What Is the Average Salary for Clinical Laboratory Scientists?
Would you like to work in a laboratory using your background in biology or biochemistry? Clinical laboratory scientists conduct sophisticated laboratory tests on tissue and cell samples to detect any abnormalities that may indicate disease. Read on to learn the average salaries for this profession and the factors that affect what you earn. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
If you become a clinical laboratory scientist (also known as a clinical lab technologist), you could work at a hospital, clinic, medical laboratory or physician's office. You might be responsible for overseeing clinical laboratory technicians, who typically perform more basic tasks and receive lower salaries. Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures, medical and clinical laboratory technologists earned an average salary of $58,640 annually as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov). However, your potential salary as a clinical lab technologist can depend on many factors, including your specialty, employer, location and experience level.
Salary by Specialty
As a clinical lab technologist, you might choose a specialty in histotechnology or cytotechnology. Histotechnologists process and stain tissue samples to look for signs of abnormalities, and cytotechnologists examine collected cell samples under the microscope for indications of cancer. According to PayScale.com, median wages were $47,213 for histotechnologists and $63,038 for cytotechnologists in January 2014.
Salary by Industry
According to the BLS, most medical and clinical laboratory technologists worked for general hospitals and medical and diagnostic laboratories in May 2012. Average wages for these industries were $59,360 and $58,340, respectively. Those working in the navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing industry made the highest average wage of $74,300. The architectural and engineering services industry also paid a high average wage of $67,620.
Salary by Location
According to the BLS, the state that paid medical and clinical laboratory technologists the highest salary was California, which had a mean wage of $77,550 as of May 2012. Other top-paying regions were Massachusetts, Alaska, Connecticut and Nevada, with average wages ranging from $66,200-$67,570. Regions with the lowest pay had average earnings of $31,790-$52,950. Utah, Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska and West Virginia were some of these locations.
Salary by Experience
PayScale.com reported that most clinical laboratory scientists with less than a year of professional experience made $35,314-$64,341 a year as of January 2014. Those with 1-4 years of professional experience earned an annual salary range of $38,688-$80,916, while the majority of scientists with 5-9 years of work experience made a yearly wage ranging between $48,954 and $101,892. The most experienced workers made $55,247-$115,273 with 20 years of experience or more.
The BLS reported that there were approximately 160,700 medical and clinical laboratory technologists working in the United States in May 2012. The BLS predicted that jobs for these professionals should increase 14% over the 2012-2022 decade, which was about as fast as the average for other employment sectors. The need for more advanced laboratory tests should drive growth.
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