How to Become a Clinical Technician


To become a clinical technician, you first need to determine if this career path is right for you.


Are you interested generating vitally important data for identifying and treating cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions? Does the prospect of having a career that allows you to advance to positions of greater responsibility interest you? If so, then you may be well suited for a career as a clinical technician.


Below we've outlined what else you'll need in order to get started, and to succeed. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more.



Education Needed to Become a Clinical Technician

To work as a clinical technician, you must first earn a two-year associate's degree from an approved Clinical Technician program, or in a closely related field, such as Medical Laboratory Assistant. Depending on the state/province or the employer, you may need to pass a certification exam as well, which you can take through the following agencies: 


• American Medical Technologists (United States)

• American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (United States)

• The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (Canada)


Earning a bachelor’s degree instead of, or in addition to the associate's degree, is also an option. If pursing this route, take courses in chemistry, biology, microbiology, mathematics, and statistics, as well as courses on clinical laboratory skills, management, and education. 





Clinical Technician - General Job Description

Clinical laboratory technicians (sometimes known as 'medical laboratory technicians', or simply 'clinical technicians'), are responsible for performing a variety of lab tests and procedures, in order to assist physicians in diagnosing, monitoring, treating and preventing disease. Their primary responsibility is to perform simple tests and procedures, such as examining and analyzing tissue samples and body fluids. 



Typical Responsibilities of the Job

Although the job duties you'd perform as a clinical technician can vary, you could generally expect to be responsible for the following:


• Receiving patients and explaining laboratory test procedures

• Collecting blood, urine and other samples from patients

• Logging and processing patient samples 

• Performing laboratory tests and analysis such as flocculation tests, microscopy, cell culture plating, electrocardiograms, etc. 

• Interpreting test results and communicating them to others

• Administrative duties such as completing forms, compiling data, preparing reports and maintaining records and files

• Ensuring compliance with safety regulations in the use of equipment 

• Ensuring proper storage, handling and disposal of hazardous materials

• Maintaining equipment and performing minor repairs

• Maintaining inventory, and recommending and purchasing equipment and material

• Keeping abreast of new developments in the field to update skills and knowledge



Average Salary Level in This Profession

The salary level for clinical technicians can vary depending on a multitude of factors, such as their level of experience, their level of education, where they work and many others.


Clinical Technician Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary level of workers in the Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians occupational group is $52,330 (2019 figures).





Who Employs Them?

There are many employers, representing many different industries that are interested in the skills, knowledge and competencies of clinical technicians, including:


• Hospitals and clinics

• Public health laboratories

• Pharmaceutical or chemical industries

• Biotechnology companies

• Forensic and law enforcement laboratories

• Veterinary clinics

• Public or private research laboratories

• Colleges and universities

• Transplant and blood donor centers

• Fertility clinics

• Cosmetics industry

• Food production industry



Similar Career Profiles in Our Database

Listed below are careers that are similar in nature, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Clinical Research Associate

Clinical Research Coordinator

Crime Lab Assistant

Genetic Technologist

Medical Laboratory Technologist



Job Postings - Current Opportunities

Our job board below has "clinical technician" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.



Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of this career.


Occupations in Alberta:Medical Laboratory Technologist.” (March 20, 2014). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 6, 2019.

Healthcare:Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 6, 2019.


Please Note: Much of the information for this career guide was gathered from actual job postings, which due to the brief nature of their online presence, are not listed here as sources.




Scholarships for Becoming a Clinical Technician

The 'Relevant Fields of Study' section below lists areas of academic focus that pertain to this career. Scholarships matched to those fields of study can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page. Just be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a clinical technician. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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Clinical Technician