A bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science is the typical requirement to obtain state licensure as a medical lab technician or technologist. This degree is also usually sufficient to qualify for an optional certification in laboratory sciences. Students in the degree program will study many topics, among them genetics, biochemistry, immunology and serology. Students may also choose a specialization such as transfusion medicine, clinical chemistry, histology and hematology. Completion of a clinical practicum, in addition to standard coursework, is typically required so that students may get the professional field experience needed for their career.
Students must hold a high school diploma, have a satisfactory GPA, college entrance examination scores and undergo a criminal background check in order to be accepted into most programs. Additionally, there may be course prerequisites covering topics like biology, microbiology, chemistry and organic chemistry, immunization.
Bachelor of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science
A bachelor of science degree in clinical laboratory science provides the theoretical framework and hands-on experience needed to attain excellence in the field. Students take a number of medical science courses in addition to lab-specific coursework. Classes generally include:
- Molecular biology
- Clinical laboratory administration and management
- Human anatomy
- Cell biology
Career Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for clinical and medical laboratory technologists and technicians will increase by a projected 11% for the years 2018 through 2028.
The BLS reported in May 2018 that clinical and medical laboratory technologists and technicians earned median annual salaries of $52,330.
Some states require licensure for clinical laboratory scientists, and such credentials generally require continuing education credits. A number of professional organizations, such as ASCLS, the American Society for Clinical Pathology and American Medical Technologists, offer annual symposiums and regular continuing education opportunities. Graduate programs also exist for those seeking to pursue research or academic careers.
Clinical and medical laboratory technologists and technicians must compete a bachelor's degree program in clinical laboratory science. Upon graduation, they can look forward to a positive job growth over the next decade, as well as a competitive salary.