Medical/Clinical Laboratory Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians Career Video



Performs routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Diagnostic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Conducts chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer.
  • Analyzes the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
  • Sets up, maintains, calibrates, cleans, and tests sterility of medical laboratory equipment.
  • Prepares standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.
  • Collects blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.
  • Supervises or instructs other technicians or laboratory assistants.
  • Conducts blood tests for transfusion purposes and performs blood counts.
  • Inoculates fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.
  • Obtains specimens, cultivating, isolating, and identifying microorganisms for analysis.
  • Examines cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Certified Clinical Laboratory Technician --
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist -- Performs lab tests that doctors use to diagnose and address patients' health issues.
  • Clinical Laboratory Technician (Clinical Lab Technician) --
  • Laboratory Assistant (Lab Assistant) --
  • Laboratory Supervisor --
  • Laboratory Technician --
  • Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) --
  • Medical Laboratory Technicians (Medical Lab Technician) --
  • Medical Technician --