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.

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.

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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.

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.

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Job Prospects


Job prospects will be best for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians who complete an accredited education program and earn professional certification.

Employment projections data for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, 2016-26


Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric
Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians 29-2010 335,700 378,400 13 -42,700 xlsx
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists 29-2011 171,400 191,200 12 -19,800 xlsx
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians 29-2012 164,200 187,200 14 -22,900 xlsx

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Employment projections data for accountants and auditors, 2016-26


Occupational Title
Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
SOC Code
29-2010
Employment, 2016
335,700
Projected Employment, 2026
378,400
CHANGE, 2016-26
PERCENT
13
NUMERIC
42,700
EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY
xlsx
Occupational Title
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
SOC Code
29-2011
Employment, 2016
171,400
Projected Employment, 2026
191,200
CHANGE, 2016-26
PERCENT
12
NUMERIC
19,800
EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY
xlsx
Occupational Title
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians
SOC Code
29-2012
Employment, 2016
164,200
Projected Employment, 2026
187,200
CHANGE, 2016-26
PERCENT
14
NUMERIC
22,900
EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY
xlsx

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Pay


The median annual wage for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians was $51,770 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,640, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $79,530.

In May 2017, the median annual wages for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:


General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; State, Local, and Private $54,670
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories $49,600
Junior Colleges, Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools; State, Local, and Private $49,370
Offices of Physicians $47,380
Outpatient Care Centers $45,520

Most medical laboratory technologists and technicians work full time. Technologists and technicians who work in facilities that are always open, such as hospitals and some independent laboratories, may work evening, weekend, or overnight hours.

Clinical Laboratory Technologists


Median annual wages, May 2017


Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

Job Outlook


Employment of medical laboratory technologists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster the average for all occupations. Employment of medical laboratory technicians is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, 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. Prenatal testing for various types of genetic conditions also is increasingly common. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians will be in demand to use and maintain the equipment needed for diagnosis and treatment.

Clinical Laboratory Technologists


Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26


Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

Run Your First Background Check for Clinical Laboratory Technicians




Similar Occupations


  Occupational Title Job duties Entry-Level education 2017 Median pay
Biological Technicians Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments. Bachelor's Degree $39,240
Chemical Technicians Chemical technicians use special instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes. Associate's Degree $47,280
Chemists and Materials Scientists Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyze the ways in which the substances interact with one another. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods. Bachelor's Degree $76,280
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OCCUPATIONAL TITLE
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JOB DUTIES
Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.
ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION
Bachelor's Degree
2017 MEDIAN PAY
$43,800
OCCUPATIONAL TITLE
Chemical Technicians
JOB DUTIES
Chemical technicians use special instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes.
ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION
Associate's Degree
2017 MEDIAN PAY
$47,280
OCCUPATIONAL TITLE
Chemists and Materials Scientists
JOB DUTIES
Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyze the ways in which the substances interact with one another. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods.
ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION
Bachelor's Degree
2017 MEDIAN PAY
$76,280
OCCUPATIONAL TITLE
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
JOB DUTIES
Veterinary technologists and technicians perform medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to assist in diagnosing the injuries and illnesses of animals.
ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION
Associate's Degree
2017 MEDIAN PAY
$33,400

Professional Recruiter and Staffing Organizations


  • National Association of Personnel Services
  • Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals
  • American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment
  • National Association of Executive Recruiters
  • National Association for Health Care Recruitment
  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association
  • American Staffing Association
  • Top Echelon Recruiting Network

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