Clinical Laboratory Assistant
Working in a clinical laboratory allows you to combine an interest in chemistry, biology, computers and medicine. If this piques your curiosity, read on to explore education requirements and career options for clinical laboratory assistants.
Inside Clinical Laboratory Assisting
A clinical laboratory assistant plays a supporting role in preparing and testing specimens in a medical lab. Their responsibilities include tasks like examining cells under a microscope; using a centrifuge to separate blood cells and plasma; and running tests for disease detection using automated lab equipment. A clinical laboratory assistant works directly under a clinical laboratory technologist. In non-hospital laboratories, they may also help with administrative tasks like answering the phone or greeting patients.
It's important that clinical laboratory assistants possess an interest in chemistry and biology in addition to being professional and detail-oriented. Take a look at the resources from Study.com provided below to learn more about options in this field.
Most clinical laboratory assistants complete a 1- or 2-year program to receive a certificate or an associate degree. Upon graduation from one of these programs, a clinical laboratory assistant may apply for certification from a number of different credentialing bodies, like the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel. Formal training and certification may make a student a more attractive candidate for a job. However, some clinical laboratory assistants are still trained on the job. Visit the following links to find out more about degrees and other academic programs for this field.
- Clinical Laboratory Associate Degree
- Clinical Laboratory Technician Certificate
- Online Laboratory Assistant Certificate
Clinical laboratory assistants or technicians do not need to be licensed by the state, but employers generally prefer certified technicians. These articles examine the clinical laboratory assistant career.
Training as a clinical laboratory assistant may open doors to other types of lab-based careers. The following articles examine various specializations.
Increased demand for clinical laboratory assistants is expected in response to the medical needs of the nation's large elderly population. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of medical and clinical lab technicians will grow 30%, which is much faster than average, in the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). Techs in this field earned an average annual wage of $40,240, according to May 2013 BLS data.
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