Clinical Laboratory Technologist
Clinical Laboratory Technologists work behind the scenes of patient care, usually in a laboratory setting. They are the “lab detectives” who perform micro-biological and chemical tests on tissue samples, blood and other body fluids in order to provide doctors with the information they need to diagnose, treat, and monitor a patient’s condition. They use automated equipment and instruments capable of conducting a number of tests at once, in addition to using microscopes, cell counters, and other high tech laboratory equipment. Newer technology has introduced automation to many areas of the laboratory; however, some areas like microbiology are still very much “hands on.”
Clinical laboratory technologists may also work in a variety of research settings: as writers for medical publications, as educators, and as employees in biomedical technology companies.
Salary Range: $41,550 – $85,160
Salary Notes: Clinical laboratory technologists’ median wage is $61,070. The mean salary in Vermont in 2016 was $67,010.
Where you can study:
University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA
University of Vermont Dept. of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences, Burlington, VT
Where you might work:
– Blood Donor Centers – Clinics – Hospitals – Independent Laboratories – Medical Schools – Pharmaceutical Companies – Physician Offices – Public Health Agencies – Research Organizations
Job Outlook: Employment for clinical laboratory technologists is expected to grow much faster than average through 2024 as the volume of laboratory tests increases with population growth and advancements in medical technology.
Education, Licensing and Certification: Prospective clinical laboratory technologists should emphasize math and science in high school. To work in the field, a bachelor of science (BS) degree is required, with coursework in chemistry and biochemistry, as well as hands-on clinical laboratory work. Graduates must also pass a certification exam given by either the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, or the National Credentialing Agency.
Clinical laboratory technologists must have good analytical judgment and the ability to work under pressure. They must also pay close attention to detail because small changes or variations in test substances could be crucial in the type of care a patient receives.
American Medical Technologists 847-823-5169
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science 571-748-3770
American Society for Clinical Pathology 800-267-2727
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science 773-714-8880