9 High-paying MLT Travel Jobs (With Requirements and Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 23, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Whether you want more money or better travel opportunities, working as a traveling medical lab technician may be ideal for you. There are many high-paying occupations to pursue as you transition into this lucrative field. Learning about some of the different specialized roles can help you identify a job that most closely aligns with your career goals and financial aspirations. In this article, we discuss what a travel MLT job is and what the requirements are for those positions, including a list of nine high-paying MLT travel jobs for you to consider and essential skills to help you succeed.

Related: What Does a Medical Laboratory Technician Do?

What is a travel MLT?

A travel MLT, or medical laboratory technician, is a clinical professional who receives temporary work assignments from their employer or a staffing agency. These individuals travel to different clinical labs and medical facilities that are short-staffed and often cater to an underserved community. Travel MLTs usually stay for a limited amount of time before moving on to the next facility.

Like a normal MLT, they primarily focus on analyzing human biological samples and then reporting their findings to the physician they're supporting. Their results help the doctor make accurate diagnoses and provide patients with accurate treatment plans. Because there's a high demand for traveling MLTs, they often earn good wages and the facility they're traveling to usually pays for their housing and food.

Requirements for MLT travel jobs

Working in most MLT travel jobs requires at least a bachelor's degree in an applicable medical field. Some of the preferred academic areas of study may include microbiology, biology, immunology, clinical chemistry, clinical laboratory science and molecular biology. Your specialization may also determine the certifications and licenses to obtain. Typically, employers require that you have your documentation, occupation health records and testing results. At least one year of experience as a medical laboratory technician is also an essential prequalification if you decide to transition into a traveling MLT.

9 high-paying MLT travel jobs

Here's a list of nine MLT travel jobs that pay more than $55,000 that you can pursue. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

1. Dialysis technician

National average salary: $58,408 per year

Primary duties: A dialysis technician is a medical specialist who operates a dialysis machine, a tool that purifies a patient's blood when their kidneys are not functioning optimally. These professionals monitor the condition of a patient undergoing dialysis treatment, making sure the machine is operating safely. They make adjustments to the fluid flow rate as necessary. Because they work so closely with their patients, these professionals require empathy and a deep understanding of the patient's unique health condition. Some of their other duties include:

  • Assembling the dialysis equipment to ensure it's operating properly

  • Monitoring the condition of the dialysis patient

  • Ensuring that the dialysis machine is clean and sterile for use

Read more: Learn About Being a Dialysis Technician

2. Cytotechnologist

National average salary: $65,685 per year

Primary duties: A cytotechnologist is a professional who studies cells by placing them on a slide and viewing them under a microscope. The primary purpose of this practice is to identify any cellular discrepancies or abnormalities. Their research helps to uncover potential diseases and other cellular afflictions like cancer, bacterial infections and viruses. They might also use their knowledge to detect biological details in the cells so they can identify and prevent diseases before they fully form. Some of their other duties include:

  • Using microscopes to examine cells

  • Determining if cells are normal or abnormal

  • Detecting unusual changes in human cells

  • Helping enhance the diagnostic process

  • Writing reports about their findings

3. Pathologist assistant

National average salary: $71,893 per year

Primary duties: A pathologist assistant works under the guidance of a professional pathologist to examine and process tissue samples. These individuals may perform autopsies and forensics on human bodies, while their colleagues perform the surgery. Many of these professionals work in locations like hospitals, morgues, forensic labs and pathology labs. They also prepare tissue samples for photographic purposes. Some of their other duties include:

  • Collecting and submitting tissue samples for testing

  • Examining body parts after the surgeon removes them

  • Conducting postmortem evaluations and examinations

  • Performing X-rays on organs and specimens

Read more: Learn About Being a Pathology Assistant

4. Lab manager

National average salary: $72,777 per year

Primary duties: A lab manager, or laboratory manager, oversees the operations of a lab and makes certain that personnel are following safety guidelines. They support the needs of their team and perform managerial tasks like ordering supplies, setting employee schedules and training new technicians and assistants. Lab managers require exceptional organization, multitasking and interpersonal skills so they can connect with their colleagues and complete all of their work in a timely manner. Some of their other duties include:

  • Managing the waste and disposal process of tissue samples

  • Ensuring that the lab is stocked with necessary supplies

  • Implementing specialized software for lab personnel to use

  • Making certain that employees follow strict safety and health protocols

  • Developing solutions to problems that arise in the lab

5. Histology manager

National average salary: $76,954 per year

Primary duties: A histology manager studies the microscopic structure of human tissue samples. They help with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases by transforming tissue samples into microscopic slides that pathologists examine for research and diagnostic purposes. These professionals oversee and manage histology technicians, trainees and lab personnel, helping them learn the practices and procedures of the occupation. Some of their other duties include:

  • Dying or staining the tissue samples so it's easier to see the abnormalities

  • Processing the collected tissue samples for proper preservation procedures

  • Using cryostat and microtome tools to cut tissue samples

  • Preparing very thin slices of organic tissue from animals, humans and plants

6. Anatomic pathology manager

National average salary: $82,034 per year

Primary duties: An anatomic pathology manager oversees the operations and technical activities in an anatomic pathology lab. These individuals maintain the physical integrity of tissue samples and specimens for accurate testing. They manage the clinical lab and write reports about the biopsy results. They also oversee blood and plasma collection processes at blood banks and sometimes testify in court using lab results as evidence. Some of their other duties include:

  • Using their test results to provide physicians with informed recommendations

  • Providing support to different technical lab area supervisors, including testing personnel

  • Ensuring that lab personnel follow local, state and federal regulations

  • Making certain that lab personnel perform their tasks to quality standards

  • Monitoring operating costs to ensure they remain within the allotted budget

7. Medical technologist

National average salary: $90,573 per year

Primary duties: A medical technologist analyzes biological tissue samples to diagnose, treat and prevent a wide variety of diseases. They prepare samples for examination and then draft reports to highlight and explain their findings. These professionals can perform their duties in a variety of environments, such as medical labs, hospitals or private medical agencies. Medical technologists use specialized procedures that help them gather accurate results. Some of their other duties include:

  • Preparing a diverse range of biological testing samples

  • Calculating the number of cells and microorganisms in a sample

  • Identifying if there are any traces of drugs or chemicals in a sample

  • Generating electronic reports of findings to show physicians and lab managers

  • Calibrating lab equipment to ensure it's working safely and properly

Read more: Learn About Being a Medical Technologist

8. Infusion registered nurse

National average salary: $95,102 per year

Primary duties: An infusion registered nurse, or infusion nurse, specializes in administering fluids and medications to patients using intravenous (IV) lines. They make certain their patients have the proper IV treatment as prescribed by the physician. These nurses also manage the technical equipment, like arterial catheters, and they monitor the patient's physical reaction to the intravenous therapy to check for any potential complications. Some of their other duties include:

  • Training nurses on how to perform intravenous care properly

  • Performing various infusions, like blood, steroids and electrolytes

  • Watching a patient's IV lines to ensure there are no adverse reactions

  • Collaborating with physicians to develop a treatment plan for the patient

9. Lab director

National average salary: $108,543 per year

Primary duties: A lab director oversees the activities and operations of the lab. They delegate responsibilities to lab personnel each day, ensuring they complete their work in a timely manner. Their duties are vast, such as creating reports, managing staff, examining collected data and serving as the primary liaison between the lab and other internal and external parties. These professionals enforce lab rules and regulations to maintain a safe and compliant work environment. Some of their other duties include:

  • Developing and implementing strategies to improve the value of the lab

  • Leading the lab and employees when faced with challenging situations

  • Setting cultural and professional expectations for lab personnel

  • Gathering funding to continue important scientific programs

  • Managing and monitoring the financial performance and condition of the lab

Skills for MLT travel jobs

Here are some of the most important technical and soft skills needed for an MLT travel job:

  • Phlebotomy: This is an essential skill that enables traveling MLT professionals to draw blood from a patient's arm safely. This is one of the most common tasks that you can expect to perform in most positions.

  • Occupational safety and health: Following strict lab protocols and guidelines helps to ensure your safety and health. This is important because MLTs often handle bodily fluids and biological matter, so it's important to protect themselves from potential contamination.

  • Laboratory testing: Testing specimens is a common task that traveling MLTs perform. It's important because it ensures they produce accurate results for the clinical physician to use and make a proper diagnosis.

  • Lab equipment handling: Most professionals in the field handle a diverse range of lab equipment, like needles, beakers, tubes, microscopes and vials. Knowing how to use, calibrate and maintain these tools properly ensures that they last for a longer time.

  • Communication and teamwork: Most jobs in the medical industry focus heavily on collaborating with other skilled professionals to generate the desired result. Traveling MLT professionals require teamwork and communication skills so they can integrate into a new lab dynamic.

  • Problem-solving: Sometimes unexpected situations arise during an examination, such as a sample getting contaminated or a piece of equipment malfunctions. Under these conditions, having problem-solving skills enables the MLT professional to handle these circumstances with greater ease.

  • Research: Being able to perform practical research methods is crucial because it helps the professional gather meaningful and accurate information about their samples and findings.

  • Attention to detail: When an MLT examines a sample, having attention to detail helps them to identify abnormalities and other biological anomalies.

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