Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians
Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
Sample of reported job titles: Certified Clinical Laboratory Technician, Clinical Laboratory Technician (Clinical Lab Technician), Laboratory Assistant (Lab Assistant), Laboratory Technician (Lab Tech), Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), Medical Laboratory Technicians (Medical Lab Technician), Medical Technician
Also see: Histology Technicians
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer.
- Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
- Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.
- Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.
- Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.
- Supervise or instruct other technicians or laboratory assistants.
- Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.
- Inoculate fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.
- Obtain specimens, cultivating, isolating, and identifying microorganisms for analysis.
- Examine cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.
- Consult with a pathologist to determine a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found.
- Cut, stain, and mount tissue samples for examination by pathologists.
- Perform medical research to further control or cure disease.
- Test raw materials, processes, or finished products to determine quality or quantity of materials or characteristics of a substance.
- Analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs, or narratives.
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- Accounting software — Billing software
- Analytical or scientific software — Minitab
- Computer based training software — Quizlet
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; Database software ; FileMaker Pro
- Development environment software — National Instruments LabVIEW
- Electronic mail software — Email software; IBM Notes ; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP
- Medical software — Electronic medical record EMR software; Laboratory information system LIS; MEDITECH software ; Test routing software (see all 14 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Google Docs ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
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- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Test biological specimens to gather information about patient conditions.
- Analyze laboratory specimens to detect abnormalities or other problems.
- Analyze laboratory findings.
- Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
- Operate laboratory equipment to analyze medical samples.
- Prepare biological specimens for laboratory analysis.
- Collect biological specimens from patients.
- Clean medical equipment or facilities.
- Maintain medical laboratory equipment.
- Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
- Cultivate micro-organisms for study, testing, or medical preparations.
- Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
- Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.
- Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
- Supervise technical medical personnel.
- Train medical providers.
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- Face-to-Face Discussions — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 90% responded “Extremely important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 60% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 62% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Electronic Mail — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 37% responded “Some freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 38% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 49% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 33% responded “Very serious.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 49% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 46% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 59% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Very important results.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 28% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Spend Time Standing — 56% responded “About half the time.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 32% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Degree of Automation — 42% responded “Moderately automated.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 45% responded “About half the time.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 48% responded “Every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: RIC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians.
Employment data for Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians.
Industry data for Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians.
|Median wages (2020)||$26.05 hourly, $54,180 annual|
|Employment (2020)||335,500 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Faster than average (10% to 15%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||25,900|
|Top industries (2020)||
Health Care and Social Assistance
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists
- American Association of Bioanalysts
- American Medical Technologists
- American Society for Clinical Pathology
- American Society of Cytopathology
- Clinical Laboratory Management Association
- College of American Pathologists
- Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians
- The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
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