Becoming a Clinical Lab Scientist

Clinical Lab Scientists examine and analyze fluids, cells, tissues and other bodily specimens of people in order to identify infective microorganisms and various health problems such as cardiovascular disorder, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS etc. They also observe cross-match donor blood for safe transfusions. These professionals use sophisticated biomedical instruments and technology as well as manual techniques in the lab to perform vital test and help physicians determine the best possible treatment for the patient. They ensure accuracy and confidentiality while evaluating test results.

Clinical Lab Scientists are specialized in a specific clinical laboratory field to be considered for specific jobs such as clinical chemistry technologists, microbiology technologists, immunology technologists etc. These skilled professionals work in various environments such as public or private hospitals, physician’s offices, clinical laboratories, forensic laboratories, pharmaceutical industries, research centers, educational institutions so on and so forth. They may have varying hours of duties depending on the setting and their responsibilities.

Educational Requirements

To become a Clinical Lab Scientist, the aspiring candidates have to earn a two-year associate degree in medical laboratory technology from an accredited institution. Students can complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in related health discipline for better job prospects in this field. However, some employers prefer job aspirants having some work experience in practical field.

Clinical Lab Scientist study human anatomy, microbiology, cell biology, hematology, immunology, toxicology, psychology, chemistry, clinical laboratory practices etc.

Certification and Licensure

Since Clinical Lab Scientists require to be licensed in many states of the USA, the aspiring candidates need to earn a license by passing the required examination. These professionals can also obtain exam-based certification from the Board of Registry for the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Skill Set           

Clinical Lab Scientists possess wide range of traits, such as dexterity, attention to detail, empathy towards patient, high medical ethics, ability to manage complex machinery equipments, a great deal of physical stamina to work for long duration, strong communication skills, competence in computer operating etc.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for a Clinical Lab Scientist remains outstanding across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 30% from 2012 to 2022. The average annual salary of a Clinical Lab Scientist was $40,990 in May 2013.