Clinical Laboratory Technologists

Last updated December 31, 2014

With a latex-gloved hand, you place a glass slide under your microscope and adjust the magnification. This specimen contains cells from a patient with a bad sore throat. Your job is to find out if the patient has strep throat. The doctor needs to know because a Streptococcus infection can lead to serious diseases such as pneumonia.

Looking through the eyepiece, you spot the classic shape of Streptococcus pyogenes. Without tests like this one, today’s high-quality health care would be impossible.

Clinical laboratory technologists examine body fluids and tissues for signs of disease. They conduct and supervise complex tests and manage labs for hospitals, doctors, diagnostic-services companies, blood banks, clinics, and more.

“Technical skills alone do not get the job done -- results must be communicated accurately and completely.” Marcia A. Armstrong, Director, Medical/Laboratory Technology and Phlebotomy Programs, University of Hawaii, Kapiolani Community College

Are You Ready To...?

  • Spend long hours in the lab, sometimes doing repetitive tests
  • Keep accurate, detailed records of your findings
  • Wear protective gloves and goggles when working with some specimens
  • Be on your feet much of the day

It Helps To Be...

An analytical, accurate, and organized fan of science, technology, and medicine.

Make High School Count

  • Challenge yourself in AP Chemistry and AP Biology.
  • Practice clear communication in your lab reports.
  • Work hard in English and algebra, both of which you’ll rely on.
  • Build computer skills, since most of the lab equipment you’ll use is automated.

Did You Know?

If you work in a large hospital, you could be called into work at night or on the weekend for emergencies.