If you are interested in molecular science, want to work in a laboratory setting and have great attention to detail, the molecular diagnostics technologist (MDT) role may be right for you.
Molecular diagnostics is an exciting field that is on the forefront of disease prevention. Using a series of techniques to analyze genetic material, molecular diagnostics is helping doctors make more accurate and personalized diagnoses. It is a rewarding career that is in high demand. If you are interested in molecular science, want to work in a laboratory setting and have great attention to detail, the molecular diagnostics technologist (MDT) role may be right for you. Read on to learn about what it takes to become an MDT, how to get certified and the job outlook for this position.
- Obtain a degree. Most molecular technologists hold a bachelor’s degree in biology, molecular biology or a related field of study. …
- Gain relevant experience. …
- Explore certification options. …
- Seek advancement opportunities.
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What does a molecular technologist do?
Molecular technologists perform various duties in a laboratory setting. These can include:
What is a molecular technologist?
A molecular technologist is a scientific expert with specific training in biology and genetics. A molecular technologist can be a solitary researcher, but in most cases, the molecular technologist will work with a team. Molecular technologists can specialize in medical research, wildlife biology, molecular biology, microbiology or environmental science. Within these specialties, they can find work in the following sectors:
Skills molecular technologists bring to the job
A molecular technologist learns key research skills from their education, and they also bring important soft skills to their workplace. Some skills of effective molecular technologists are:
How to become a molecular technologist
Typically, molecular technologists follow a standard education and training path. Here are the steps you can take to become a molecular technologist:
1. Obtain a degree
Most molecular technologists hold a bachelors degree in biology, molecular biology or a related field of study. Molecular biology is usually the preferred degree, but there are jobs available for those with basic biology degrees. Its a good idea to look into the requirements for the field while youre still in school to gain a better understanding of which degree fits your career path. Acquiring a masters degree or higher level of learning can potentially increase the opportunities available to you as a molecular technologist.
Most colleges and universities offer biology degrees, and many offer specializations suited for a future as a molecular technologist.
2. Gain relevant experience
Many molecular technologists seek internships during their education in order to gain valuable experience prior to graduation. An internship allows you to apply your skills while networking with professionals, which may help with job placement after graduation. You can also add any internships to your resume to show that youve accumulated some experience in the field.
Once youve completed your degree, you can search for full-time work. Some molecular technologists start by working in entry-level laboratory positions as assistants. Assistants help with cleaning and organizing the lab and helping laboratory staff with miscellaneous tasks.
3. Explore certification options
A molecular technologist can find new opportunities with specialized certifications and training on scientific equipment or methods. An employer may offer higher pay or more specialized projects to molecular technologists who hold extra certifications.
4. Seek advancement opportunities
As a molecular technologist advances in their careers, they can find new pathways to apply their skills. Some molecular technologists gain advanced degrees so they can lead research teams or teach at the college level. Others publish books or studies for acknowledgement in the scientific community.
Some molecular technologists advance to the position of molecular biologist, which is more common in non-medical settings. The difference between a biologist and a technologist is that the biologist gathers samples in the field and analyzes the results of the molecular technologists findings using more advanced techniques.
Work environment for molecular technologists
Whether they work in education, medicine or research and development, all molecular technologists spend most of their time in a laboratory setting. This can alternately include working while seated or while on your feet, and it involves carefully adhering to safety protocols regarding equipment and specimens.
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