So, you want to be a Medical Laboratory Scientist (Professional)?
Keep reading since you’ll learn the following:
> Importance of Medical Laboratory Science;
> What is laboratory science?
> What do laboratory professionals do?
> Is laboratory science right for me?
> What is the job outlook?
> Where do I apply?
> What’s next?
What is laboratory science?
Medical (Clinical) Laboratory Science is a crucial piece of the healthcare field that not only impacts the health of every individual, it often saves lives! Laboratory Science provides a complete picture of a patient’s health by performing and analyzing diagnostic tests on blood, body fluids, tissues, cells. They also assist in the interpretation of laboratory results. Without laboratory science professionals and the precise, diagnostic information provided, answers to life-and-death healthcare decisions would often not be possible. An estimated 60% to 70% of diagnoses and/or treatments are based on lab tests, thus, taking out the unnecessary guesswork.
What do laboratory professionals do?
Most medical laboratory professionals work in hospitals but some are employed by independent laboratories, physicians’ offices, and clinics. These professionals perform tests that generate accurate laboratory data, aiding in detecting cancer, heart attacks, diabetes and the identification of bacteria or viruses that cause infections.
They also work with high-precision lab equipment and establish quality assurance programs to monitor and ensure the accuracy of test results. In addition, medical laboratory professionals have the option to specialize in many of the different areas such as clinical chemistry, microbiology, immunohematology, immunology, cytotechnology, and molecular biology.
Is laboratory science right for me?
This field is perfect if you have a strong interest in science, specifically biology and chemistry. If you are a self-
motivated, detail-oriented, team player who works well under pressure and enjoys analytical problem-solving challenges, then this is the right field for you. These professionals find great satisfaction in their work, knowing that they are helping others and are saving lives. Most medical laboratory professionals, often call med techs, work regular business hours, although some work evening and weekend hours to accommodate hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
What is the job outlook?
Currently, there is a shortage in many parts of the country guaranteeing employment (average placement rate of 90%) and higher salaries for graduates (dependent on location). This profession is growing much faster than most occupations and will increase by 14 percent through the year 2026.
Medical Laboratory Technician (2 Years)
Minimum Degree: Associates
Salary Range: $35,715 – $63,541*
Medical Laboratory Scientist (4 to 5 years)
Minimum Degree: Bachelors
Salary Range: $53,112 – $108,320*
*It’s an AVERAGE range in the US. Salaries vary depending on the location.
Where do I apply?
Degrees from schools with nationally recognized accreditations will make you more competitive as a job candidate.
Consider looking into organizations such as:
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) – https://www.naacls.org/Find-a-Program.aspx
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) – https://www.caahep.org/
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) – https://www.abhes.org/
In addition to your completed programs and degree(s) you may want to consider:
- Completing an internship (this helps to be more competitive following graduation, but it is not available through every program, so keep this in mind when deciding where to apply)
- Obtaining a national certification such as American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) – https://www.ascp.org/content or American Medical Technologist (AMT) – https://www.americanmedtech.org/
- Licensure by the state may also be required and also vary depending on specialty.
Thanks for reading this article! I would like to let you know that we operate the country’s largest members-only groups on social media platforms. You’re welcome to join:
Facebook – Medical Laboratory Scientists – MLS/MLT(ASCP), AMT, AAB, LinkedIn – Medical Laboratory Scientists
If you enjoyed this blog post, share it with a friend! Also, what other ideas can you add to this list that I may have not mentioned? Feel free to leave a comment.
Opportunities are also available to us in the food/ agro processing and manufacturing industries. So we are not only limited to the medical field.
G. Alexander Burnell thanks for your addon and compliment!:)
Medical Laboratory Scientists are in the top ten for the latest list of “Meaningful Professions”!
Yes, Medical Lab Professionals are very important. Thanks for your comment, Michele.
Thanks for such valuable info in one article, it helped me a lot.
This blog about Want to be a Medical Laboratory Scientist is a very useful and I will share it!
Thanks, we will appreciate that.
In Florida there is a growing market for lab techs in the field of research and water quality testing.
Hello, just wanted to tell you, I like this article. It was helpful. Keep on posting!
Thank you for sharing a informative and valuable content with us. Please keep writing and share with us. It helps me to grow in my carrier.
Glad you’re finding our content to be informative for building your career. Don’t hesitate to let us know if there are other topics you’d like to suggest we cover moving forward.