How to Become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (And What to Look for in a Program)

Topics: Nursing & Health Professions

Published on: 1/7/21 8:17 AM

How to Become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (And What to Look for in a Program)

Clinical laboratory scientists function as detectives — investigating, analyzing, and determining the causes of diseases.

They perform routine and complex analyses, and they utilize the latest in biomedical instrumentation and molecular diagnostic techniques. 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, today, skilled clinical laboratory scientists are very much needed in the medical field.

Let's talk about how you can become a clinical laboratory scientist, what to look for in a clinical laboratory science degree program, and ultimately, how getting this degree will prepare you to fill a significant talent gap in the medical field.

️ Download NU's resource: Getting a Clinical Laboratory Science Degree.

What does a clinical laboratory scientist do?

Clinical laboratory scientists perform a variety of laboratory tests, ensure the quality of the test results, explain the significance of laboratory tests, evaluate new methods, and study the effectiveness of laboratory tests.

Examples of laboratory tests performed by clinical laboratory scientists include:

  • Detection of the abnormal cells that cause leukemia
  • Analysis of cardiac enzyme activity released during a heart attack
  • Identification of the type of bacteria causing an infection
  • Detection of DNA markers for genetic diseases


How to become a clinical laboratory scientist:

Clinical laboratory scientists are responsible for performing the full range of clinical laboratory tests in areas such as hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, serology, immunology, coagulation, and molecular biology.

For this reason, professionals seeking a career in clinical laboratory science generally have a background in chemistry, biology, microbiology, or immunology before going on to obtain a master’s or a post-baccalaureate certificate in clinical laboratory science.

In order to become a clinical laboratory scientist and secure a successful career, there’s ample data that suggests the value of obtaining an advanced degree in this discipline. For instance, the median annual salary for a clinical laboratory scientist is $60,605, according to PayScale, but pay tends to be higher for medical laboratory scientists with a master’s degree. Professionals with a graduate degree are also less likely to be affected by unemployment and layoffs. 

What to Look for in a Graduate Clinical Laboratory Science degree Program:

Not all clinical laboratory science programs are created equal, and since this field is so important for the well-being of millions of people across the globe, it is crucial that you choose a program that’s going to equip you with the analytical skills needed to successfully conduct laboratory testing. 

You want to look for a clinical laboratory science degree program that...

  • Provides students the opportunity to learn in clinical environments
  • Places significant emphasis on infection prevention
  • Teaches students advanced management techniques
  • Prepares graduates to become certified as a Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Offers an efficient, accelerated option for obtaining the degree
  • Has an excellent reputation in the educational and laboratory communities
  • Documents students’ strong record of professional success

By enrolling in a respected clinical laboratory science program, you will graduate with the sought-after skills needed to save lives. 


Why You Should Get a clinical laboratory science degree at Neumann University:

At Neumann University, we are proud to offer two clinical laboratory science programs — both uniquely designed to equip you with the tangible analytical skills needed to investigate and diagnose diseases. 

Neumann University has an excellent reputation in the educational and laboratory communities, and our graduates have a strong record of professional success — making both our NEW Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science and our Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Clinical Laboratory Science strategic options for future medical experts looking to break into this field.

These programs can be completed in two years or less, making them efficient, accessible and affordable ways to advance your career. These programs also adopt a flexible completion format; they are both able to be completed in an online, in-person, or hybrid format.

If you are interested in boosting your career with a clinical laboratory science degree, then we encourage you to connect with us:

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Thinking about getting a clinical laboratory science degree? Download NU's resource: Save Time, Save Money, Save Lives — Get a Clinical Laboratory Science Degree!Unlock CLS Guide

Bettsy McKlaine

 Bettsy McKlaine

About The Author: Bettsy McKlaine is the Director of Adult and Graduate Admissions at Neumann University and a proud Alumna. The Neumann Community has become her second family and she loves to interact with students, both from the undergraduate and graduate population. Her favorite time of year is at the start of each semester as students begin classes!


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