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Become A Clinical Laboratory Assistant

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Working As A Clinical Laboratory Assistant

  • Processing Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Repetitive

  • $42,827

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Laboratory Assistant Do

Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Duties

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findings
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians

Both technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do. For example, technologists may prepare specimens and perform detailed manual tests, whereas technicians perform routine tests that may be more automated. Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the general supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers.

Technologists in small laboratories perform many types of tests; in large laboratories, they sometimes specialize. The following are examples of types of specialized medical laboratory technologists:

Blood bank technologists, or immunohematology technologists, collect blood, classify it by type, and prepare blood and its components for transfusions. 

Clinical chemistry technologists prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids. 

Cytotechnologists prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells with a microscope for abnormalities that may signal the beginning of a cancerous growth. 

Immunology technologists examine elements of the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies. 

Microbiology technologists examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms. 

Molecular biology technologists perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests on cell samples.

Like technologists, medical laboratory technicians may work in several areas of the laboratory or specialize in one particular area. For example, histotechnicians cut and stain tissue specimens for pathologists, who are doctors who study the cause and development of diseases at a microscopic level.

Technologists and technicians often specialize after they have worked in a particular area for a long time or have received advanced education or training in that area.

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How To Become A Clinical Laboratory Assistant

Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Technicians usually need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some states require technologists and technicians to be licensed.

Education

An entry-level job for technologists usually requires a bachelor's degree in medical technology or life sciences.

A bachelor’s degree program in medical laboratory technology, also known as a medical laboratory scientist degree, includes courses in chemistry, biology, microbiology, math, and statistics. Coursework emphasizes laboratory skills, including safety procedures and lab management.

The courses may be offered through a university or hospital-based program that students attend during their senior year of college. College graduates who major in other sciences and meet a program’s prerequisites, such as having completed required courses in biology and chemistry or maintaining a certain GPA, also may apply to a medical laboratory science program.

Medical laboratory technicians often complete an associate’s degree program in clinical laboratory science. A limited number of 1-year certificate programs are available from hospitals, and admission requirements vary. The Armed Forces and vocational or technical schools also may offer certificate programs for medical laboratory technicians. Technician coursework addresses the theoretical and practical aspects of each of the major laboratory disciplines.

High school students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical laboratory sciences should take classes in chemistry, biology, and math.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed. Requirements vary by state and specialty. For specific requirements, contact state departments of health, state boards of occupational licensing, or visit The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Certification of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is required for licensure in some states. Although certification is not required to enter the occupation in all cases, employers typically prefer to hire certified technologists and technicians.

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians can obtain a general certification as a medical laboratory technologist or technician, respectively, or a certification in a specialty, such as cytotechnology or medical biology. Most credentialing institutions require that technologists complete an accredited education program in order to qualify to sit for an exam. For more credentialing information, visit the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must understand how to operate complex machinery.

Detail oriented. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must follow exact instructions in order to perform tests or procedures correctly.

Dexterity. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians need to be skilled with their hands. They work closely with needles and precise laboratory instruments and must handle these tools effectively.

Physical stamina. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians may work on their feet for long periods while collecting samples. They may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples for testing.

Advancement

After additional education, work experience, or certification, technologists and technicians may specialize in one of many areas of laboratory science, such as immunology, histotechnology, or clinical chemistry. Some medical laboratory technicians advance to technologist positions after gaining experience and additional education.

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Clinical Laboratory Assistant Videos

Medical Laboratory Technician, Career Video from drkit.org

Career Advice on becoming a Laboratory Technician by Katherine G (Full Version)

Medical & Clinical Lab Tech Salary | How Much Money Does a Lab Tech make?

Clinical Laboratory Assistant Jobs

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Clinical Laboratory Assistant Career Paths

Clinical Laboratory Assistant
Service Technician Operations Manager Assistant Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant/Phlebotomist Phlebotomy Technician Medical Technologist
Clinical Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Technologist Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Laboratory Scientist Laboratory Manager
Director Of Laboratory Services
13 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Instructor General Manager
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Laboratory Technician Laboratory Supervisor Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
10 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Medical Technologist
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Laboratory Technician Medical Technologist
Laboratory Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse Physician
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Technician Phlebotomist
Phlebotomy Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Laboratory Manager Operations Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Clinical Laboratory Technician Clinical Laboratory Scientist Laboratory Manager
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Laboratory Supervisor Production Supervisor
Quality Control Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Technologist Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant/Phlebotomist Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist Medical Laboratory Technician
Senior Medical Laboratory Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Clinical Laboratory Technician Phlebotomist Medical Technologist
Senior Medical Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Technician
Senior Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Service Director
10 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Technician Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Clinical Laboratory Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Clinical Assistant 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Clinical Laboratory Assistant
Phlebotomist 16.4%
Internship 5.6%
Cashier 4.1%
Volunteer 3.6%
Assistant 2.4%
Server 2.1%
Processor 2.0%
Top Careers After Clinical Laboratory Assistant
Phlebotomist 18.1%
Instructor 2.9%
Internship 2.5%

Do you work as a Clinical Laboratory Assistant?

Clinical Laboratory Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

74.3%

Male

23.9%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

56.7%

Hispanic or Latino

20.3%

Black or African American

10.0%

Asian

8.6%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.3%

French

10.0%

Armenian

4.3%

Italian

4.3%

Hindi

2.9%

Persian

2.9%

Russian

2.9%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Mandarin

1.4%

Ukrainian

1.4%

German

1.4%

Greek

1.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Aramaic

1.4%

Avestan

1.4%

Tagalog

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Thai

1.4%

Gujarati

1.4%
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Clinical Laboratory Assistant Education

Schools

Central New Mexico Community College

14.1%

University of Phoenix

12.8%

Weber State University

9.4%

Arizona State University

5.4%

University of New Mexico

5.4%

Everest College - Phoenix

4.7%

Old Dominion University

4.7%

Central Piedmont Community College

4.0%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.0%

San Francisco State University

4.0%

Drexel University

4.0%

Tidewater Community College

4.0%

Ashford University

3.4%

University of Kentucky

3.4%

Northeastern University

3.4%

Harford Community College

2.7%

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

2.7%

University of Utah

2.7%

University of Connecticut

2.7%

University of Florida

2.7%
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Majors

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

15.8%

Medical Assisting Services

13.3%

Nursing

13.0%

Biology

10.7%

Business

8.5%

Medical Technician

6.0%

Health Care Administration

5.4%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

2.6%

General Studies

2.6%

Nursing Assistants

2.5%

Psychology

2.5%

Chemistry

2.3%

Management

2.2%

Clinical Psychology

2.0%

Microbiology

1.9%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

1.9%

Health Sciences And Services

1.9%

Public Health

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.6%

Other

26.2%

Associate

14.5%

Masters

12.1%

Certificate

8.0%

Diploma

3.5%

Doctorate

1.9%

License

0.2%
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Clinical Laboratory Assistant Videos

Medical Laboratory Technician, Career Video from drkit.org

Career Advice on becoming a Laboratory Technician by Katherine G (Full Version)

Medical & Clinical Lab Tech Salary | How Much Money Does a Lab Tech make?

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Top Skills for A Clinical Laboratory Assistant

  1. Clinical Lab
  2. Laboratory Specimens
  3. Phlebotomy
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Retrieve, process and route clinical laboratory testing material to appropriate clinical testing areas.
  • Collect all toxicological/laboratory specimens during autopsy.
  • Achieved PHLEBOTOMY duties utilizing proper infection control techniques and perform a variety of laboratory tests.
  • Collected and labeled patient specimens for testing; responsible for registration and test data entry.
  • Receive specimens for microbiology, histology, cytology, anatomic pathology and hematology tests/procedures, checks for proper identification and requisition.

How Would You Rate Working As a Clinical Laboratory Assistant?

Are you working as a Clinical Laboratory Assistant? Help us rate Clinical Laboratory Assistant as a Career.

Top Clinical Laboratory Assistant Employers

Jobs From Top Clinical Laboratory Assistant Employers

Clinical Laboratory Assistant Videos

Medical Laboratory Technician, Career Video from drkit.org

Career Advice on becoming a Laboratory Technician by Katherine G (Full Version)

Medical & Clinical Lab Tech Salary | How Much Money Does a Lab Tech make?

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