Career Outlook: Clinical Laboratory Scientists
If you are looking for a rewarding career in the medical field, consider becoming a clinical laboratory scientist. These healthcare professionals spend their days in the lab testing specimens for a variety of conditions. They typically work in concert with doctors to help determine the best treatment regimen for the patient.
What follows is a high-level overview of the clinical laboratory scientist job role. You gain a better understanding of the educational requirements and typical job duties. We also take a look at the current job outlook and the standard salary range for this important position.
Working in Healthcare With No Patient Interaction
Clinical laboratory scientists are also known as medical laboratory science professionals. The job role provides a great option if you want to work in medicine, but don’t want to directly interact with patients. After all, these scientists provide personalized healthcare through their analysis of patient specimens. This plays a critical role in diagnosing a variety of diseases and other health conditions.
In this job role, expect to examine patient tissue, fluids, and cells. Some analysis work is required to determine any abnormalities or the presence of viruses. These scientists also evaluate test results to provide actionable interpretations for doctors.
Educational Requirements for Clinical Laboratory Professionals
A bachelor’s degree remains the standard requirement for a clinical laboratory scientist. The clinical or medial laboratory technician job role only requires an associate degree, and subsequently their job duties aren’t as complex. However, expect a significantly lower salary for this job role. In fact, it’s worth spending the extra time in college to earn a full degree.
The Current Job Outlook for Medical Laboratory Scientists
The overall job outlook for clinical laboratory professionals remains strong. Opportunities for meaningful work exist in a variety of medical settings. These include hospitals, commercial labs, the pharmaceutical or biotech industries, fertility clinics, as well as the food industry. If you like animals, working in a veterinary lab offers another option.
Since many of these labs operate on a 24-hour basis, it allows significant flexibility in scheduling your workday. Of course, your pay is also good. The median salary for a clinical laboratory scientist is close to $60,000 per year. Technician salaries average closer to $40,000 per year. Experienced scientists can earn an annual salary closer to $80,000.
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