Students in the Medical Laboratory Technician program learn to perform routine clinical laboratory tests such as hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, serology/immunology, coagulation, molecular and other emerging diagnostics. They develop communication skills, as this career requires frequent interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service, and patient education. A combination of fundamental laboratory techniques and clinical experience prepares graduates for work in laboratories serving the health care sector. Graduates are prepared to complete the ASCP Board of Certification to become certified Medical Laboratory Technicians.

Graduates are prepared to complete the ASCP Board of Certification to become certified MLT.

Program Outcomes 2023

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Are you analytical, accurate, and interested in science, technology, and health care? The Medical Lab Tech program may be a good fit for you.

    Students entering the Medical Laboratory Technician program should:

    • Have good reading, math, and comprehension skills.
    • Be in good physical and emotional health.
    • Be flexible, adaptable, and enjoy working with people.
    • Be self-confident, independent, and a self-directed learner.
    • Meet Wisconsin Caregiver Law requirements.

    Program Basics

    • Associate degree, requiring a minimum of two years to complete.
    • Financial aid is available to those that qualify.
    • August program start date; however, some classes will be available in January.
    • Qualified students may take some courses immediately upon program acceptance.
    • Students must achieve a grade of a C or better in each course of the program curriculum to be eligible to progress.
    • Current Healthcare Provider CPR certification must be maintained throughout the clinical experience portion of the MLT Program.
    • Sign off as qualified in Essential Functional Abilities after acceptance to the program and prior to clinical placement.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) 23-24

    Cost of Attendance (COA) is a total of all the usual expenses of being a student. The COA sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive.

    Category Amount
    Tuition and Fees $4,713
    Living Expenses (Housing and Food) $9,614
    Books and Supplies $2,061
    Personal Expenses $2,245
    Transportation $2,007
    Charger Tech 360 Fee $600
    Loan Fees $83
    Yearly Total (Living Away from Home) $21,323
    1 Semester Total (Living Away from Home) $10,662

    Based on Wisconsin Residents.

    Approximate school costs are for a full-time (12 credit) student over a semester span of 17 weeks.

    Fees are legislated by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

    These costs are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech (email, or mail to Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809)
    • Assessment or equivalent (only one is required). Students who do not meet one of these may be conditionally accepted to the program:
    • Schedule an Admissions Meeting - If you need assistance, call Student Services at 608.822.2354
    • Admissions Preference Policy

      Priority for program acceptance will be given in this order until May 1, 2024:

      1. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Residents (permanent address is in one of Southwest Tech’s 30 school districts the College serves) Southwest Tech District Information
      2. Non-District State Residents
      3. Out-of-State Residents

    Additional Health Requirements

    During their first semester course work after acceptance into the MLT program, students must complete the required Background Information Disclosure on MySWTC.

    In the student's final year of the MLT program, an application for clinical placement is made and the following requirements must be completed at that time:

    Students should see the MLT Student Handbook 2023

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics
    • Computers
    • Customer and Personal Service

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Practice laboratory safety and regulatory compliance
    • Collect and process biological specimens
    • Monitor and evaluate quality control in the laboratory
    • Apply modern clinical methodologies including problem solving and troubleshooting according to predetermined criteria
    • Correlate laboratory results to diagnosis of clinical conditions and/or diseases
    • Perform information processing in the clinical laboratory
    • Model professional behaviors, communication, ethics, and appearance

    Graduation, Exam and Employment Results

    The BOC Exam Placement Results show how graduates of the Southwest Tech Medical Laboratory Technician program fared compared to the national average over the past few years. Employment data for SWTC MLT graduates is summarized in the Graduate Success Report .

    Technical Skill Attainment (TSA)

    This TSA scoring guide will be used to document your attainment of technical program outcomes for the Medical Laboratory Technician Degree. To meet the requirements on the scoring guide, you will be asked to draw upon the skills and concepts that have been developed throughout the program and are necessary for successful employment in your field. Results will be used to inspire continual improvement of teaching and learning in Wisconsin Technical College System. In addition, this assessment will provide feedback to you about your performance.

  • Career Opportunities
  • Medical Laboratory Technician - Performs routine laboratory tests on blood, urine, and body fluids to help in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury in:

    • Hospital
    • Clinical laboratory
    • Reference laboratory

    Laboratory Technician/Research Assistant - Performs routine and special laboratory tests in:

    • Laboratory settings: research, industrial, environmental and food science labs.

    With additional training and/or work experience, graduates may find employment as:

    • Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Medical Technologist)
    • Medical Microbiologist
    • Laboratory Computer Sales or Training Specialist
    • Laboratory Sales/Product Representative
    • Instrument Service Technician
    • Quality Control Officer
    • Biomedical Instrument Specialist
    • Clinical Research Associate
    • Safety Officer
    • Laboratory Science Instructor/Trainer

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Additional Info
  • Essential Functions for Medical Laboratory Technicians

    Students enrolling in and graduating from a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program must meet the essential function requirements of the academic program and the corresponding MLT profession. They must complete programs consisting of academic study, simulated laboratory practice, and clinical laboratory experience. Students must be able to contribute to the progress of their peers, complete tasks assigned by instructors and clinical supervisors, and provide services that contribute to the well-being of patients. The essential functions of the MLT are as follows:

    Observation / Visual

    The MLT student must be able to:

    • Observe laboratory demonstrations of specimens, techniques, and instruments.
    • Characterize the color, consistency, and clarity of biological specimens or reagents.
    • Use a microscope to discriminate among nuanced differences in structure and color, including hue, shading, and intensity.
    • Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on a video monitor.

    Movement / Motor Function

    The MLT student must be able to:

    • Move freely and safely about a laboratory.
    • Perform continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting or standing over several hours.
    • Travel to clinical laboratory sites for practical experience, which may be over 45 miles from campus.
    • Reach laboratory benchtops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds, or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
    • Maneuver phlebotomy and culture collection equipment to collect laboratory specimens from patients.
    • Operate laboratory equipment (pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures.
    • Use an electronic keyboard to operate laboratory instruments and calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit data.

    Communication Skills

    The MLT student must be able to:

    • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (textbooks, journals articles, handbooks, and procedure manuals).
    • Follow oral and/or written instructions to correctly perform laboratory test procedures.
    • Effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory test orders and specimen collection instructions.
    • Communicate with instructors, peers, laboratory staff, and other health care professionals orally and in recorded format.


    The MLT student must:

    • Possess the intellectual skills: comprehension, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and self-analysis.
    • Exercise good judgment to recognize errors and take appropriate corrective actions.


    The MLT student must:

    • Organize work and manage the use of time in order to complete technical tasks within realistic time limits.
    • Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively use his or her intellect to exercise appropriate judgment in a distracting environment under stressful circumstances.
    • Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
    • Follow established safety procedures to minimize the risk of injury to self and co-workers.
    • Adapt to working with unpleasant biological specimens.
    • Be supportive of peers and healthcare professionals to promote a team approach to learning, task completion, problem-solving, and patient care.
    • Be honest and forthright about errors.
    • Be able to critically evaluate his or her performance, accept constructive criticism, and be responsible for improving performance.
    • Be compassionate and ethical.
    • Possess the intellectual skills: comprehension, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and self-analysis.

    Students with disabilities should consult with Southwest Tech's Disability Services regarding reasonable accommodations needed to perform successfully in this program.

  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.

    Medical Laboratory Technician Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title
    Challenge Exam
    Challenge Exam
    10-513-110Basic Lab SkillsYes
    Work Experience Documentation
    Requires demonstrated recent work experience
    10-513-113QA Lab MathYes
    10-513-115Basic Immunology ConceptsYes
    10-801-136English Composition 1Yes
    CLEP Test - College Composition
    10-801-196Oral/Interpersonal CommunicationYes
    10-809-172Introduction to Diversity StudiesYes
    10-809-188Developmental PsychologyYes
    CLEP Test - Human Growth and Development
  • Accreditation