Career Explorer

Job Description

Medical Laboratory professionals perform clinical laboratory procedures in chemistry, hematology, and microbiology. They help physicians diagnose, monitor, prevent, and treat disease. 

A person in this career:

  • Sets up, adjusts and maintains medical laboratory equipment
  • Analyzes test and experiment results to make sure they meet specifications
  • Records test results and prepares reports
  • Analyzes body fluids, such as blood and urine, to detect abnormalities
  • Operates equipment necessary for laboratory work
  • Manipulates patients as necessary for the performance of laboratory procedures
  • Evaluates patient, test reactions, medical test results and the working environment
  • Communicates with the patient, family, medical personnel and others to disseminate information relevant to patient care
  • Uses a microscope to differentiate microscopic components 

Working Conditions and Physical Demands:

  • Handle loads of up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs.  You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machine, equipment or tools
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, and hearing protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once per month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control 

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance 

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Career at a Glance

Salary Range
$22,556 to $39,769

Skills Needed
Interest in science, medicine, pathology, and hands on activities
Good problem solving and communication skills
Self directed learner
Good math and science skills
Good computer skills

Job Duties
Perform and analyze lab test on blood and other body fluids for use in diagnosis and treatment
Interpret findings involving tissue, blood, and body fluids

Work Locations
Physicians’ offices
Public health labs
Research labs