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Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Major

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Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

3,514 Associate's Degrees Annually
4,027 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#12 in Popularity (Associate's)
$37,990 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many clinical/medical laboratory science graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 9,031
Bachelor’s Degree 4,027
Associate Degree 3,527
Undergraduate Certificate 1,362

What Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to clinical laboratory science and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Clinical Laboratory Science Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in clinical laboratory science should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills for Clinical Laboratory Science Majors

When studying clinical laboratory science, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities for Clinical Laboratory Science Majors

As you progress with your clinical laboratory science degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with clinical laboratory science:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Cytogenetic Technologists 11.6% NA
Cytotechnologists 11.6% NA
Health Technologists and Technicians 19.6% $42,920
Histotechnologists and Histologic Technicians 11.6% NA
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians 14.0% NA
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists 11.6% NA
Medical Equipment Preparers 11.1% $36,240
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians 11.7% $31,830
Ophthalmic Medical Technologists 19.6% $42,920
Phlebotomists 24.5% $34,480
Surgical Technologists 11.7% $47,300

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science?

3,527 Associate's Degrees Annually
82% Percent Women
42% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is one of the most frequently chosen trade school majors. It is the 12th most popular in the country with 3,514 students graduating with an associate’s in clinical laboratory science in 2021. The major attracts more women than men. About 82% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of clinical laboratory science majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 242
Black or African American 632
Hispanic or Latino 474
White 1,877
International Students 70
Other Races/Ethnicities 232

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Clinical Laboratory Science, too. About 2.0% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Nepal
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Nigeria

How Much Do Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Clinical Laboratory Science majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $35,560 to $49,040 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Major  ( 35560 to 49040 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with clinical laboratory science may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for clinical laboratory science careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.5%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 13.6%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 14.4%
Some College Courses 5.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 19.5%
Bachelor’s Degree 28.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 9.5%
Master’s Degree 4.5%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.3%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.1%
Doctoral Degree 1.5%
Post-Doctoral Training 1.4%

Online Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Programs

In 2020-2021, 964 schools offered a clinical laboratory science program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 138 4
Certificate (2-4 Years) 6 0
Associate’s Degree 328 18
Bachelor’s Degree 46 4
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 65 8
Post-Master’s 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 6 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Worth It?

The median salary for a clinical laboratory science grad is $37,990 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to clinical laboratory science.

Major Number of Grads
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 84,270
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 84,030
Health & Medical Administrative Services 72,024
Allied Health Professions 69,358
Health Sciences & Services 34,199
Dental Support Services 26,277
Mental & Social Health Services 12,238
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 10,751
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 2,374
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 949
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 31

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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