View My Shopping Cart

Medical Laboratory Technician Makes the 2013 Ten Least Stressful Jobs List

Medical laboratory technicians, as well as pathologists, clinical laboratory managers and medical technologists, may disagree that MLT is a low-risk, low-stress job

Medical laboratory technicians, rejoice. Your vocation has been officially proclaimed one of the least stressful jobs for 2013. Do you agree?

According to online career site,, medical laboratory technician ranked number 5 on the list of the 10 least stressful jobs for this year. reported the story.

Difference between Medical Laboratory Technicians, MTs, and CLSs

Before going further, it is helpful for readers to be reminded that news reporters and journalists often fail to make the distinction that there are significant differences in the education and competencies of medical technologists (MT) and clinical laboratory scientists (CLS), as compared to medical laboratory technicians. For that reason, readers should extend some forbearance to the authors of the list of least stressful jobs for 2013.

Medical laboratory personnel might be amused to learn that MLTs are in good—or at least eclectic—company. Sharing top honors for least anxiety-producing métiers are university professor, tailor, librarian and drill press operator.

med-tech low stress best jobs

Many clinical laboratory professionals may not agree that the position of medical laboratory technician is stress-free enough to included on’s list of the top ten stress-free jobs for 2013. (Photo by

The list of low-stress, top 10 occupations shares one common underlying characteristic, according to publisher, Tony Lee. “In these jobs, you’re doing something for which you are highly qualified,” he stated in the Forbes story. “These jobs tend not to have someone standing over their shoulder putting pressure on them to get things done,” Lee stated. “People are in control of their day—working as fast as they feel they need to be effective.”

List Criteria Include Low Risk of Danger in Work Environment

From 1995 to 2009, The Wall Street Journal ran an annual ranking list of best and worst jobs, Forbes reported. When the Journal dropped the list in 2009, Carlsbad, California-based picked it up.

This is the third year has published its list of least and most stressful jobs. The company considered 200 professions in its database. It used 11 stress-provoking job demands. Criteria for determining stress levels inherent in a job included travel, growth potential, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, and risk to one’s own life or to the lives of others.

Here is the full 2013 list of the top 10 least stressful jobs:

1. University Professor

2. Seamstress/Tailor

3. Medical Records Technician

4. Jeweler

5. Medical Laboratory Technician

6. Audiologist

7. Dietician

8. Hair Stylist

9. Librarian

10. Drill Press Operator

“If you look at the criteria for stressful jobs, things like working under deadlines, physical demands of the job, environmental condition hazards, is your life at risk, are you responsible for the life of someone else, they rank like ‘zero’ on pretty much all of them,” Lee stated. “There’s no physical risk at all, and no one is depending on you in your job to make their life expectancy last longer,” he added in the Forbes story.

MLTs, as well as medical technologists, pathologists and clinical laboratory managers, might see things differently.

MLTs and other clinical laboratory personnel are well aware of the potential safety hazards inherent in medical laboratory work.

For example, in one of its e-briefings, Dark Daily reported on a study that showed that clinical laboratory professionals exposed to certain common solvents are at increased risk of developing autoimmune connective tissue diseases. (See Dark Daily, “Health of Pathology Laboratory Technicians at Risk from Common Solvents like Xylene and Toluene”).

Beyond hazardous chemicals, there are risks from infectious diseases, microbes, sharp instruments, laboratory equipment, gases, radioactivity, and ignitable and explosive materials.

Some University Professors Are “Outraged” over the List

If medical laboratory workers take exception to the list, they will be in the company of fellow low-stress A-listers: university professors. According to Forbes staff writer, Susan Adams, she received over 150 comments from sometimes outraged faculty, who claimed that their job is quite stressful.

“I love my job,” one professor wrote. “It’s definitely deeply rewarding. But the stresses are intense and the workload never ending.”

Maybe that comes closer to accurately describing some of the other “least stressful” jobs.

In any event, hopefully medical laboratory technicians, medical technologists, and clinical laboratory scientists share similar feelings of fulfillment when they leave work at the end of their day.

—Pamela Scherer McLeod

Related Information:

The Least Stressful Jobs of 2013

Dark Daily, “Health of Pathology Laboratory Technicians at Risk from Common Solvents like Xylene and Toluene”

Safety Elements in Medical Laboratory Practice video

 What is The Dark Report medical laboratory intelligence membership service?

15 responses to “Medical Laboratory Technician Makes the 2013 Ten Least Stressful Jobs List”

  1. Dr. Muain HAseeb says:

    I really do not know who came up with this list. But, med tech jobs are the most stressful jobs on earth; especially in the USA.

  2. Becky M. Ward says:

    I am a lab mgr at a very busy gp’s office and have been for 8 years. My day begins @6am and ends between 5:30 and 6pm. Our office is open M-F 7:30-5/5:30pm. Our lab processed 8700 cbc’s alone last year in addition to the numerous other tests we offer. Our office sees between 100/125 patients daily. We process labs for a local nursing home, rehab and hospital.

  3. LH says:

    I work with MLT’s in one of the most stressful jobs there is. We test patient specimens STAT with lives depending on the results with nurses and doctors breathing down our necks. We perform blood bank work that a mistake could literally kill someone with giving the wrong type of blood. Some MLT’s are supervisors and managers, having to deal with compling with regulating agencies, making sure everything is running correctly with QC and maintainance, and dealing with nurses, doctors, patients and staff. No, this is NOT a stressfree jobs-in fact, apx 15 years ago, the laboratory professional was considered one of the top 10 MOST stressful jobs.

  4. Highly intelligent response says:

    Clock punchers in white lab coats. These type feel they are really someone and throw all their coworkers to include MDs under the bus the first chance they get. There is the stress of the profession.

  5. Barb says:


  6. Kathy says:

    I don’t think so. When I began working in the laboratory the job was classified as 2nd most stressful. Air traffic controller was in the number 1 spot. I don’t think you can separate the different lab titles and stress levels. The stress of the lab has increased in the last 30 years not decreased. It is all about volume, speed and patient safety and that is stressful.

  7. K says:

    At my lab, there are 5 techs. In the past 5 years, 10 people have quit, 3 were fired, and 1 guy killed himself.

  8. steve says:

    I work in a biochemistry lab and a lot of staff are off sick frequently through stress. Its one of the most stressful jobs. Who on earth wrote the list?

  9. Rob says:

    Really? Every day is 10 hours of pure stress. takes me hours to wind down after i finally escape the lab. i practically run to the car at the end of my shift.

  10. kayanne says:

    My husband is transferred frequently, so I have worked as a Med Tech in 5 different labs in various parts of the country over the past several years. Every one of these labs has been seriously (some dangerously) short-staffed. I often go home from work completely frazzled and exhausted, and feeling like our lab is not providing good service for our patients, even though we are working like crazy to get results out. My job is not only physically exhausting, but emotionally upsetting as well, because I KNOW that the life and health of our patients is affected when we are constantly behind. I have seen Med Techs work 16-hour shifts FOUR times a week, for weeks on end. ONE double shift is one too many considering the non-stop demands and need for mental sharpness. Frankly, I completely regret choosing such a low-paying, high stress career. This article is absolutely false, and is a slap in the face to those of us being over-worked in laboratories.

  11. Lab Rat says:

    I have not read anything so utterly ridiculous as this article. We are the team that obtains patient results that assist the physician in determining diagnosis. Without us they have nothing. Short staffed lab staff, fast track nurses with little experience, physicians expecting MacDonalds drive thru service at the risk of the patients outcome, long shifts, substandard medical lab technologists who state they work for easy money, meaning they take shortcuts and not perform at 110 percent, if they show up at all…. Oh yeah.. No stress… What a crock… Someone wrote this without experiencing this thankless industry..but what’s new… Whatever makes a headline unverified and inaccurate! Shame on people seeing us as stress free….. We are the ones correcting the errors of physicians and nurses daily.

  12. terri says:

    Stressful! When Techs do make a mistake and correct it so the patient gets the right results we are criticized as if we don’t know what we are doing, or told to slow down. That makes me more nervous. My first lab job encouraged you to catch your mistakes and fix them. Where I work now, they act like it is a crime to make that mistake and correct it. My mistakes happen when there is too much going on, but I am happy I am able to catch the mistake within a few minutes of putting it out. No harm done and patient results are good.

  13. Hilah Martin says:

    I work in a hospital lab with a level 2 trauma center. On any given night it can go like this; code blue room 926, multiple trauma gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen and in 2 hours this patient has gone through 20 units RBC’s 10 units platelets, 35 unit fresh frozen plasma, and is still in surgery needing more blood product, on top of this blood must be typed and screened for the days surgeries and we have 195 morning blood draws. Answer phones, send faxes, call doctors and nurses with critical s and in my hospital MLT’s and MT’s do the same work. Oh yes if something goes wrong with an instrument we must also troubleshoot and get the days work done. This is just a few things that can happen in one night. One night we had 3 gunshot patients come into our trauma unit. Come follow us around and see for yourself what the stress level is. This is all in the front line work it doesn’t include all the regulations we must abide by and quality control that must be preformed so we know results we give are correct.

  14. The Angry MT says:

    Lab tech not stressful?


    I dread going to work and count the hours until I leave as soon as I arrive.

    Anymore stress and I think I might step into oncoming traffic.

  15. luna says:

    Honestly, I was just a student, and I was ramrodded with guilt and fear by my teachers (who were currently working in the field) and preceptors. Even making a mistake in the classroom was a sign of incompetence. I decided to take advantage of my program’s small student to teacher ratio for feedback and guidance, apparently that was the wrong thing to do because, again, they took it as a sign of incompetence. I made LESS mistakes than my fellow students, but was judged more harshly because I was open and communicated with my teachers. I could get high scores in lab practicals and some of my teachers would still maintain that I was struggling, but had turned things around by test time. At that point I backed off and began to get paranoid. I am also not neurotypical, so they had a field day haranguing my responses, expressions, and emotions as that I didn’t understand things. I was sent to the college’s achievement coach only to have him ask me verbatim: “Why did they send you here? You seem like you know what you need to do.”
    What is also funny about this profession is so much of it actually unnecessary stress and fear from coworkers. So much of it is automated now, so the chance of making mistakes is less due to computers flagging abnormal results and needing a tech to review/approve before clicking and releasing a result electronically. Even if a machine breaks down totally there are often back up courier services to take samples to another lab to be run, but heaven forbid, because someone will guilt you for making the call to divert. I have even been guilted for using the chairs that they are required to provide for us during an 8 hour shift.
    The irony is I feel like I get more professional peer training in retail, and I can multitask up the ying yang in retail with hostile customers and a million things going on, something my teachers claimed I couldn’t do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2017-2019 the Dark Intelligence Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. We Value Your Privacy! The Dark Intelligence Group will never sell, rent or otherwise abuse your email address. It will be used solely for the purpose of sending you the Dark Daily newsletter and updates about the Dark Daily. Should you wish to unsubscribe at any time, instructions are included with each email for immediate removal from the Dark Daily newsletter subscriber file.