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Become A Clinical Laboratory Scientist

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Working As A Clinical Laboratory Scientist

  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $56,766

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Laboratory Scientist Do

A Clinical Laboratory Scientist is responsible for performing laboratory tests that doctors count on to correctly diagnose and treat patients. They examine body fluids, tissues, and cells, identify infective microorganisms, and analyze the chemical constituents of body fluids.

How To Become A Clinical Laboratory Scientist

Medical scientists typically have a Ph.D., usually in biology or a related life science. Some medical scientists get a medical degree instead of a Ph.D., but prefer doing research to practicing as a physician.

Education

Students planning careers as medical scientists typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field. Undergraduate students benefit from taking a broad range of classes, including life sciences, physical sciences, and math. Students also typically take courses that develop communication and writing skills, because they must learn to write grants effectively and publish research findings.

After students have completed their undergraduate studies, they typically enter Ph.D. programs. Dual-degree programs are available that pair a Ph.D. with a range of specialized medical degrees. A few degree programs that are commonly paired with Ph.D. studies are Medical Doctor (M.D.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Whereas Ph.D. studies focus on research methods, such as project design and data interpretation, students in dual-degree programs learn both the clinical skills needed to be a physician and the research skills needed to be a scientist.

Graduate programs emphasize both laboratory work and original research. These programs offer prospective medical scientists the opportunity to develop their experiments and, sometimes, to supervise undergraduates. Ph.D. programs culminate in a thesis that the candidate presents before a committee of professors. Students may specialize in a particular field, such as gerontology, neurology, or cancer.

Those who go to medical school spend most of the first 2 years in labs and classrooms, taking courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, microbiology, pathology, medical ethics, and medical law. They also learn how to record medical histories, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses. They may be required to participate in residency programs, meeting the same requirements that physicians and surgeons have to fulfill.

Medical scientists often continue their education with postdoctoral work. Postdoctoral work provides additional and more independent lab experience, including experience in specific processes and techniques such as gene splicing, which is transferable to other research projects.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Medical scientists primarily conduct research and typically do not need licenses or certifications. However, those who administer drugs, gene therapy, or otherwise practice medicine on patients in clinical trials or a private practice need a license to practice as a physician.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Communication is critical, because medical scientists must be able to explain their conclusions. In addition, medical scientists write grant proposals, because grants often are required to fund their research.

Critical-thinking skills. Medical scientists must use their expertise to determine the best method for solving a specific research question.

Data-analysis skills. Medical scientists use statistical techniques, so that they can properly quantify and analyze health research questions.

Decisionmaking skills. Medical scientists must determine what research questions to ask, how best to investigate the questions, and what data will best answer the questions.

Observation skills. Medical scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other health data. Any mistake could lead to inconclusive or misleading results.

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Clinical Laboratory Scientist jobs

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Real Clinical Laboratory Scientist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinical Laboratory Scientist UCSF Medical Center San Francisco, CA Aug 13, 2016 $125,178
Clinical Lab Scientist Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Santa Barbara, CA Dec 12, 2016 $121,046
Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Specialist In Hematology UCSF Medical Center San Francisco, CA Dec 15, 2015 $113,387
Clinical Lab Scientist Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Santa Barbara, CA Oct 17, 2016 $112,698
Clinical Lab Scientist Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Santa Barbara, CA Dec 12, 2016 $112,698
Clinical Laboratory Scientist St. Rose Hospital Hayward, CA Nov 22, 2016 $107,078
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Central California Foundation for Health Delano, CA Jan 09, 2016 $102,263
Clinical Laboratory Scientist UCSF Medical Center San Francisco, CA Jun 27, 2016 $99,633
Clinical Lab Scientist Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Santa Barbara, CA Oct 28, 2016 $98,047 -
$101,553
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Sutter Central Valley Hospitals Los Banos, CA Sep 15, 2015 $97,442
Clinical Laboratory Scientist-Section Leader Madera Community Hospital Madera, CA Jan 04, 2016 $97,296
Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) Sonora Regional Medical Center Sonora, CA Dec 19, 2016 $96,949
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Veritas Health Services, Inc. Chino, CA Oct 01, 2015 $68,203
Clinical Lab Scientist Seattle Children's Hospital Seattle, WA Jul 18, 2016 $67,205 -
$87,000
Clinical Lab Scientist Seattle Children's Hospital Seattle, WA Jun 06, 2016 $67,205 -
$87,000
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Molani Medical Group, APMC CA May 15, 2016 $66,784
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Quest Diagnostics Incorporated San Juan Capistrano, CA May 21, 2015 $66,373 -
$94,806
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Quest Diagnostics Incorporated San Juan Capistrano, CA Dec 12, 2015 $66,373 -
$94,806
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Quest Diagnostics Incorporated San Juan Capistrano, CA Jan 11, 2016 $65,845 -
$84,169
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Quest Diagnostics Incorporated San Juan Capistrano, CA Sep 08, 2016 $56,683 -
$84,169
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Quest Diagnostics Incorporated San Juan Capistrano, CA Nov 03, 2016 $56,683 -
$84,169
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Quest Diagnostics Incorporated San Juan Capistrano, CA Jan 04, 2016 $56,683 -
$84,169
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Quest Diagnostics Incorporated San Juan Capistrano, CA Nov 08, 2016 $56,683 -
$84,169

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Top Skills for A Clinical Laboratory Scientist

ClinicalChemistryUrineLaboratoryProceduresMicrobiologyBloodBankSerologyQCTestResultsBodyFluidAnalysisHematologyAnalyzerAntibodyIdentificationCLSSysmexBeckmanPhlebotomyLabEquipmentClinicalLaboratoryTestsTechnologistPCRStat

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Top Clinical Laboratory Scientist Skills

  1. Clinical Chemistry
  2. Urine
  3. Laboratory Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted the in the teaching of Medical Technology students, at the University of Washington, in their clinical chemistry rotation.
  • Perform slide differential, urine microscopic, review and release CBC and Chemistry.
  • Perform, train, and supervise a wide variety of complex technical and administrative clinical laboratory procedures.
  • Released test results for general chemistry, endocrinology, drugs of abuse, rapid microbiology tests, therapeutic drug monitoring.
  • Perform test results in Chemistry, Hematology, Blood Bank and Serology.

Top Clinical Laboratory Scientist Employers

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