Students in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Clinical Laboratory Science learn about lab sciences. The program also prepares them for national certification exams. Those who graduate may pursue additional education or look for careers as medical technologists or clinical lab technologists.
Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree Programs in Clinical Laboratory Science
Students enrolled in 4-year clinical laboratory science programs are prepared for entry-level jobs as scientists and technologists in diagnostic and medical laboratories. The National Accrediting Agency accredits these programs for clinical laboratory sciences. Students develop skills in administration, research and testing; they focus on subjects such as toxicology, molecular diagnostics, immunohematology, and hematology.
Students usually have to complete 2-3 years of classroom training, succeeded by clinical experiences and an internship. Those who complete the program are trained for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) national certification exam. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.
Coursework has a heavy orientation toward medicine and science. Students learn modes of performing precise tests with laboratory equipment, in addition to becoming adept at analyzing and interpreting the results. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:
Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may seek entry-level careers such as:
•Clinical laboratory technologist
•Clinical chemical technologist
•Medical laboratory technologist
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, job growth rates of 14% have been predicted for medical and clinical laboratory technologists (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $47,820 (BLS).
Certification and Continuing Education Choices
Graduates from the bachelor’s degree program can seek continued education by earning advanced degrees in medicine or pharmacology to gain access to numerous career options in research, science and medicine. Though it is not compulsory in all states, voluntary certification may be opted for by these professionals, in order to showcase their skills and knowledge in the field to potential employers. Laboratory personnel may seek credentials from certifying agencies such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), through passage of an exam augmented by work experience.