Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
Sample of reported job titles: Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS), Clinical Laboratory Technologist, Histologist Technologist, Medical Laboratory Technologist (Medical Lab Tech), Medical Technologist (MT), Microbiology Technologist
Also see: Cytogenetic Technologists, Cytotechnologists, Histotechnologists
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 analysis of body fluids, including blood, urine, or spinal fluid, to determine presence of normal or abnormal components.
- Analyze laboratory findings to check the accuracy of the results.
- Operate, calibrate, or maintain equipment used in quantitative or qualitative analysis, such as spectrophotometers, calorimeters, flame photometers, or computer-controlled analyzers.
- Collect and study blood samples to determine the number of cells, their morphology, or their blood group, blood type, or compatibility for transfusion purposes, using microscopic techniques.
- Enter data from analysis of medical tests or clinical results into computer for storage.
- Establish or monitor quality assurance programs or activities to ensure the accuracy of laboratory results.
- Analyze samples of biological material for chemical content or reaction.
- Set up, clean, and maintain laboratory equipment.
- Provide technical information about test results to physicians, family members, or researchers.
- Cultivate, isolate, or assist in identifying microbial organisms or perform various tests on these microorganisms.
- Supervise, train, or direct lab assistants, medical and clinical laboratory technicians or technologists, or other medical laboratory workers engaged in laboratory testing.
- Develop, standardize, evaluate, or modify procedures, techniques, or tests used in the analysis of specimens or in medical laboratory experiments.
- Harvest cell cultures at optimum time, based on knowledge of cell cycle differences and culture conditions.
- Select and prepare specimens and media for cell cultures, using aseptic technique and knowledge of medium components and cell requirements.
- Obtain, cut, stain, and mount biological material on slides for microscopic study and diagnosis, following standard laboratory procedures.
- Conduct medical research under direction of microbiologist or biochemist.
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- Data base user interface and query software — Database software ; FileMaker Pro
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Medical software — Electronic medical record EMR software; Medical procedure coding software; MEDITECH software ; Test routing software (see all 14 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- 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.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- 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).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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).
- 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.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- 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.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
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- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- 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.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- 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.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- 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.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Analyze laboratory specimens to detect abnormalities or other problems.
- Analyze laboratory findings.
- Collect biological specimens from patients.
- Maintain medical laboratory equipment.
- Operate laboratory equipment to analyze medical samples.
- Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
- Develop healthcare quality and safety procedures.
- Clean medical equipment or facilities.
- Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
- Prepare biological specimens for laboratory analysis.
- Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.
- Communicate test or assessment results to medical professionals.
- Cultivate micro-organisms for study, testing, or medical preparations.
- Supervise technical medical personnel.
- Train medical providers.
- Determine protocols for medical procedures.
- Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.
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- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 98% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 87% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 87% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 84% responded “Very important results.”
- Time Pressure — 86% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 83% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 79% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 53% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 67% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 51% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
- Consequence of Error — 13% responded “Not serious at all.”
- Physical Proximity — 50% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 37% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 29% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Degree of Automation — 70% responded “Highly automated.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 19% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Standing — 65% responded “About half the time.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 43% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 43% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: IRC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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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.
- 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.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- 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.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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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.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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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.
- American Association of Bioanalysts
- American Medical Technologists
- American Society for Clinical Pathology
- American Society for Cytotechnology
- American Society for Microbiology
- American Society of Cytopathology
- Clinical Laboratory Management Association
- Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce
- Department of Health and Human Services
- 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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