Clinical Laboratory Scientist

Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Clinical Laboratory Scientist, sometimes referred to as a Medical Technologist, performs highly specialized tests on patient samples to provide accurate results that help diagnose and treat diseases. In this Clinical Laboratory Scientist job description, you'll learn that these professionals analyze blood, urine, body fluids, and tissue samples using sophisticated laboratory equipment and computer programs. They also troubleshoot testing procedures, evaluate results, and report abnormal findings to physicians. A Clinical Laboratory Scientist must follow strict protocols and safety procedures to prevent contamination of samples and ensure quality control measures are in place. They also maintain laboratory equipment and inventory supplies. To become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, a bachelor's degree in medical technology, biology or a related field, in addition to certification from a recognized organization is required. Clinical Laboratory Scientists work in hospitals, clinics, and research facilities, and play a vital role in patient care.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

In short, a Clinical Laboratory Scientist involves lab work in the healthcare industry. Their main responsibility is to:

  • Collect, analyze, and interpret blood, urine, and body tissue samples to identify illnesses or medical conditions
  • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and instruments to ensure accuracy and quality control systems
  • Monitor and evaluate test results, including medical reports, and submit them to physicians for diagnostics and patient care purposes
  • Follow strict safety protocols and guidelines to maintain a clean and controlled laboratory environment free of contamination
  • Collaborate and communicate closely with healthcare providers, researchers, and medical staff to offer clinical insights and recommendations
  • Keep detailed records of patient information, laboratory data, and quality control measures for future reference and research
  • Stay informed and up-to-date on new technologies and scientific breakthroughs in the field of medical testing and laboratory analysis
  • Conduct research and development projects to improve medical testing procedures, accuracy, and efficiency
  • Educate and train laboratory technicians and assistants on proper laboratory techniques, procedures, and scientific principles.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in the Healthcare industry, you need a college degree in Medical Technology, Biology, or a related field. You also need to pass an exam to get a state license. Additionally, employers prefer candidates with a year or more of laboratory experience. It's important to have strong analytical skills, the ability to work independently, and excellent communication skills. You'll also need to be comfortable with using complex laboratory equipment and have excellent attention to detail. Continuing education is important to stay current with new technologies and advancements in the field. Overall, education and experience go hand-in-hand to get a job as a clinical laboratory scientist in healthcare.

Salary Range

Clinical Laboratory Scientists (CLS) play an important role in the healthcare industry, performing laboratory tests to help diagnose and treat diseases. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the United States, the median salary for CLSs is $53,120 per year, with a range of $31,130 to $84,790. Salaries may vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and specialty. For example, CLSs in California have the highest median hourly wage at $48.06 while CLSs in Florida have a median hourly wage of $25.34. Other countries such as Canada and Australia also have similar salary ranges for CLSs. Clinical Laboratory Scientist salary ranges can vary greatly depending on various factors.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook - Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
  2. PayScale: Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) Hourly Pay
  3. Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business: Job Outlook - Medical Laboratory Scientists

Career Outlook

Clinical laboratory scientists play a vital role in the healthcare industry by performing diagnostic tests for patients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of clinical laboratory scientists is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Factors contributing to this growth include an aging population, a rise in chronic conditions, and continued advancements in medical technology.

Moreover, the BLS states that there is a high demand for laboratory professionals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As testing continues to be a crucial part of managing the virus, clinical laboratory scientists are needed more than ever.

Overall, the career outlook for clinical laboratory scientists looks promising in the next 5 years, with opportunities for growth and job security. For those interested in pursuing this field, completing a bachelor's degree in medical technology, clinical laboratory science, or a related field is typically required.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Clinical Laboratory Scientist do in the healthcare industry?

A: A Clinical Laboratory Scientist is responsible for conducting laboratory tests on patient samples, analyzing results, and relaying that information to healthcare providers for diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases.

Q: What kind of education does a Clinical Laboratory Scientist need?

A: A Clinical Laboratory Scientist typically needs a bachelor's degree in medical technology or a related field, and must obtain certification from a recognized organization like the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Q: What skills are necessary to become a successful Clinical Laboratory Scientist?

A: A successful Clinical Laboratory Scientist must have good attention to detail, strong analytical skills, excellent communication abilities, and the ability to work well under pressure.

Q: Where can a Clinical Laboratory Scientist work in the healthcare industry?

A: A Clinical Laboratory Scientist can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, research labs, public health facilities, and diagnostic laboratories.

Q: What is the job outlook for Clinical Laboratory Scientists?

A: The job outlook for Clinical Laboratory Scientists is very positive, with a projected job growth of 11% from 2018-2028. This is due to an aging population and an increased need for medical diagnoses and treatments.

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