Clinical Lab Scientist Training Requirements
Learn about the training requirements for clinical lab scientists. Get an overview of the certification process and potential licensure requirements for this career.
What Are the Education Requirements for Clinical Lab Scientists?
If you aspire to be a laboratory technologist, a good place to start would be in a 4-year bachelor's degree program in the field of medical technology. Such programs will often provide you with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a laboratory while also completing formal classroom lectures and research. Some schools may require you to take prerequisite courses like biology, chemistry and medical terminology. Coursework for your major may cover microbiology, immunology, hematology, phlebotomy and physiological chemistry. The institution you chose should have a program that is accredited by National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences or another related agency.
|Training Courses||Phlebotomy, hematology, chemistry, microbiology|
|Training Format||On campus or online|
|Certification||Give through American Medical Technologists or American Society for Clinical Pathology|
|Median Salary (2020)||$54,180 (for all medical and clinical laboratory technologists)|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||7% growth (for all medical and clinical laboratory technologists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Can This Degree Be Earned Online?
You may be able to find fully online programs in medical technology. Requirements for admission vary by school, and may require you to have certain experience in the medical field prior to enrollment. In any program, you must be able to apprentice in an approved lab facility as you complete your other coursework from home. Be sure to check your school of choice for specific technical requirements for their distance education program.
Do I Need To Be Certified?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), each state has varying requirements in regards to licensure and registration. Additionally, the BLS mentions that certification by a credentialing organization is preferred by many employers.
One option is to certify as a medical technologist through the American Medical Technologists organization. Another certifying agency is the American Society for Clinical Pathology, offering the Medical Laboratory Scientist designation. Both certifications require that you have successfully completed a bachelor's degree program in medical technology or a related field in addition to practical training in a formal lab facility. Once you have met the education and experience requirements you may sit for the exam of either certifying agency. While each exam is different, you may be tested on areas such as chemistry, parisitology, urinalysis and blood banking.