California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists in California

May also be called: Clinical Laboratory Scientists; Lab Technologists; Medical Laboratory Scientists; and Medical Technologists

Specialties within this occupation include: Cytogenetic Technologists; Cytotechnologists; Histotechnologists

What Would I Do?

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. They perform complex chemical, biological, hematological, and microscopic tests. With increasing computer automation, the work of Technologists has become less hands-on and more analytical. The complexity of tests performed and the level of judgment needed depend largely on the amount of education and experience they have.

Working conditions vary with the size and type of employment setting. Clinical Laboratory Technologists are trained to work with infectious specimens; therefore, they must follow safety precautions. Technologists typically work a 40-hour workweek, but may work the night shift as well as weekends and holidays.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Medical Laboratory Technologist may appeal to those who enjoy working with ideas and technology. Results-oriented individuals who are attentive to detail, confident decision makers, and technology proficient should enjoy this type of job.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2016 for Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists in California is $84,335 annually, or $40.55 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists generally receive good benefits including medical, dental, life, and vision insurance, as well as vacation, sick leave, and pension plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

Employment of Medical and Clinical Lab Technologists will see some growth. This is due to the increasing volume of laboratory tests as the population ages, new types of tests are developed, and health care legislation.

How Do I Qualify?

The minimum educational requirement for entry-level jobs is a bachelor's degree in medical technology or in one of the life sciences. In order to do testing and analysis of human samples, Medical Laboratory Technologists must be certified by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and licensed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers is one of the best ways to find a job. Hospitals and medical laboratories are the largest employers of Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists. Other possible job search methods include using a college placement service, attending healthcare job fairs, and visiting a One-Stop Career Center. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Learn More About Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists