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2023 Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Degree Guide

Sometimes, doctors must collect samples and test them for abnormalities or signs of illness. If you are interested in performing these tests, consider a degree in clinical/medical laboratory science.

Students in this major take classes in organic chemistry, genetics, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, hematology, and immunology to learn how to properly test bodily fluids, tissues, and other samples for diseases. You will gain the skills to work with laboratory equipment, interpret data, and perform tests to help physicians find and treat patients' illnesses.

Areas of specialization within the Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science field include Blood Bank Technology, Hematology Technology, Laboratory Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, Clinical Genetics Technology and many others.

A Spike in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Degrees

#93 Most Popular Major
18.9k Degrees Awarded
9.4% Increase in Graduates

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science was the 93rd most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 18,901 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 9.4% increase in clinical laboratory science degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 17,129.

Our 2023 Best Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Schools ranking analyzes 426 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for clinical/medical laboratory science students. Explore this or one of our many other custom clinical laboratory science rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science
2023 Overall Best Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Colleges >

Best Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science
Bachelor's Degrees in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science
Master's Degrees in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science
Doctorate Degrees in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

Students who major in this field have strong analysis skills and pay close attention to detail. You must collect samples and perform specific tests in order to help physicians find any diseases within a person. Strong organizational and communication skills will help you collect data and share findings. Professionals also have interpersonal skills since they work closely with patients to collect samples.

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science professionals work full time. Depending on your job location, you may work typical work hours during the day, or be part of a 24/7 facility that requires weekend, holiday, and overnight hours.

Depending on the state you are working and your employer, you may need to be certified to work in this field. It is best to check state laws to ensure you are fulfilling all requirements for this career.

Clinical Laboratory Science Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic clinical/medical laboratory science program qualifications, to serve in some clinical laboratory science careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Degrees

Clinical Laboratory Science degree levels vary. You can get anything from a in clinical/medical laboratory science to the highest clinical laboratory science degree, a . Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to clinical laboratory science, with approximately 25.5% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for clinical laboratory science workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 28.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 19.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate 14.4%
High School Diploma 13.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 9.5%

About 63.0% of workers in careers related to clinical laboratory science obtain at least associate degrees. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in clinical/medical laboratory science careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the clinical laboratory science career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Clinical Laboratory Science Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$42k Average Starting Salary
18% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science graduates work in medical labs in a variety of locations. Some graduates are employed by hospitals, clinics, diagnostic labs, and in physician offices. You will have the skills to test any necessary specimen, making you an asset to the medical profession. This occupation is growing at an average rate, meaning there should be an adequate amount of jobs available to students after graduation.

High Growth Projected for Clinical Laboratory Science Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your clinical laboratory science degree? Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science careers are expected to grow 17.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to clinical/medical laboratory science.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Health Specialties Professors 294,000 25.9%
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists 191,200 11.6%
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians 187,200 14.0%
Health Technologists and Technicians 152,900 19.6%
Phlebotomists 152,800 24.5%

Clinical Laboratory Science Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated clinical/medical laboratory science students earned an average of $42,002 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $12,987 to as high as $111,466. As you might expect, salaries for clinical laboratory science graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Clinical Laboratory Science Careers

Salaries for clinical/medical laboratory science graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers clinical laboratory science grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Health Specialties Professors $122,320
Surgical Technologists $49,040
Health Technologists and Technicians $47,450
Medical Equipment Preparers $37,990
Phlebotomists $35,560

Getting Your Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Degree

With over 1,458 different clinical laboratory science degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased clinical laboratory science school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

One of 30 majors within the Health Professions area of study, Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science has other similar majors worth exploring.

Clinical Laboratory Science Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist 7,599
Laboratory Technician 4,185
Laboratory Sciences & Medical Technology 3,912
Sterile Processing Technology/Technician 1,108
Other Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science and Allied Professions 982

View All Clinical Laboratory Science Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 322,592
Health & Medical Administrative Services 89,359
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 84,492
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 84,274
Allied Health Professions 82,308

View All Clinical Laboratory Science Related Majors >


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