What Are Popular Careers in Clinical Laboratory Science?

Clinical laboratory science encompasses popular careers such as clinical laboratory technologist, medical laboratory technician, phlebotomist, histo-technician and cyto-technologist. Here, you might gain more insight into each of these career options. Continue reading for more information. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Clinical Laboratory Science Careers Overview

The world of clinical laboratory science is growing rapidly and in need of qualified applicants. Listed below are some of the most popular careers within the industry, as well as important facts about these occupations.

Important Facts About Popular Clinical Laboratory Science Careers

Clinical Laboratory Technologists Medical Laboratory Technicians Phlebotomists
Median Salary (2014) $59,430 $38,370 $30,670
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 14% growth 18% growth 25% growth
Work Environment Hospitals; medical and diagnostic laboratories; offices of physicians Hospitals; medical and diagnostic laboratories; offices of physicians Hospitals; medical and diagnostic laboratories; other ambulatory healthcare services
Similar Occupations Chemists and materials scientists; veterinary technologists and technicians Biological technicians; chemical technicians Medical assistants; medical transcriptionists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Clinical Laboratory Technologists

One of the most popular careers in clinical laboratory science is that of clinical laboratory technologist. These professionals perform sophisticated microscopic, hematological, chemical, bacteriological, biological and immunologic tests by using microscopes to examine cells, blood and body fluids. They analyze these samples to detect signs of parasites, bacteria or fungi.

Medical Laboratory Technicians

Medical laboratory technicians, also known as clinical laboratory technicians, are supervised by laboratory managers or clinical laboratory technologists. A medical laboratory technician conducts simple tests and procedures, unlike clinical laboratory technologists, who perform more complex duties. They prepare samples and operate high-tech analyzers. They also sometimes perform manual tests by following instructions. Medical laboratory technician is a popular entry-level career with approximately 163,400 in the workforce throughout the country as of 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).


Phlebotomists collect blood samples by drawing blood from veins using needles. These clinical laboratory science specialists collect the blood in tubes, label the samples correctly and send them to laboratories for further analysis. Phlebotomists must wear masks and gloves to prevent accidents that may occur when disposing of used needles and to protect themselves from exposure to harmful substances.


Histo-technicians are responsible for cutting and staining tissue slides for microscopic examination and passing the prepared samples on to pathologists for diagnosis. These specialists work in the pharmaceutical industry as well as in operating rooms and clinics. They may specialize in research, veterinary pathology or forensic pathology. It may also be their responsibility to prepare frozen tissue specimens and to assist pathologists in preserving organs for later examination.


Cyto-technologists mainly conduct the Pap test, a routine examination for women that identifies cancerous cells from the uterine cervix. Cyto-technologists examine cell samples to identify any cancerous cells, and they provide the results to the primary physician so the patients can get medical care if needed.

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