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
04.13.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 24688) 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...
04.13.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 24689) 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...
04.13.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 24691) 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...
05.01.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 25266) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: PRN (As Needed) Shift: Evenings and Night shifts POSITION SUMMARY The Medical...
06.28.2017
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...
06.28.2017
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...
06.23.2017
Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 26701) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Nights, 8:00pm - 6:30am; e/o weekends and holiday...
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...
06.26.2017
Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 26700) 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...
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...
06.28.2017
MERCY MEDICAL CENTER-NORTH IOWA Medical Technologist (pay range $23.69 - $35.66) JOB SUMMARY Performs laboratory testing, verifying results using knowledge of principles, QC, and instruments and interprets results based on physiology....
06.28.2017
- 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 Description Essential Function/Duties:...
06.28.2017
The Laboratory Scientist will be primarily responsible for the processing and workup of blood cultures and other cultures on [UPDATE] shift. The Laboratory provides services to all aspects of this Level I trauma center and throughout the...
06.28.2017
Bachelors degree is required BLS certification within 90 days of start Certification/Licensure/Registration JOB SUMMARY The Medical Laboratory Scientist performs laboratory analyses, evaluates laboratory results and reports results....
  1. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 24688) 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: 24689) 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. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 24691) 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...
  4. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 25266) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: PRN (As Needed) Shift: Evenings and Night shifts POSITION SUMMARY The Medical...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 26701) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Nights, 8:00pm - 6:30am; e/o weekends and holiday...
  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 Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 26700) 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...
  11. Clinical Lab Scientist - PRN Livingston, MT Livingston HealthCare
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  12. Medical Laboratory Technician/Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist Mason City, IA Mercy Medical Center North Iowa
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  13. Laboratory Scientist PRN Oklahoma City, OK OU Medical Center
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  14. Laboratory Scientist - Micro Lexington, KY UK HealthCare
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