Medical Technicians operate anaesthetic, cardiac, operating theatre and medical testing equipment, perform and assist with laboratory tests, and fill prescriptions in support of Health Professionals.

For most jobs in this group an Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually required. Pathology Collectors require a Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification as well as registration or licensing.

Tasks

  • operating equipment used in diagnosing and monitoring disorders of the heart, kidneys, nervous system and hearing, and in anaesthesia
  • undertaking and assisting with medical analytical procedures and assisting Anaesthetists and surgical teams
  • recording the electrical activity of the heart, from which the heart rate is measured and pattern and rhythm interpreted
  • preparing and staining slides and tissue sections to study the cells of blood and for histological examination
  • performing diagnostic tests on tissues and body fluids and analysing the chemical constituents of blood, urine, faeces and tissues
  • testing for diseases by looking for the presence of antibodies and the products of immune response in samples
  • setting up, checking and maintaining operating theatres, anaesthetic workstations, life support machines and associated equipment
  • referring prescriptions to Pharmacists and assisting in preparing medications

Job Titles

  • Anaesthetic Technician
  • Cardiac Technician
  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Operating Theatre Technician
  • Pharmacy or Dispensary Technician
  • Pathology or Specimen Collector
  • Other Medical Technicians
  • Anaesthetic Technician

    Prepares and maintains anaesthetic equipment for operating theatres or clinics, and assists Anaesthetists during anaesthetic procedures.

  • Cardiac Technician

    Conducts tests on patients to record heart activity using specialised equipment, recording devices and laboratory instruments in support of Cardiologists and other Medical Practitioners engaged in diagnosing, monitoring and treating heart disease.

    Specialisations: Cardiac Technologist, Electrocardiographic Technician

  • Medical Laboratory Technician (also called Medical Laboratory Technical Officer)

    Performs routine medical laboratory tests and operates diagnostic laboratory equipment under the supervision of Medical Laboratory Scientists and Pathologists. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Operating Theatre Technician

    Prepares and maintains an operating theatre and its equipment, assists the surgical team during operations and provides support to patients in the recovery room.

  • Pharmacy or Dispensary Technician

    Fills and labels patients' prescriptions under the supervision of a Pharmacist. May record details of, place orders for, take stock of, and store medications and medical supplies and deliver them to patients.

  • Pathology or Specimen Collector

    Extracts, collects, labels and preserves blood and other specimens from patients for laboratory analysis.

    Specialisations: Blood Collector

  • Other Medical Technicians

    Includes Audiometrist, Dialysis Technician, Electroencephalographic Technician, Mortuary Technician, Neurophysiological Technician, Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician, Ophthalmic Technician, Perfusionist, Renal Technician, Respiratory Technician, Sleep Technician

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $900 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    very strong
  • Skill Level

    Associate Degree or Diploma
  • Employment Size

    30,200
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    18.8%
  • Female Share

    81.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    61.0%

Find Vacancies

This is a large occupation employing 30,200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Very strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Medical Technicians work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Health Care and Social Assistance; Retail Trade; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Full-time work is fairly common. Full-time workers, on average, work 36.1 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $900 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 37 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200518900
200623600
200723000
200820400
200921300
201026400
201127100
201224900
201331000
201427600
201530200
202039000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsMedical TechniciansAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryMedical TechniciansAll Jobs Average
Full-time61.068.4
Part-time39.031.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)36.140.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance76.3
Retail Trade17.3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services2.2
Manufacturing1.8
Other Industries2.4

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateMedical TechniciansAll Jobs Average
NSW28.731.8
VIC32.325.5
QLD18.219.8
SA7.36.8
WA9.511.2
TAS1.72.0
NT1.11.1
ACT1.21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketMedical TechniciansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.7-5.45.4
20-2410.8-9.99.9
25-3432.8-23.423.4
35-4417.0-21.721.7
45-5419.3-21.121.1
55-597.5-8.78.7
60-647.6-5.95.9
65 and Over3.2-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryMedical TechniciansCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males18.8Males53.6
Females81.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationMedical TechniciansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate5.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree13.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma11.8-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV39.3-18.918.9
Year 1221.4-18.718.7
Years 11 & 108.9-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

For most occupations in this group an Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually required. Pathology Collectors require a Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification as well as registration or licensing.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Medical Technicians who have good people skills, a high attention to detail and are accurate.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Biology

    75% Important

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  2. Chemistry

    75% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

  3. English Language

    72% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Mathematics

    70% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. Customer and Personal Service

    70% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Processing Information

    90% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  2. Interacting With Computers

    89% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  3. Getting Information

    88% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  4. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    88% Important

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  5. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    87% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

Occupational Information Network Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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