Medical/Clinical Laboratory Technologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Performs complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.

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


A person in this career:

  • Conducts chemical analysis of body fluids, including blood, urine, or spinal fluid, to determine presence of normal or abnormal components.
  • Analyzes laboratory findings to check the accuracy of the results.
  • Operates, calibrates, or maintains equipment used in quantitative or qualitative analysis, such as spectrophotometers, calorimeters, flame photometers, or computer-controlled analyzers.
  • Collects and studies blood samples to determine the number of cells, their morphology, or their blood group, blood type, or compatibility for transfusion purposes, using microscopic techniques.
  • Enters data from analysis of medical tests or clinical results into computer for storage.
  • Establishes or monitors quality assurance programs or activities to ensure the accuracy of laboratory results.
  • Analyzes samples of biological material for chemical content or reaction.
  • Sets up, cleans, and maintains laboratory equipment.
  • Provides technical information about test results to physicians, family members, or researchers.
  • Cultivates, isolates, or assists in identifying microbial organisms or performs various tests on these microorganisms.

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Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

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
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions 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 at a distance
  • 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:

  • Biochemistry Technologist -- Performs qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses of body fluids and exudates, following instructions, to provide information used in diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
  • Cytogenetic Technologist -- Prepares, examines, and analyzes chromosomes found in biological specimens, such as amniotic fluids, bone marrow, and blood, to aid in diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases.
  • Cytotechnologist -- Stains, mounts, and studies cells of human body to detect evidence of cancer, hormonal abnormalities, and other pathological conditions, following established standards and practices.
  • Histotechnologist -- Prepares histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by PATHOLOGIST (medical ser.) 070.061-010.
  • Immunohematologist -- Performs immunohematology tests, recommends blood problem solutions to doctors, and serves as consultant to blood bank and community.
  • Medical Technologist, Chief -- Directs and coordinates activities of workers engaged in performing chemical, microscopic, and bacteriologic tests to obtain data for use in diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
  • Medical Technologist, Teaching Supervisor -- Teaches one or more phases of medical technology to students of medicine, medical technology, or nursing arts, or to INTERNS (medical ser.).
  • Microbiology Technologist -- Cultivates, isolates, and assists in identifying bacteria and other microbial organisms, and performs various bacteriological, mycological, virological, mycobacteriological, and parasitological tests.