How to Become a Clinical Researcher

The medical clinical laboratory profession is expected to keep pace with healthcare changes overall in coming years as job growth is predicted to increase 11% by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overview & Salaries

Medical laboratory technologists earn a median salary of $56,130 and the median annual wage of medical laboratory technicians is $46,680, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Medical Laboratory Technologists $56,130
Medical Laboratory Technicians $46,680
Medical Lab Technician $35,140
Cytotechnologist $61,290
Pathologist $221,000
Phlebotomist $32,340
Histotechnician $53,200
Pathology Assistant $64,000
Development Technologist $79,000
Histologist $47,800
Vascular Access Team Technician $73,200
Laboratory Assistant $22,040

Places to Work

In the past decade, clinical laboratories have sprung up all over the country as the demand for the work has increased. And the work is performed in a variety of venues including private practices and government organizations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages in selected industries hiring medical laboratory professionals are:

  • Federal government $62,880
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private $56,470
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories $55,930
  • Offices of physicians $52,250

Employment and Information Data for Clinical Laboratory Research

Why Clinical Laboratory Research

If you prefer doing your best work behind the scenes, then perhaps a career as a medical clinical laboratory professional is just what the doctor ordered. That is because careers as a medical laboratory technologists (also referred to as scientists) and the technicians that work with them are key performers in the medical industry and help analyze, diagnose and treat many ailments effecting Americans.

And with an aging baby-booming population living longer than past generations, the need to find revolutionary medical findings through the laboratory research process will continue to be in demand.

Recommended Clinical Laboratory Research Courses

  • Techniques and Mathematics for the Laboratory 
  • Hematology
  • Biomedical Ethics 
  • Clinical Chemistry
  • Phlebotomy for Medical Laboratory Technology 
  • Immunohematology/Immunology
  • Phlebotomy Laboratory Assisting 
  • Clinical Microbiolog
  • Urinalysis/Body Fluids 
  • Parasitology/Immunology

Degrees for Clinical Laboratory Research Careers

Any time your job takes you into a laboratory, you’ve likely had some formal training. And that is certainly true for clinical laboratory work. While most labs will likely require at least a bachelor’s degree for medical technologists, tech positions generally start out requiring only a degree or a post-secondary certificate.

Some states require technologists and technicians to be licensed.

Associate’s Degree
An associate’s is usually a two-year program with extensive focus on laboratory applied sciences. These degrees can get your foot into the door at many laboratories.

Bachelor’s Degree
For medical technologists (scientists), the four-year bachelor’s program at many schools is a fantastic first step toward a rewarding career in the laboratory. The bachelor’s program will offer full immersion in laboratory applied sciences, as well as more general sciences courses. Of course, they’ll still want you to take English and history, so be prepared!

Doctorate (Ph.D)
A doctorate in Laboratory Applied Sciences covers all the in-depth scientific theory and practice issues associated with lab work. It also includes a healthy dose of biology, chemistry and ethics courses. This deep dive prepares students for a life of research and teaching.
Regardless of degree, most states require students to pass state examinations to work in a lab.