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Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

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2021 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.

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Degrees Remain Stable

#97 Most Popular Major
19.4k Degrees Awarded
0.3% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, clinical/medical laboratory science was the 97th most popular major nationwide with 19,354 degrees awarded. This is approximately the same as the 19,295 graduates the prior year.

There are 477 schools offering degrees in clinical/medical laboratory science in the United States. This year's Best Colleges for Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science ranking compares 53 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom clinical laboratory science rankings further below.

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. Specific clinical laboratory science careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science Degree Types

There are many different clinical laboratory science degree levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in clinical/medical laboratory science to something that takes less time like a associate's. Different clinical/medical laboratory science degrees vary in how long they take.

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's degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in clinical/medical laboratory science careers have.


This of course varies depending on which clinical laboratory science career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Clinical Laboratory Science Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$37.5k 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%

How Much Money Do Clinical Laboratory Science Grads Make?

Recently graduated clinical/medical laboratory science students earned an average of $37,469 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $17,200 to as high as $89,500. As you might expect, salaries for clinical laboratory science graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Clinical Laboratory Science Majors

Salaries for clinical/medical laboratory science graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 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 1,429 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.

One of 34 majors within the Health Professions area of study, Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Clinical Laboratory Science

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 305,309
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868

View All Clinical Laboratory Science Related Majors >


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