Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
An entry-level job for technologists usually requires a bachelor's degree in medical technology or life sciences.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 13% (Faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Advancement
After additional education, work experience, or certification, technologists and technicians may specialize in one of many areas of laboratory science, such as immunology, histotechnology, or clinical chemistry. Some medical laboratory technicians advance to technologist positions after gaining experience and additional education. Some colleges have bachelor’s degree programs for medical laboratory technicians to become technologists (often referred to as MLT to MLS programs).
Licenses/Certifications
Some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed. Requirements vary by state and specialty. For specific requirements, contact state departments of health, state boards of occupational licensing, or visit The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.
Median pay: How much do Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians make?
$50,930 Annual Salary
$24.48 per hour

Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

What do Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians do?

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findings
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians

Both technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do. For example, technologists may prepare specimens and perform detailed manual tests, whereas technicians perform routine tests that may be more automated. Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the general supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers.

Technologists in small laboratories perform many types of tests; in large laboratories, they sometimes specialize. The following are examples of types of specialized medical laboratory technologists:

Careers for Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians

  • Biochemistry technologists
  • Blood bank laboratory technicians
  • Blood bank laboratory technologists
  • Blood bank technologists
  • Chief medical technologists
  • Clinical chemistry technologists
  • Clinical laboratory technicians
  • Clinical laboratory technologists
  • Cytogenetic technologists
  • Cytologists
  • Cytotechnologists
  • Hematology technicians
  • Hemodialysis technicians
  • Histologic aides
  • Histologic technicians
  • Histologist technologists
  • Histology technicians
  • Histotechnicians
  • Histotechnologists
  • Immunohematologists
  • Immunohematology technologists
  • Immunology technologists
  • Medical laboratory scientists
  • Medical laboratory technicians
  • Medical laboratory technologists
  • Microbiology technologists
  • Molecular biology technologists
  • Neurology technicians
  • Pathology laboratory technologists
  • Pathology technicians
  • Serology technicians
  • Tissue technologists

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