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Working As A Laboratory Associate

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

  • Repetitive

  • $45,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Laboratory Associate 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 Laboratory Associate

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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Laboratory Associate Career Paths

Laboratory Associate
Laboratory Technician Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Supervisor
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Technician Production Supervisor
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Chemist Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Chemist Laboratory Manager Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Chemist Laboratory Supervisor
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Analyst Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Analyst Research Associate Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Analyst Quality Assurance Analyst Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Assurance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Technician Production Supervisor
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Director
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Scientist Senior Scientist
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Scientist Laboratory Manager
Quality Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Laboratory Supervisor
Clinical Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Laboratory Supervisor Laboratory Director
Director Of Laboratory Services
12 Yearsyrs
Clinical Laboratory Scientist Senior Medical Technologist
Medical Technologist Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Microbiologist Medical Technologist, Generalist
Senior Medical Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
Microbiologist Medical Technologist, Generalist Senior Medical Technologist
Senior Medical Laboratory Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Clinical Laboratory Technician Senior Medical Technologist Chemistry Supervisor
Laboratory Manager Of Operations
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Laboratory Aide 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Laboratory Associate
Cashier 11.0%
Internship 7.7%
Volunteer 3.8%
Associate 2.8%
Server 2.4%
Top Careers After Laboratory Associate
Cashier 7.7%
Internship 6.4%
Associate 4.5%
Manager 4.2%
Chemist 3.3%
Scientist 3.0%
Volunteer 3.0%

Do you work as a Laboratory Associate?

Average Yearly Salary
$45,000
Show Salaries
$28,000
Min 10%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
KPMG
Highest Paying City
New Haven, CT
Highest Paying State
Rhode Island
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Laboratory Associate make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Laboratory Associate in the United States is $46,004 per year or $22 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $28,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $73,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Laboratory Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Associate Laboratory Member Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Jan 06, 2016 $170,000
Associate Laboratory Member Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Oct 01, 2012 $141,885
Assocoate Laboratory Member Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Oct 10, 2010 $134,392
Principal Quality Lab Associate Baxalta Us Inc. Jul 01, 2015 $90,000
Clinical Laboratory Associate Color Global, Inc. May 10, 2015 $90,000
Crime Lab Associate Georgia Bureau of Investigation Sep 30, 2011 $62,923 -
$110,012
Lab Associate Nanostellar, Inc. Sep 25, 2012 $61,984
PD & TS Laboratory Associate Norwich Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Sep 18, 2013 $60,211
Laboratory Associate EMES Professional Associates, PC Apr 30, 2015 $60,195
Laboratory Associate Bioquiddity Incorporated Sep 14, 2016 $60,000 -
$75,000
Clinical Laboratory Associate (Qa/Ac) Unipack Inc. Sep 01, 2015 $56,000
Clinical Laboratory Associate (Qa/Ac) Unipack Inc. Jan 09, 2016 $56,000
Associate Research Lab Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Aug 15, 2009 $50,485
Laboratory Associate EMES Professional Associates Oct 01, 2015 $46,717
Laboratory Associate EMES Professional Associates Oct 01, 2014 $46,093
Laboratory & Reserach Associate Institute for Advanced Learning & Research Sep 01, 2011 $43,998
Lab Associate EMES Professional Associates Oct 01, 2011 $42,053
Laboratory Associate Arteriocyte Inc. Oct 01, 2012 $42,000
Laboratory Associate New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology Dec 09, 2013 $38,985
Bio-Analytical Lab Associate Sannova Analytical, Inc. Aug 28, 2014 $38,896 -
$50,000
Laboratory Associate FB Laboratories Inc. May 04, 2015 $38,700
Laboratory Associate FB Laboratories, Inc. Oct 01, 2015 $38,000
Teaching Laboratory Associate Iowa State University of Science and Technology Sep 04, 2014 $37,000
Teaching Laboratory Associate Iowa State University of Science and Technology Jul 19, 2010 $35,210
Laboratory Associate Theranos, Inc. Aug 23, 2014 $35,000 -
$50,000
Lab Associate Etonbio Inc. Jan 18, 2013 $32,400
Lab Associate Etonbio Inc. Feb 01, 2013 $32,400

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Top Skills for A Laboratory Associate

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Photo Lab
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Directed daily operations of the lab including maintenance of lab equipment and efficiently set up and operated computerized photofinishing equipment.
  • Operate entire photographic processing machines in photo laboratory.
  • Practiced excellent customer service: assisted customers locate products, answered customer questions and addressed customer complaints
  • Prepare laboratory specimens for designated departments/locations prior to laboratory analysis and testing and routes specimens by type to various staging areas.
  • Functioned as a validation specialist for chemical analysis instruments, chemical processes, analytical methods, and manufacturing equipment cleaning processes.

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Top 10 Best States for Laboratory Associates

  1. Maine
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Alaska
  5. New York
  6. Connecticut
  7. Vermont
  8. New Jersey
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (35 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (293 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (540 jobs)
  • (63 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (178 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (235 jobs)

Laboratory Associate Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,974 Laboratory Associate resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Laboratory Associate Resume

View Resume Examples

Laboratory Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

55.1%

Male

38.9%

Unknown

5.9%
Ethnicity

White

57.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.8%

Asian

11.4%

Black or African American

10.7%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.1%

French

12.1%

Japanese

7.8%

Tagalog

5.2%

Italian

4.3%

German

4.3%

Russian

3.4%

Vietnamese

2.6%

Mandarin

2.6%

Chinese

2.6%

Swahili

1.7%

Hindi

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Arabic

1.7%

Lithuanian

0.9%

Dari

0.9%

Armenian

0.9%

Croatian

0.9%

Tibetan

0.9%

Nepali

0.9%
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Laboratory Associate Education

Schools

University of California - Irvine

9.5%

University of California - San Diego

7.1%

North Carolina State University

6.5%

University of California - Davis

5.9%

New Mexico State University

5.3%

Pennsylvania State University

5.3%

University of California - Riverside

4.7%

Arizona State University

4.7%

San Jose State University

4.7%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

4.7%

University of Maryland - University College

4.1%

North Shore Community College

4.1%

Texas A&M University

4.1%

Kent State University

4.1%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.1%

University of Connecticut

4.1%

University of California - Santa Cruz

4.1%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.1%

California State University - Long Beach

4.1%

Colorado State University

4.1%
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Majors

Biology

20.2%

Chemistry

8.3%

Business

8.1%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

6.5%

Nursing

6.4%

Medical Assisting Services

6.4%

Microbiology

4.5%

Psychology

4.1%

Health Care Administration

3.9%

Pharmacy

3.8%

General Studies

3.4%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

3.1%

Graphic Design

3.1%

Computer Science

2.8%

Medical Technician

2.8%

Biotechnology

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Photography

2.1%

Chemical Engineering

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.3%

Associate

13.4%

High School Diploma

12.2%

Masters

11.8%

Certificate

7.0%

Diploma

3.6%

Doctorate

2.4%

License

0.3%
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Updated May 18, 2020