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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: Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), Medical Laboratory Technician (Medical Lab Tech), Laboratory Assistant (Lab Assistant), Laboratory Technician, Phlebotomist, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Laboratory Supervisor, Non-Registered Technician, Laboratory Associate (Lab Associate), Toxicology Laboratory Technician

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.
  • Examine cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.
  • Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.
  • Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
  • Analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs, or narratives.
  • Consult with a pathologist to determine a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found.
  • Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.
  • Inoculate fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.
  • Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Anaerobic jars or accessories — Anaerobe jars; Candle jars
Chemistry analyzers — Automated chemistry analyzers; Automated/semi-automated dipstick analysis systems; Heterologous test systems; Homologous test systems
Coagulation analyzers — Automated coagulation analyzers; Portable coagulation analyzers
Hematology analyzers — 5-part differential automated hematology analyzers; Automated platelet analyzers; Hematology task-targeted automation TTA systems; Semiautomated hematology analyzers
Phlebotomy trays or accessories — Collection tube holders/adapters; Unopettes

Technology used in this occupation:

Accounting software — Billing software
Electronic mail software — Email software
Medical software — Electronic medical record EMR software; Laboratory information system LIS software; Test result delivery software; Test routing software
Spreadsheet software
Word processing software

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Knowledge

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.
Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
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.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
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.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Skills

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.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Abilities

Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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.
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.
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.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

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Work Activities

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
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.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Work Context

Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Exposed to Disease or Infections — How often does this job require exposure to disease/infections?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — How often does this job require exposure to hazardous conditions?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Consequence of Error — How serious would the result usually be if the worker made a mistake that was not readily correctable?

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Job Zone

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, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

There is 1 recognized apprenticeable specialty associated with this occupation:
Medical-Laboratory Technician

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
58   Associate's degree
28   Bachelor's degree
12   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Interests

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.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
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.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
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.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

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Work Values

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.

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Related Occupations

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29-2099.01 Neurodiagnostic Technologists Bright Outlook
31-9099.02 Endoscopy Technicians Bright Outlook

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $17.90 hourly, $37,240 annual
Employment (2012) 162,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 90,200
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "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.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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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.

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