What do clinical laboratory personnel do?

Clinical laboratory scientists and clinical laboratory technicians (medical technologists and medical laboratory technicians) perform lab tests to detect, diagnose, and treat diseases. Most clinical laboratory personnel work in hospital laboratories. Many are also employed by private physicians, medical groups, public health and environmental laboratories, research facilities, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies, universities, industrial medical laboratories, molecular diagnostic laboratories, and the armed forces.

What might a clinical laboratory technician do in a workday?

  • Perform laboratory procedures on the fluids, cells, and tissues of the body.
  • Use microscopes, sophisticated precision instruments, and computers.
  • Collect blood specimens.
  • Inoculate culture media to identify bacteria.
  • Monitor the quality of tests and procedures.
  • Report unusual or abnormal results to clinical laboratory scientists or pathologists.

What might a clinical laboratory scientist do in a workday?

  • Perform complex and standard laboratory analysis.
  • Evaluate the effect of a patient’s physiological condition on test results.
  • Confirm test results and provide physicians with data needed to determine the presence, extent, cause and treatment of disease.
  • Design, establish, and monitor quality control programs to ensure accurate test results.
  • Manage financial operations, marketing, and human resources to assure cost-effectiveness and quality of clinical laboratory services.
  • Conduct research for publication and evaluate published studies.
  • Use information management systems to report laboratory data.
  • Evaluate emerging diagnostics, test systems, and interpretive algorithms.
  • Provide education and consultative interactions with members of the health care team, customer service, and patients.

Developing a career as in clinical laboratory science?

With additional education, clinical laboratory scientists and technicians can become specialists in the following areas: clinical chemistry, microbiology, hematology, immunology, blood banking, virology, molecular biology, and laboratory safety.

How much salary do clinical laboratory professionals earn?

  • Clinical Laboratory Technician:  $27,000 - $47,000
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist:  $37,000- $56,000

How do I become a clinical laboratory technician or a clinical laboratory scientist?

Students intending to pursue a clinical laboratory career should prepare by taking the most challenging high school courses available in science, math, and English.

To become a clinical laboratory scientist, students must either have a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science (medical technology) or an acceptable combination of higher education plus laboratory experience.

To become a clinical laboratory technician, an individual must have an associate degree in medical laboratory technology or an acceptable combination of an associate degree and laboratory experience. Individuals seeking to become technicians or laboratory scientists must pass a national certification examination.

Where else can I learn about becoming a clinical laboratory technician or scientist?

Virginia Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
tel: 703-822-6551  /  web: http://www.ascls-va.org

American Medical Technologists
10700 W Higgins Rd, Suite 150 / Rosemont, IL  60018
tel: 847-823-5169  /  web: http://www.americanmedtech.org

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
2025 M St, NW, Suite 800 / Washington, DC  20036
tel:  202-367-1174 / web:  http://www.ascls.org

Educational Institutions in Virginia for Clinical Laboratory Science: