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
01.30.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 21428) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: PRN (As Needed) Shift: Evenings and Night shifts POSITION SUMMARY The Medical...
01.30.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 21933) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: PRN (As Needed) Shift: Evenings and Night shifts POSITION SUMMARY The Medical...
02.24.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 22394) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Nights 9:00pm - 7:00am; e/o...
04.04.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 24227) 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 - 8:30am; rotating...
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: 24690) 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...
01.12.2017
Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 21269) 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...
04.28.2017
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 and...
04.28.2017
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...
04.26.2017
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...
04.26.2017
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...
04.26.2017
This is a generalist position that will work throughout Blood Bank, Hematology, Chemistry and Microbiology. Performs standard laboratory procedures using established and approved protocol that require a broad exercise of independent judgment...
04.28.2017
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...
  1. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 21428) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: PRN (As Needed) Shift: Evenings and Night shifts POSITION SUMMARY The Medical...
  2. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 21933) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: PRN (As Needed) Shift: Evenings and Night shifts POSITION SUMMARY The Medical...
  3. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 22394) Med Tech/Med Scientist UnityPoint Health - Trinity Rock Island Campus FTE: 1.0 (40 hours per week) eligible for full-time benefits Shift: Nights 9:00pm - 7:00am; e/o...
  4. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 24227) 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 - 8:30am; rotating...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 24690) 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...
  8. 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...
  9. Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Medical Technician/Medical Laboratory Scientist (Job ID: 21269) 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...
  10. 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 and...
  11. 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...
  12. Medical Laboratory Technologist or Clinical Lab Scientist 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...
  13. 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...
  14. Clinical Laboratory Scientist St. Cloud, MN CentraCare Health
    This is a generalist position that will work throughout Blood Bank, Hematology, Chemistry and Microbiology. Performs standard laboratory procedures using established and approved protocol that require a broad exercise of independent judgment...
  15. 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...