Careers in Medical Laboratory Science
Medical laboratory scientists are in high demand, as medical testing is at an all-time high.
The focus of health care is on diagnosing and preventing diseases, and medical laboratory scientists are trained to investigate the causes of diseases. The Human Genome Project and research in bioterrorism also have increased demand for medical laboratory scientists.
Medical laboratory science involves you in medicine without having to obtain the MD. Students with an interest in biology, chemistry, or premedical studies find it an especially valuable field, one that offers flexible schedules and job security.
Upon completion of the program, you have a wealth of career options. Potential worksites include:
- Forensic laboratories
- Research clinics
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Blood banks
- Public health clinics
- Veterinary practices and laboratories
- Public health organizations
- U.S. military
- Volunteer organizations, such as the Peace Corps and Doctors Without Borders
- Equipment and supply companies
According to the annual salary survey of the Medical Laboratory Observer, median salaries for Medical Laboratory Scientists are $53,195 for a Medical Laboratory Scientist and $60,684 for an Assistant/Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist.
Professional groups offer such valuable benefits as networking opportunities, the chance to have a voice in policy discussions, and subscriptions to journals.
Licensure and Certification
Some states will require that you obtain a license. Agencies that certify medical laboratory scientists include:
You may choose to become certified. Certification is the process by which a nongovernmental agency or association grants recognition of competence to an individual who has met certain predetermined qualifications, as specified by that agency or association. Most hospitals require it. Many states only require a certification and not licensing.