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Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Major

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Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

3,031 Associate's Degrees Annually
3,806 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#15 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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 9,861
Bachelor’s Degree 3,806
Associate’s Degree 3,043
Undergraduate Certificate 1,802

What Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, clinical laboratory science majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Clinical Laboratory Science Majors

Clinical Laboratory Science majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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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

A major in clinical laboratory science will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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?

People with a clinical laboratory science degree often go into the following careers:

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?

3,043 Associate's Degrees Annually
79% Percent Women
38% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is one of the most frequently chosen trade school majors. It is the 15th most popular in the country with 3,031 students graduating with an associate’s in clinical laboratory science in 2019. The major attracts more women than men. About 79% 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:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Clinical Laboratory Science Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 261
Black or African American 369
Hispanic or Latino 400
White 1,668
International Students 43
Other Races/Ethnicities 302

Geographic Diversity

Clinical Laboratory Science appeals to people across the globe. About 1.4% 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 you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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 careers associated with clinical laboratory science require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to clinical laboratory science have obtained the following education levels.

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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 2018-2019, 963 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) 472 9
Certificate (1-2 years) 146 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 9 0
Associate’s Degree 328 24
Bachelor’s Degree 39 5
Post-Baccalaureate 472 9
Master’s Degree 57 11
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 2 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
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,166
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,189
Allied Health Professions 75,437
Health & Medical Administrative Services 68,235
Dental Support Services 26,100
Health Sciences & Services 24,422
Mental & Social Health Services 13,421
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 11,961
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,251
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,025
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 39

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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