What They Do:
Clinical laboratory technicians conduct the crucial tests and analyses that physicians use to make their diagnoses. These technicians are responsible for a number of tasks, including examining body fluids and cells and matching blood for transfusions. The job requires the use of sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters. With continued advancements in technology, lab work has become more analytical, so laboratory personnel should have excellent judgment skills.
Most clinical laboratory technicians possess an associate degree from a community college or junior college program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Others simply receive a certificate from a hospital or a vocational school. Additionally, a small percentage of technicians learn their skills through on-the-job training.
What They Make:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2019 median pay was $53,120 per year.
Where They Work:
Clinical laboratory technicians work primarily in hospitals and clinics under the supervision of clinical laboratory technologists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. An increase in the aging population is expected to lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm (visited December 2020).
Updated December 2020