I think one aspect to consider is the region you may be applying in. I live and work as a Medical Technologist in the Greater Boston area, and BSMT w/ASCP certification is the hiring norm. Much of this has to do with the fact that Northeastern University once offered a BSMT four plus 1 year bachelor in Medical Technology and rotation program and many graduates are still tenured in the profession here. Additionally, UMASS Lowell offers a BS and MS Medical Technology, as does University of Rhode Island, Providence. So the area is saturated with highly educated Medical Technologists. I work with only two MLTs (ASCP) and they were hired many years ago. The minimum hiring requirements where I work do not even consider MLT as a minimum requirement.
That said, I have worked as an MT in a regional hospital in Vermont, where an MLT could potentially be hired into the same position, at a lower pay grade. While they consistently sought to hire recent grads from the University of Vermont BSMT program, those grads were chosing to go elsewhere, specifically big city hospitals.
I earned my BSMT at Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY - and surprisingly, most of the hospitals where I did my clinical rotations hired both MTs and MLTs with an *emphasis* on MLTs in one hospital, because they felt they had a better chance of retaining an MLT than an MT, given their proximity to NYC and many large city hospitals.
So, my advice, is to spend some time on the internet; perusing the websites of many hospitals. See who's hiring MLTs and concentrate your efforts there. I think the bottom line is supply and demand, hospitals with a steady stream of BSMTs available to them will most likely chose them over MLTs.
With regard to AMT/HEW, I think the field will continue to see these credentials phased out as older techs that hold them retire. I have to agree with Glenn; its distressing to me that although you have learned through experience with laboratory professionals both through your contact with them in your employment search and here in this forum, that persuing ASCP certification will give you the credentialing that the industry is basically demanding for employment, yet you refuse to take it. You have done the preliminary groundwork for the exam and hopefully your AMT coursework has prepared you -- if not, there are plenty of resources out there to help you. You cannot expect laboratory managers to bend thier requirements, which are most likely not based on discrimination but from their own experience with AMT and what thier pathologists, Medical Director and Physicians are expecting of them -- as Medical Technologists --- we are moving toward one standard -- ASCP has always been the gold standard. I say go for the gold.
S La Fave, BSMT (ASCP-MLS)cm