A student studies a sample under a microscope.

Careers and Jobs

Career Options
A laboratory professional typically finds employment in a hospital, clinic or reference laboratory setting. Duties include:

  • Analytical testing
  • Evaluating and reporting of laboratory results
  • Quality assurance
  • Problem solving
  • Developing and establishing procedures
  • Evaluating and implementing new tests
  • Instrumentation

Some laboratory professionals have leadership roles as supervisors, managers or educators in the laboratory setting or in an educational institution.  

The primary position a laboratory professional may obtain is in a laboratory setting within a hospital, clinic or reference laboratory but the skills acquired through the academic program and employment are also desirable in:

  • Research
  • Blood services
  • Pharmaceutical laboratories
  • Healthcare technical and sales
  • Public health facilities
  • Laboratory information systems
  • Education
  • Forensics
  • Clinical Lab Science graduates may also seek advanced degrees in medicine, pharmacology and other graduate programs.

Job Outlook
The nation is currently experiencing a high demand for medical laboratory professionals  with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010) projecting a 14% increase in the job market from 2008 - 2018. This workforce shortage is, in part, due to the increased volume of tests available, population growth, and retirements. 

WSU Clinical Laboratory Science graduates typically find jobs in their desired professional areas over 90 percent of the time.  According to career information provided by the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science, the national average annual salary for a CLS is $48,000 with the salaries in Minnesota typically being higher.  These salary averages vary with location and institution. 

Additional employment information may be obtained from American Society of Clinical Pathology and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.