Medical/Clinical Laboratory Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Performs routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Diagnostic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Conducts chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enters findings into computer.
  • Analyzes the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
  • Sets up, maintains, calibrates, cleans, and tests sterility of medical laboratory equipment.
  • Prepares standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.
  • Collects blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.
  • Supervises or instructs other technicians or laboratory assistants.
  • Conducts blood tests for transfusion purposes and performs blood counts.
  • Inoculates fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.
  • Obtains specimens, cultivating, isolating, and identifying microorganisms for analysis.
  • Examines cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Biotechnician -- Works with biologists studying living organisms and helps maintain, set up and operate laboratory equipment; makes observations, calculating and recording results; and analyzes organic substances, such as blood, food and drugs.
  • Cytogenetic Technician -- Analyzes chromosomes found in biological specimens such as amniotic fluids, bone marrow, and blood to aid in the study, diagnosis, or treatment of genetic diseases.
  • Hemodialysis Technician -- Duties include dialyzer reprocessing, equipment maintenance and repair, water treatment monitoring, participation in quality improvement, vascular access monitoring and are the primary direct care giver for patients undergoing dialysis treatments.
  • Microbiology Technician -- Investigates the structure, growth and development of microscopic organisms, like bacteria, fungi or algae; and also studies the relationship between diseases and organisms or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Pathology Technician -- Assists pathologists in preparing and examining specimens for evaluation, research or diagnosis and recording the results and keeping records of all laboratory testing.
  • Blood Bank Laboratory Technician --