The CLS Profession
Clinical laboratory scientists (CLS), also called medical laboratory scientists (MLS) or medical technologists (MT), work primarily in hospitals, physician's offices and reference laboratories. They perform many routine and complex tests that help the physician diagnose and treat the patient. Clinical laboratory professionals seldom have contact with patients because they work more closely with physicians, researchers and other health care professionals in disease investigation, consultation, and interpretation of laboratory results. If you like science, particularly the laboratory, and you want to be a part of the health care team then the clinical laboratory profession may be for you. We welcome you to come and visit our facility and gain some first-hand knowledge of the type of work done in the clinical laboratory.
Individuals who desire to work in a clinical laboratory must be certified as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. To become certified, you must successfully complete the requirements of an accredited Clinical Laboratory Science program, which then makes you eligible to sit for the national Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) certification examination through the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification. Additional information can be found at the following links: NAACLS; ASCP.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a rapid growth in the job market for clinical laboratory professionals with excellent employment opportunities. The growth rate for these jobs is projected to be 14% from 2012-2022, with 23,000 new jobs due to increased demand for clinical laboratory testing. This is in addition to positions that will be available due to retirement, change of profession, etc. The entry level median annual earnings in 2012 were reported to be $47,820. Pay varies widely depending on geographical area, experience level and place of employment.