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Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

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Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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U.S. News & World Report identifies medical technologists as among best career opportunities in healthcare

Laboratory technologists and laboratory technicians are a top career for 2010, as identified by U.S. News & World Report’s (USNWR) new annual list of the top 50 careers list. Clinical laboratories will be pleased that the lab technologist career is third in the healthcare category, after X-ray technician and veterinarian.

Editors at U.S. News & World Report laud the role of laboratory techs, writing that “Clinical lab technicians and technologists are very much the unsung heroes of the healthcare industry.” USNWR’s 2010 career list ranks occupations in five categories according to anticipated job growth and median average income.

Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Are Among Top Growth Jobs for Next Decade

The analysis was based on the U.S. Labor Department’s latest job growth projections for 2008 to 2018. It highlights occupations that are expected to add jobs above the anticipated 10% average growth rate over the next decade and which will also provide a better-than-average median income.

Medical technologist (MT), clinical laboratory scientist (CLS), and medical laboratory technician (MLT) jobs are expected to rise 16%. The fastest job growth will come from clinical laboratories, pathology laboratories, and physician office laboratories (POLs). Last year, the pay range for a laboratory technologist was $28,420 to $44,310 and that puts overall median pay at $35,380, but U.S. News & World Report notes that some lab tech pay packages topped $54,000.

Here is USNWR’s list of America’s Best Careers 2010: Healthcare, with lab technician ranked as third:

     1. X-ray technician

     2. Veterinarian

     3. Lab Technician

     4. Physical Therapist

     5. Occupational Therapist

     6. Registered Nurse

     7. Physician Assistant

     8. Optometrist

     9. Physical Therapist Assistant

     10. Dental Hygienist

     11. School Psychologist

The analysis done by U.S. News & World Report includes occupations in each category with a range of educational requirements and other data when available, including such factors as job satisfaction, work environment, opportunity for mobility, and turnover. Lab tech jobs in clinical laboratories were described as low-stress, but, similar to hospital patient-care areas, medical laboratories often require 24-hour coverage.

Preparation is relatively minimal in terms of cost and time compared to other healthcare professions. A medical laboratory technician requires typically just a technician certificate or two-year associates degree for an entry-level position in a clinical laboratory.

Another positive factor for job growth in MT, CLS, and MLT positions, according to USNWR, is the fact that health care stands out as the only industry that expanded payrolls during the recession due to increasing demand for healthcare services.

High demand for healthcare services over the last decade may be just a tip of the iceberg of what’s to come, however (by jonathan at Editors at U.S. News & World Report write that “The growth trend in healthcare is almost unstoppable: Millions and millions of aging baby boomers will continue to place a heightened demand on healthcare providers, as well as provide plenty of opportunity for medical innovation.”

Clinical laboratory managers and pathologists may want to make the U.S. News & World Report list of “50 Best Careers of 2010” part of their medical technologist recruiting package. It validates the fact that demand for MTs, CLS’, and MLTs will remain quite strong for many years into the future. – P. Kirk

Related Information:

The 50 Best Careers of 2010 as chosen by U.S. News & World Report

America’s Best Careers 2010: Healthcare

America’s 50 Best Careers of 2010: Laboratory Technician 

Wall Street Journal Headline: ‘Staff Shortages in Labs May Put Patients at Risk’

Lab Workers Make “10 Germiest Jobs in America” List