Clinical laboratory technicians work at hospitals and clinics, providing technical assistance in the laboratories in the course of patients’ evaluation and examination. A clinical laboratory technician will usually have to perform tasks such as operating the equipment for testing procedures – for example, X-Ray machines – and collect biological samples such as urine and blood from the patients. The technician will perform the low-level experiments that don’t require extensive medical knowledge as well, such as running a chemical analysis on an urine sample using a machine.
Since clinical laboratory technicians aren’t actually physicians and simply act as assistants in the laboratories, the requirements for becoming one aren’t very strict. A high school degree is usually enough to qualify initially, and some hospitals may require candidates to undergo various training courses related to the specific equipment used in their laboratories, which can take anywhere from several weeks to months, depending on the hospital. Most universities and colleges also offer degree programs for clinical laboratory technicians, which take two years.
Clinical laboratory technicians are paid much lower than regular physicians due to the more simplistic nature of their work. The annual salary ranges between $36,000 and $45,000, and some are able to earn up to $50,000 at some of the higher-paying clinics. The general outlook for career development isn’t that high, and the salary tends to increase in small amounts over the years. In some rare cases, experienced technicians who’re knowledgeable about a specific piece of equipment may be paid around $60,000 and upwards.