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
06.28.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 27548) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Evenings, 2:00pm - 10:30pm; e/o...
07.12.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 27976) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Evenings, 2:00pm - 10:30pm; e/o...
08.18.2017
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 have...
08.18.2017
Schedule: Varying hours as needed Summary: The Medical Laboratory Technologist or Clinical Lab Scientist collects, prepares, and handles specimens for analysis from patients of all ages, and performs laboratory testings to aid in the...
08.18.2017
The University of Kentucky Clinical Laboratory is looking for a full time laboratory scientist in the Special Chemistry Laboratory-Referred Testing section. The successful candidate will be responsible for obtaining IATA shipping certification,...
08.18.2017
The Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist is responsible for accurately and efficiently performing laboratory skills and position responsibilities as defined by individual job specific expectations. Communication, computer, and...
08.18.2017
INTERNAL - DEPARTMENT ONLY POSITION. 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...
06.23.2017
Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 26766) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Evenings, 1:00pm - 11:30pm; e/o weekends and holiday...
06.26.2017
Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 26698) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Evenings, 1:00pm - 11:30pm; e/o weekends and holiday...
07.24.2017
Full / Part Time: Part-Time Location: Worcester, Massachusetts Regular/Temporary: Regular Like any organization, it's the people that make the difference- Are you ready for the challenge? Do You Know Who We Are? We are Baystate Health-...
08.18.2017
Status: Per Diem Schedule: Varying hours as needed Summary: The Medical Laboratory Technologist or Clinical Lab Scientist collects, prepares, and handles specimens for analysis from patients of all ages, and performs laboratory testings to...
08.18.2017
The Medical Laboratory Scientist/Certified will be responsible for performing clinical laboratory testing in a fast-paced academic medical center. The Laboratory provides services to all aspects of this Level I trauma center and throughout the...
08.18.2017
The Medical Laboratory Scientist/Certified will be responsible for performing clinical laboratory testing in a fast-paced academic medical center. The Laboratory provides services to all aspects of this Level I trauma center and throughout the...
08.18.2017
The Medical Laboratory Scientist/Certified will be responsible for performing clinical laboratory testing in a fast-paced academic medical center. The Laboratory provides services to all aspects of this Level I trauma center and throughout the...
04.28.2017
Performs highly complex diagnostic procedures on clinical samples. ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS, DUTIES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Obtains blood samples using appropriate venipuncture and/or capillary puncture techniques and instructs others in the...
  1. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 27548) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Evenings, 2:00pm - 10:30pm; e/o...
  2. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 27976) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Evenings, 2:00pm - 10:30pm; e/o...
  3. Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Laboratory Tech Hammond, LA North Oaks Health System
    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 have...
  4. Medical Laboratory Technologist or Clinical Lab Scientist Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Schedule: Varying hours as needed Summary: The Medical Laboratory Technologist or Clinical Lab Scientist collects, prepares, and handles specimens for analysis from patients of all ages, and performs laboratory testings to aid in the...
  5. Laboratory Scientist/Certified/UKHC Lexington, KY UK HealthCare
    The University of Kentucky Clinical Laboratory is looking for a full time laboratory scientist in the Special Chemistry Laboratory-Referred Testing section. The successful candidate will be responsible for obtaining IATA shipping certification,...
  6. MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENTIST Greenville, SC St. Francis Hospital
    The Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist is responsible for accurately and efficiently performing laboratory skills and position responsibilities as defined by individual job specific expectations. Communication, computer, and...
  7. Medical Laboratory Scientist, Registered Coeur d'Alene, ID Kootenai Health
    INTERNAL - DEPARTMENT ONLY POSITION. 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...
  8. Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 26766) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Evenings, 1:00pm - 11:30pm; e/o weekends and holiday...
  9. Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 26698) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Evenings, 1:00pm - 11:30pm; e/o weekends and holiday...
  10. Medical Laboratory Scientist I Springfield, MA Baystate Health
    Full / Part Time: Part-Time Location: Worcester, Massachusetts Regular/Temporary: Regular Like any organization, it's the people that make the difference- Are you ready for the challenge? Do You Know Who We Are? We are Baystate Health-...
  11. Laboratory Medical Technologist or Clinical Lab Scientist PRN Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Status: Per Diem Schedule: Varying hours as needed Summary: The Medical Laboratory Technologist or Clinical Lab Scientist collects, prepares, and handles specimens for analysis from patients of all ages, and performs laboratory testings to...
  12. Medical Laboratory Scientist/Cert/UKHC Lexington, KY UK HealthCare
    The Medical Laboratory Scientist/Certified will be responsible for performing clinical laboratory testing in a fast-paced academic medical center. The Laboratory provides services to all aspects of this Level I trauma center and throughout the...
  13. Medical Laboratory Scientist/Cert/UKHC Lexington, KY UK HealthCare
    The Medical Laboratory Scientist/Certified will be responsible for performing clinical laboratory testing in a fast-paced academic medical center. The Laboratory provides services to all aspects of this Level I trauma center and throughout the...
  14. Medical Laboratory Scientist/Cert/UKHC Lexington, KY UK HealthCare
    The Medical Laboratory Scientist/Certified will be responsible for performing clinical laboratory testing in a fast-paced academic medical center. The Laboratory provides services to all aspects of this Level I trauma center and throughout the...
  15. Clinical Lab Scientist - PRN Livingston, MT Livingston HealthCare
    Performs highly complex diagnostic procedures on clinical samples. ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS, DUTIES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Obtains blood samples using appropriate venipuncture and/or capillary puncture techniques and instructs others in the...