Careers With a Degree in Medical Lab Sciences

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Clinical laboratory technicians perform tests on bodily fluids and cells.
Clinical laboratory technicians perform tests on bodily fluids and cells. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A bachelor of science degree in a field of medical laboratory science can lead to a career in medical research. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians can expect to see above-average job growth from 2008 to 2018. Although the degree is designed to prepare a student for a career in a laboratory, career options are by no means limited to working with a microscope.

Clinical Laboratory Technologist

Clinical laboratory technologists, or clinical laboratory scientists, are laboratory technicians who conduct tests that assist medical professionals in the detection and treatment of diseases. Technologists in this field work with a variety of bodily tissues and fluids. They must have an extensive knowledge of biology, biochemistry and microbiology. Aside from a bachelor's degree, some states require a license to work in a medical laboratory. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical laboratory technologists should also seek certification through an organization like the American Society for Clinical Pathology to bolster their credentials. The bureau also notes that the median salary for technologists was $55,140 as of May 2009.

Medical Equipment Sales

Medical equipment sales is another option outside of the laboratory for those with a degree in medical laboratory science. While most sales jobs do not require any type of formal education, sales jobs in technical fields like medical equipment typically require a bachelor's degree. Those with a bachelor's degree in this field will have a familiarity with equipment and its usage that can greatly assist them in a sales career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a median salary of $71,340 was reported for professionals in the technical and scientific products sales field.

Science Technician

Similar to clinical laboratory technologists, science technicians work primarily in a laboratory setting. Technicians, however, are primarily research assistants who aid primary researchers in their areas of expertise. In some settings, however, technicians may also work in a more independent fashion. Science technicians work in a variety of areas of specialization such as forensic science, chemistry, agricultural science and environmental science. An associate degree is the minimum requirement in some specialties, but biological technicians usually need a bachelor's degree. According to the BLS, biological technicians made a median salary of $38,700 as of May 2009.

Pharmaceutical Sales

Pharmaceutical sales is another field outside of the laboratory that someone with a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science can consider. Pharmaceutical companies require a bachelor's degree for sales positions in their industry. Those with a background in laboratory biological science can better understand the research and manufacturing process that pharmaceutical companies use to create products. Such knowledge can be invaluable in communicating with physicians and pharmacists who provide the primary market for pharmaceutical companies. The BLS lists a median salary of $74,840 as of 2008 for sales representatives representing drug companies.

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