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
10.16.2017
QUALIFICATIONS Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Laboratory Technician, with a minimum of 1 year of laboratory experience. Prefer an individual with a demonstrated interest in progressive responsibility and leadership, evidenced by...
10.16.2017
Full-time, Medical Laboratory Scientist/Clinical Laboratory Scientist, ASCP required and experience in hospital lab as a generalist with concentration in chemistry. M-F, 6:30am to 3:00pm, every 3rd weekend and rotating holidays. This position...
10.16.2017
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...
10.16.2017
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...
10.16.2017
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...
10.16.2017
- Laboratory Scientist PRN (25901-25542) Job Description Laboratory Scientist PRN(Job Number: 25901-25542) Work Location: United States-Oklahoma-Edmond-Edmond OUMC Schedule: PRN/Per Diem Job Type: Laboratory Description Essential...
10.16.2017
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,...
10.16.2017
Bachelors degree is required Certification/Licensure/Registration JOB SUMMARY Performs laboratory analysis, evaluates laboratory results and reports results promptly and accurately. Recognizes and solves basic laboratory problems, supervises...
10.16.2017
The Laboratory Scientist, certified will be primarily responsible for the workup of cultures, molecular microbiology testing and specialty lab testing. The Laboratory provides services to all aspects of this Level I trauma center and throughout...
10.16.2017
- Certification Required Medical Laboratory Scientist requirements: MLS ASCP or equivalent. Must have been through a clinical laboratory rotations (accredited). Bachelors of Science and clinical laboratory training culminating in national...
10.16.2017
Medical Laboratory Scientist requirements: MLS ASCP or equivalent. Must have been through a clinical laboratory rotations (accredited). Bachelors of Science and clinical laboratory training culminating in national certification as defined by...
10.16.2017
Medical Laboratory Scientist requirements: MLS ASCP or equivalent. Must have been through a clinical laboratory rotations (accredited). Bachelors of Science and clinical laboratory training culminating in national certification as defined by...
10.16.2017
Medical Laboratory Scientist requirements: MLS ASCP or equivalent. Must have been through a clinical laboratory rotations (accredited). Bachelors of Science and clinical laboratory training culminating in national certification as defined by...
10.16.2017
Medical Laboratory Scientist requirements: MLS ASCP or equivalent. Must have been through a clinical laboratory rotations (accredited). Bachelors of Science and clinical laboratory training culminating in national certification as defined by...
10.16.2017
Medical Laboratory Scientist requirements: MLS ASCP or equivalent. Must have been through a clinical laboratory rotations (accredited). Bachelors of Science and clinical laboratory training culminating in national certification as defined by...
  1. Laboratory Lead Scientist Hammond, LA North Oaks Health System
    QUALIFICATIONS Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Laboratory Technician, with a minimum of 1 year of laboratory experience. Prefer an individual with a demonstrated interest in progressive responsibility and leadership, evidenced by...
  2. MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIST/CLINICAL LABORATORY SCIENTIST Mobile, AL Springhill Medical Center
    Full-time, Medical Laboratory Scientist/Clinical Laboratory Scientist, ASCP required and experience in hospital lab as a generalist with concentration in chemistry. M-F, 6:30am to 3:00pm, every 3rd weekend and rotating holidays. This position...
  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. Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Laboratory Tech Hammond, LA North Oaks Health System
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  5. 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...
  6. Laboratory Scientist PRN Oklahoma City, OK OU Medical Center
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  7. 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,...
  8. Medical Laboratory Scientist MLS-MT Duluth, MN St. Luke's Hospital
    Bachelors degree is required Certification/Licensure/Registration JOB SUMMARY Performs laboratory analysis, evaluates laboratory results and reports results promptly and accurately. Recognizes and solves basic laboratory problems, supervises...
  9. Laboratory Scientist/Certified/UKHC Lexington, KY UK HealthCare
    The Laboratory Scientist, certified will be primarily responsible for the workup of cultures, molecular microbiology testing and specialty lab testing. The Laboratory provides services to all aspects of this Level I trauma center and throughout...
  10. Medical Laboratory Scientist or Technician (MLS or MLT) Montgomery, AL Baptist Health
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  15. Medical Laboratory Scientist or Technician (MLS or MLT) Montgomery, AL Baptist Health
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