Below find a general overview from the US Beureu of Labor Statistics of what working in a medical or research laboratory is like. The duties for Medical Laboratory Technicians are far less than those of Clinical Laboratory Scienctists or Clinical Genetic Medical Biology Scientists. However; the high level overview below will provide you a good understanding of workplace, salary and training required for these positions.

 

Clinical laboratory scientists and Medical laboratory technologists, are essential members of the health care team. In either position, you'll work behind-the-scenes, processing laboratory tests that doctors count on to correctly diagnose and treat patients. On any given day, your duties may range from helping to confirm a case of diabetes or strep throat to detecting a case of leukemia.

Job Description

These are some of the typical responsibilities (note these vary depending on you specific job title):

- Identifying abnormal blood cells

- Identifying toxic agents, such as anthrax

- Detecting a cancerous tumor with DNA techniques

- Performing cultures and identifying bacteria and viruses

- Assuring safe transfusion of blood products

- Correlating test results with patient condition

- Selecting and evaluating laboratory equipment and new test methodologies

- Monitoring the quality of testing

- Supervising support staff

- Managing laboratory operations

Salary

There is a shortage of clinical lab scientists and medical laboratory technicians. Many hospitals and private companies do not have enough applicants to fill CLS  or MLT positions. Your prospects of finding a good job are excellent and these jobs pay well.

Salary.com reported the following average and upper-range salaries in 2010 for a number of lab science positions:

Job Title

Salary Range for Middle 50%

Salary of Top 10%

Clinical Laboratory Scientist/Medical Technologist

$53,449 - $63,849

$68,838 and up

Clinical Laboratory Technician/Medical Laboratory Technician

$37,046 - $45,303

$49,389 and up

Histology Technician

$44,370 - $53,226

$57,300 and up

Pathology Assistant

$54,402 - $84,295

$95,459 and up

Phlebotomist

$26,091 - $32,316

$35,281 and up

Work Environment

Many clinical laboratory scientists and medical laboratory technicians start out in the profession by working in a laboratory or in an acute care or community hospital. With more experience, you might work in any of the following settings:

- Hospitals

- Clinics

- Private laboratories

- Public health organizations

- Research and development departments of pharmaceutical companies

Training

In order to become a clinical laboratory scientist, you'll need to complete a four-year bachelor's degree program in medical technology or clinical laboratory science. Accredited BS programs typically require coursework in the following areas:

- Four semesters of chemistry, including general and organic chemistry

- Three or four semesters of biology

- Anatomy and physiology

- Microbiology

- Hematology

- Immunology

- Clinical chemistry

- Transfusion services

- One year of clinical training

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