to Travel
Once you meet these requirements and are ready to travel, contact a Med Travelers recruiter. One of our experienced consultants will walk you through the application process, which starts with helping you create a candidate profile that stands out.
Then, the submittal and interview process begins, about four to six weeks before the desired start date.
"We will look at open assignments and talk about details of any assignments candidates are interested in," said Watson. "If it's a good fit, I will submit the profile over to the facility for review. If the facility wants to move forward, they will call the candidate directly for a 20-minute phone interview. This is where the candidate gets to ask questions and go more in-depth about position details."
Assuming the interview goes well and the client extends an offer, you and your recruiter can discuss the offer and you can decide if you want to accept. If you accept, the assignment is booked, and a credentialing analyst will step in to guide you through the onboarding process.
The onboarding process will include a physical examination, drug screen, background check, possible online modules, etc., and is usually completed over a two-to-three-week period. Once completed, the candidate can start the assignment.
The team at Med Travelers can also book a free, furnished apartment for the duration of your assignment, or provide you with a housing stipend; help with travel expenses and logistics related to your temporary relocation; and connect you with other allied traveler benefits including health insurance, free continuing education, and more.
READY to start your travel medical technologist or medical lab technician career?