What Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Do
Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.
About half of all medical laboratory technologists and technicians were employed in hospitals in 2014. Others worked in doctors’ offices or diagnostic laboratories.
How to Become a Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist or Technician
Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Technicians usually need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some states require technologists and technicians to be licensed.
Employment of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. An increase in the aging population is expected to lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures.
Job Trends for Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
This occupation supported 325,800 jobs in 2012 and 328,200 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 0.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 21.7% in 2022 to 396,500 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 339,900, compared with an observed value of 328,200, 3.4% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 16.0% in 2024 to 380,300 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 410,600 jobs for 2024, 8.0% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.