Clinical Laboratory Scientist / Technician - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Clinical Laboratory Scientist / Technician

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Job Description

 

Clinical or medical laboratory technicians are highly trained, precisely skilled laboratory scientists whose duty it is to discover the presence or absence of disease.

They provide the data that physicians need to determine the best treatments for their patients.

Their work does not often place them in positions to be personally involved with patients, but laboratory technicians and technologists play a vital role in the process of providing individualized care.

Clinical laboratory technicians generate data used in identification and treatment of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other health conditions.

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Responsibilities

 

Clinical, or medical, laboratory technicians evaluate the accuracy of test results and interpret them for the physician.

They use state-of-the-art biomedical instrumentation and technology, in conjunction with precise skilled manual techniques to analyze and examine the following laboratory samples:

  • Bodily fluids
  • Tissues and cells
  • Infectious microorganisms
  • Chemical constituents of body fluids
  • Abnormalities in blood clotting
  • Cross-matching of donor blood for transfusions
  • Testing blood for drug levels as a means of measuring treatment efficacy

 

Laboratory technicians (CLT) and medical laboratory technicians (MLT) primarily focus on:

  • The collection, processing and analyzing of biological specimens
  • Performance of laboratory procedures
  • Maintenance of the laboratory instrumentation
  • Relating their findings to common diseases or conditions

 

While medical laboratory scientists (MLS) have more responsibilities, including:

  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Cross-matching and microbiological blood tests
  • Evaluate and interpret laboratory results
  • Data integration and problem-solving
  • Consult with physicians as needed
  • Conduct research
  • Evaluation of new testing methods

 

The difference between the two positions boils down to education. Laboratory technicians need only an associate's degree, while medical laboratory scientists must pursue at least a bachelor's degree.

Medical laboratory scientists have more opportunities to advance into management positions. This rapidly growing field is seeing new advances in areas such as genetic testing.

This includes the rapidly advancing PCR (polymerase chain reaction), or biomarker, technology. Clinical and medical laboratory science professionals will be in greater demand in the coming years.

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Skills

 

Clinical laboratory scientists and technicians both need many of the same skills for success. A strong interest and mastery of the sciences, including chemistry, biology, and microbiology, is key, along with the capacity to work well both alone and as part of a team. 

They're required to have knowledge of key safety practices, biochemical reagents, and standard examinations, and to be an effective communicator, both orally and in writing.

Problems can arise out of nowhere in a laboratory setting, so being able to quickly and logically find solutions is another highly sought-after skill employers look for in candidates.

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Working Conditions

 

The availability of employment opportunities in a clinical laboratory setting varies depending on the geographic region, meaning professionals in field have opportunities for challenging positions in a wide range of arenas.

Clinical laboratory professionals may find work in the following areas:

  • Hospital or clinic laboratories
  • Reference or commercial laboratories
  • Pharmaceutical or chemical industries
  • Public health laboratories
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Forensic and law enforcement laboratories
  • Research and teaching institutions
  • Fertility clinics
  • Cosmetic and food industry

The different work settings mean work hours may vary greatly. Most hospitals and reference laboratories operate 24/7, meaning evening and night shifts as well as weekend and holiday assignments.

This makes it an appealing job for working parents, as there is flexibility in scheduling work shifts. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows laboratory technicians working in the following areas:

 

General medical and surgical hospitals; state, local, and private

50%

Medical and diagnostic laboratories 17%
Offices of physicians 10%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private 5%

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
03.24.2017
Job Details Registered Medical Technologist I Must have and maintain a current Louisiana license as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited university is required. Registered Medical Technologist II Must...
03.24.2017
Job Details Registered Medical Technologist I Must have and maintain a current Louisiana license as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited university is required. Registered Medical Technologist II Must...
03.24.2017
Job Details Registered Medical Technologist I Must have and maintain a current Louisiana license as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited university is required. Registered Medical Technologist II...
08.29.2016
Responsible for the accurate performance of laboratory tests that determine the presence, absence, or cause of disease. Will conduct a full range of tests from the most routine to the most complex with little or no supervision. Responsible for...
03.22.2017
Kootenai Health is currently hiring for Medical Laboratory Scientist to work in our state of the art facility. Kootenai Health's Laboratory & Pathology Department provides a full range of diagnostic laboratory services that support acute,...
03.22.2017
Kootenai Health is currently hiring for Medical Laboratory Scientist to work in our state of the art facility. Kootenai Health's Laboratory & Pathology Department provides a full range of diagnostic laboratory services that support acute,...
03.24.2017
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Education: Bachelors degree in medical technology, biology, or other science related field or eligible; successful completion of a Clinical rotation in an approved program that qualifies for ASCP certification or...
03.24.2017
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Education: Bachelors degree in medical technology, biology, or other science related field or eligible; successful completion of a Clinical rotation in an approved program that qualifies for ASCP certification or...
03.24.2017
This generalist position will work a 7 nights on/ 7 nights off rotation. Performs standard laboratory procedures using established and approved protocol that require a broad exercise of independent judgment and responsibility with minimal...
03.24.2017
Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 4,700 employees, and 1,100 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare operates two-acute care hospitals, the Cape's...
03.24.2017
Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 4,700 employees, and 1,100 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare operates two-acute care hospitals, the Cape's...
01.23.2017
Become a member of our team a team that is changing medicine and changing lives. The Department of Pathology at the University of Iowa Health Care is currently accepting applications for a Medical Laboratory Technician/Medical Laboratory...
02.10.2017
Become a member of our team a team that is changing medicine and changing lives. The Department of Pathology at the University of Iowa Health Care is currently accepting applications for a Medical Laboratory Technician/Medical Laboratory...
07.13.2016
MLT: Under general supervision, provides waived and moderately complex clinical lab testing and analysis on biological specimens to provide information used in the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of disease. Will use a variety of procedures...
02.01.2017
The Laboratory Technician is responsible for specimen handling and processing, test order entry, clerical duties, greeting of visitors, and assisting technologists as needed.
  1. Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Laboratory Tech Hammond, LA North Oaks Health System
    Job Details Registered Medical Technologist I Must have and maintain a current Louisiana license as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited university is required. Registered Medical Technologist II Must...
  2. Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Laboratory Tech Hammond, LA North Oaks Health System
    Job Details Registered Medical Technologist I Must have and maintain a current Louisiana license as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited university is required. Registered Medical Technologist II Must...
  3. Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Laboratory Tech Hammond, LA North Oaks Health System
    Job Details Registered Medical Technologist I Must have and maintain a current Louisiana license as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited university is required. Registered Medical Technologist II...
  4. Laboratory Medical Technologist or Clinical Lab Scientist Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Responsible for the accurate performance of laboratory tests that determine the presence, absence, or cause of disease. Will conduct a full range of tests from the most routine to the most complex with little or no supervision. Responsible for...
  5. Medical Laboratory Scientist, Registered Coeur d'Alene, ID Kootenai Health
    Kootenai Health is currently hiring for Medical Laboratory Scientist to work in our state of the art facility. Kootenai Health's Laboratory & Pathology Department provides a full range of diagnostic laboratory services that support acute,...
  6. Medical Laboratory Scientist, Registered Coeur d'Alene, ID Kootenai Health
    Kootenai Health is currently hiring for Medical Laboratory Scientist to work in our state of the art facility. Kootenai Health's Laboratory & Pathology Department provides a full range of diagnostic laboratory services that support acute,...
  7. Medical Laboratory Scientist St. Paul, MN Regions Hospital
    MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Education: Bachelors degree in medical technology, biology, or other science related field or eligible; successful completion of a Clinical rotation in an approved program that qualifies for ASCP certification or...
  8. Medical Laboratory Scientist St. Paul, MN Regions Hospital
    MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Education: Bachelors degree in medical technology, biology, or other science related field or eligible; successful completion of a Clinical rotation in an approved program that qualifies for ASCP certification or...
  9. Clinical Laboratory Scientist St. Cloud, MN CentraCare Health
    This generalist position will work a 7 nights on/ 7 nights off rotation. Performs standard laboratory procedures using established and approved protocol that require a broad exercise of independent judgment and responsibility with minimal...
  10. Laboratory Support Technician - Clinical Hyannis, MA Cape Cod Healthcare
    Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 4,700 employees, and 1,100 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare operates two-acute care hospitals, the Cape's...
  11. Laboratory Support Technician - Clinical Hyannis, MA Cape Cod Healthcare
    Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 4,700 employees, and 1,100 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare operates two-acute care hospitals, the Cape's...
  12. MEDICAL LAB SCIENTIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    Become a member of our team a team that is changing medicine and changing lives. The Department of Pathology at the University of Iowa Health Care is currently accepting applications for a Medical Laboratory Technician/Medical Laboratory...
  13. MEDICAL LAB SCIENTIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    Become a member of our team a team that is changing medicine and changing lives. The Department of Pathology at the University of Iowa Health Care is currently accepting applications for a Medical Laboratory Technician/Medical Laboratory...
  14. MEDICAL LAB SCIENTIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    MLT: Under general supervision, provides waived and moderately complex clinical lab testing and analysis on biological specimens to provide information used in the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of disease. Will use a variety of procedures...
  15. Laboratory Technician Indianapolis, IN Eskenazi Health
    The Laboratory Technician is responsible for specimen handling and processing, test order entry, clerical duties, greeting of visitors, and assisting technologists as needed.