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Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists Career

Career Description

Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.

What Job Titles Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists Might Have

  • Chief Medical Technologist
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS)
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist (Medical Lab Tech)
  • Medical Technologist (MT)

What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists Do

  • 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.

What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists Should Be Good At

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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 there is a problem.
  • 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).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists Should Be Interested In

  • 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.

What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists Need to Learn

  • 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.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $61,070

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.