Summary Report for:
29-2012.00 - Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians
Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
Sample of reported job titles: Certified Clinical Laboratory Technician, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Clinical Laboratory Technician (Clinical Lab Technician), Laboratory Assistant (Lab Assistant), Laboratory Supervisor, Laboratory Technician, Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), Medical Laboratory Technicians (Medical Lab Technician), Medical Technician
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer.
- Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
- Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.
- Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.
- Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.
- Supervise or instruct other technicians or laboratory assistants.
- Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.
- Inoculate fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.
- Obtain specimens, cultivating, isolating, and identifying microorganisms for analysis.
- Examine cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.
- Consult with a pathologist to determine a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found.
- Cut, stain, and mount tissue samples for examination by pathologists.
- Perform medical research to further control or cure disease.
- Test raw materials, processes, or finished products to determine quality or quantity of materials or characteristics of a substance.
- Analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs, or narratives.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Anaerobic jars or accessories — Anaerobe jars; Candle jars
- Analytical balances
- Bench refractometers or polarimeters — Bench refractometers
- Benchtop centrifuges — Centrifuges
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Compound microscopes
- Blood bank analyzers — Agglutination viewers
- Blood bank cell washers — Cell washers
- Blood collection needle — Blood collection needles
- Blood collection needle holders — Needle holders
- Blood collection syringes
- Butterfly needles
- Capillary or hematocrit tubes — Capillary sticks; Capillary tubes
- Chemistry analyzers — Automated chemistry analyzers; Automated/semi-automated dipstick analysis systems; Heterologous test systems; Homologous test systems
- Chromatographic detectors — Chromatographs
- Coagulation analyzers — Automated coagulation analyzers; Portable coagulation analyzers
- Compact disc CD or labeling printers — Label printers
- Desktop computers
- Dropping pipettes
- Electrolyte analyzers
- Electronic multichannel pipetters — 8 and 12 channel pipettes
- Extracting equipment for laboratories — Plasma extractors
- Fluorescent microscopes — Fluorescence microscopes
- Forced air or mechanical convection general purpose incubators — Incubators
- Glucose monitors or meters — Glucose monitoring systems
- Hemacytometer sets — Hemacytometers
- Hematology analyzers — 5-part differential automated hematology analyzers; Automated platelet analyzers; Hematology task-targeted automation TTA systems; Semiautomated hematology analyzers (see all 5 examples)
- Histology tissue cassettes — Tissue cassettes
- Hypodermic needle — 22-gauge needles
- Immunology or serology test kits or supplies — Serological kits
- Laboratory diluters — Diluters
- Laboratory mixers — Electrical mixers
- Laboratory vacuum pumps
- Laminar flow cabinets or stations — Laminar flow hoods
- Lancets — Sterile blood lancets
- Laser printers
- Liquid scintillation counters — Scintillation counters
- Manual or electronic hematology differential cell counters — Cell counters
- Manual single channel air displacement pipetters — Single-channel pipettes
- Microbiology analyzers — Flow cytometers
- Microcentrifuges — Microhematocrits
- Microplate washers — Plate washers
- Microscope slides — Glass slides
- Multipurpose or general test tubes — Sterile transfer tubes
- Multiwell plates — Microtiter plates
- Notebook computers
- Personal computers
- Petri plates or dishes — Petri dishes
- pH meters
- Phlebotomy trays or accessories — Collection tube holders/adapters; Unopettes
- Platelet mixers — Platelet rockers
- Robotic or automated liquid handling systems — Automatic pipetters
- Shaking incubators — Blood culture incubators
- Specialty plates for bacteria — Blood agar plates
- Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Autoclaves
- Stereo or dissecting light microscopes — Light microscopes
- Surgical sterile instrument brushes or instrument stylets or instrument wipes — Stylets
- Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers — Thermal cyclers
- Tissue culture coated plates or dishes or inserts — Antigen-coated test plates; Sensitivity plates
- Tissue embedding stations — Tissue embedding equipment
- Triple beam balances
- Tube rotators — Serology tube rotators
- Urinalysis analyzers — Urinometers
- Vacuum blood collection tubes or containers — Evacuated blood collection tubes; Vacutainer tubes
- Warming cabinets — Plasma thawers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — Billing software
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software
- Medical software — Electronic medical record EMR software; MEDITECH software; Test result delivery software; Test routing software (see all 13 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft Power Point
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Detailed Work Activities
- Prepare biological specimens for laboratory analysis.
- Analyze laboratory specimens to detect abnormalities or other problems.
- Operate laboratory equipment to analyze medical samples.
- Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
- Analyze laboratory findings.
- Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
- Collect biological specimens from patients.
- Test biological specimens to gather information about patient conditions.
- Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
- Maintain medical laboratory equipment.
- Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
- Train medical providers.
- Clean medical equipment or facilities.
- Cultivate micro-organisms for study, testing, or medical preparations.
- Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.
- Supervise technical medical personnel.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 90% responded “Extremely important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 60% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 62% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Electronic Mail — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 37% responded “Some freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 38% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 49% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 33% responded “Very serious.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 49% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 46% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 59% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Very important results.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 28% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Spend Time Standing — 56% responded “About half the time.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 32% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Degree of Automation — 42% responded “Moderately automated.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 45% responded “About half the time.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 48% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: RIC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$18.45 hourly, $38,370 annual|
|Employment (2012)||162,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Much faster than average (22% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||90,200|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) , Board of Registry, 917 Locust St., Suite 1100, St. Louis, MO 63101. Phone: (314) 241-1445. Fax: (314) 241-1449.
- American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) , 8101 Glenbrook Rd., Bethesda, MD 20814-2749. Phone: (301) 907-6977. Fax: (301) 907-6895.
- American Medical Technologists (AMT) , 10700 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 150, Rosemont, IL 60018. Phone: (847) 823-5169. Fax: (847) 823-0458.
- American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) , 6701 Democracy Blvd., Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20817. Phone: (301) 657-2768. Fax: (301) 657-2909.
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) , 33 W Monroe, Suite 1600, Chicago, IL 60603. Phone: (312) 541-4999. Fax: (312) 541-4998.
- American Society for Cytopathology (ACS) , 400 W. 9th St., Suite 201, Wilmington, DE 19801. Phone: (302) 429-8802. Fax: (302) 429-8807.
- Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) , 989 Old Eagle School Rd., Suite 815, Wayne, PA 19087. Phone: (610) 995-2640. Fax: (610) 995-9568.
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) , 8410 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 670, Chicago, IL 60631. Phone: (773) 714-8880. Fax: (773) 714-8886.