Medical Laboratory Science

The Profession

Who they are: Medical laboratory scientists evaluate test results and correlate results with other laboratory data, playing a significant role on the healthcare team in diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients.

What they do: A medical laboratory scientist performs complex procedures in areas like hematology, chemistry, virology, and microbiology, while conducting a variety of laboratory tests on blood, body fluids, and tissues.

Where they work: The range of potential work settings is growing to include: hospitals and clinic laboratories, commercial firms, research facilities, veterinary clinics, and industrial laboratories. There are a wide variety of opportunities within and outside the traditional hospital setting.

Outlook: Employment opportunities are expected to increase as well in all areas of clinical laboratory practice, such as molecular diagnostics. The profession is growing much more quickly than average, with an estimated 35,100 new jobs created by 2028. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education

Individuals interested in becoming a Medical Laboratory Scientist must complete at least a Bachelor degree. There are traditional four year programs, or programs that can be completed in two years if an individual has completed previous coursework.  Individuals are trained in chemistry, microbiology, math, and statistics, as well as hands-on lab techniques. 

Some states require professionals to be licensed. Each state has differing requirements for licensure. More about these processes can be found here.

U of M Program