What's the Salary for an Entry-Level Medical Lab Assistant?

Medical lab assistants, also called medical lab technicians, perform basic lab tests under the supervision of medical lab technologists. Read on to learn how your salary is influenced by such factors as your experience level, location and employer. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean yearly wage for medical and clinical lab technicians of all experience levels was $40,750 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The 10th-90th percentile range of these professionals earned between $25,500 and $59,750. The BLS stated that positions for medical and clinical lab technicians were predicted to grow 30% from 2012-2022, which was much greater than the expected growth for other job sectors.

PayScale.com reported that the 10th-90th percentile range of entry-level medical and clinical lab technicians earned between $24,175 and $50,184 as of September 2015. The median income was $35,003. Your entry-level salary can depend on multiple factors, including the industry that you choose and your location within the country.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education Associate's degree or certificate
Professional Certification Voluntary general or specialty certification available
Key Skills Physical stamina, attention to detail, knowledge of technology, dexterity
Similar Occupations Biological technician, chemical technician, chemist, materials scientist

Salary by Industry

Most medical and clinical lab technicians were employed at hospitals, laboratories and physicians' offices in May 2014, reported the BLS. Hospitals paid workers a mean salary of $41,210 per year, which was slightly higher than the overall mean wage for this profession. Laboratories and physicians' offices paid workers lower respective average wages of $40,180 and $40,660, respectively. The highest-paying fields for these workers in May 2014 were pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing and dentists' offices, which both offered professionals annual wages above $50,000, on average, reported the BLS.

Salary by Location

Your salary as a medical lab assistant can also depend on your region. The BLS reported that the states employing the most medical and clinical lab technicians in May 2014 were California, Texas and Pennsylvania. Earnings for these states were $46,320, $37,980 and $41,060, respectively. The highest-paying state in the nation was Rhode Island, where workers earned a mean annual wage of $59,550. This state, however, only employed 420 workers as of May 2014. New Jersey was a high-paying state that also employed a substantial number of workers. This state employed 2,700 professionals and paid them a mean yearly salary of $50,400.

Other states with high average earnings in May 2014 were the Vermont ($51,450), Connecticut ($49,720) and Alaska ($49,040). Alabama, Florida, Utah, Michigan and South Dakota were some of the states paying the lowest average wages ranging from $25,200-$35,940, according to the BLS.

Academic Requirements

If you're interested in an entry-level medical lab assistant job, you can earn an associate's degree in medical laboratory technology, biology or a related life sciences subject from a community college. You might also complete a certificate program at a college or vocational school.

Both associate's degree and certificate programs teach future lab assistants how to handle equipment, clean lab instruments and analyze patients' tissue and fluid samples. Instruction includes both lecture-based and laboratory classes. Associate's degree programs contain separate general education requirements, but both degree and certificate programs cover similar coursework, exploring such topics as these:

  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Phlebotomy
  • Safety protocols
  • Laboratory skills
  • Medical terminology

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The George Washington University

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    • Master
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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Keiser University

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  • Capella University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Herzing University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Independence University

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

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