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Career profile Clinical Laboratory Technician

Also known as Certified Clinical Laboratory Technician, Clinical Laboratory Technician (Clinical Lab Technician), Laboratory Assistant (Lab Assistant), Laboratory Technician (Lab Tech), Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), Medical Laboratory Technicians (Medical Lab Technician), Medical Technician

Clinical Laboratory Technician

Also known as Certified Clinical Laboratory Technician, Clinical Laboratory Technician (Clinical Lab Technician), Laboratory Assistant (Lab Assistant)

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$31,450 - $83,700 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.
  • Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
  • 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.
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What does a Clinical Laboratory Technician do?

Clinical Laboratory Technicians perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

In addition, Clinical Laboratory Technicians may work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

What kind of tasks does a Clinical Laboratory Technician perform regularly?

Clinical Laboratory Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The above responsibilities are specific to Clinical Laboratory Technicians. More generally, Clinical Laboratory Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Working 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.

What is a Clinical Laboratory Technician salary?

The median salary for a Clinical Laboratory Technician is $54,180, and the average salary is $55,990. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Clinical Laboratory Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Clinical Laboratory Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Clinical Laboratory Technicians earn less than $31,450 per year, 25% earn less than $39,680, 75% earn less than $69,650, and 90% earn less than $83,700.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Clinical Laboratory Technicians is expected to change by 10.9%, and there should be roughly 25,900 open positions for Clinical Laboratory Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$54,180
Typical salary range
$31,450 - $83,700
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
10.9%

What personality traits are common among Clinical Laboratory Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Clinical Laboratory Technician are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Conventional interests.

Clinical Laboratory Technicians typically have strong Realistic interests. 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.

Also, Clinical Laboratory Technicians typically have strong Investigative interests. 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.

Lastly, Clinical Laboratory Technicians typically have moderate Conventional interests. 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.

Clinical Laboratory Technicians typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Clinical Laboratory Technician tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Clinical Laboratory Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Clinical Laboratory Technicians moderately value 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.

Lastly, Clinical Laboratory Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Clinical Laboratory Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Clinical Laboratory Technicians, ranked by importance:

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.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Clinical Laboratory Technicians need?

Clinical Laboratory Technicians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Clinical Laboratory Technicians 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 this occupation.

Educational degrees among Clinical Laboratory Technicians

  • 1.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 10.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.7% completed some college coursework
  • 18.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 38.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 6.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 3.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Clinical Laboratory Technicians

Clinical Laboratory Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as chemistry, biology, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Clinical Laboratory Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Clinical Laboratory Technicians

Clinical Laboratory Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Clinical Laboratory Technicians need abilities such as near vision, oral expression, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Clinical Laboratory Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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 that there is a problem.
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 Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Critical Skills needed by Clinical Laboratory Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Clinical Laboratory Technicians frequently use skills like active listening, reading comprehension, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Clinical Laboratory Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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