Wayne State University

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Clinical Laboratory Science

What is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist ?

Clinical Laboratory Scientists are medical professionals who test blood, body fluids, and tissues for evidence of illness or disease. An older name for these professionals is Medical Technologist, and many laboratory professionals prefer this title to indicate those certified to test blood and body fluids for blood cells and blood constituents. 

Preparation for these careers is generally through a Bachelor of Science degree followed by a clinical internship and passing a national certifying examination. Work settings include hospital and independent laboratories, research and development companies, sales and marketing departments for medical services and instrumentation, and educational institutions.

There is a current vacancy rate in the field of 15 - 20%, so there will be many opportunities for employment in the next several years. Starting salaries in hospitals range from $40,000 for Clinical Laboratory Scientists (mid-range salaries after several years of employment average $50,000). 

Advancement in the field can take many directions, such as supervision and management, educational specialist, research, business operations, or healthcare administration. A master's degree is often preferred for these advanced opportunities.

A Clinical Laboratory Scientist is well-prepared to pursue higher-level education in a related field: Medicine, Physician Assistant, Pharmacist, Nurse Anesthetist, Pathologist Assistant, or Forensic Investigator, to name but a few. Visit our Career Paths page to find out more.

Over the past three years, over 90% of the Wayne State University Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program graduates passed the ASCP Certification Examination on their first attempt and went on to successful careers in the field.

Our Mission:

Our primary mission is to provide educational programs to qualified students to help them gain the knowledge and skills necessary for careers in the clinical laboratory.  We will engage in scholarship and research appropriate to this mission, and will foster collaborative relationships with healthcare partners and the community.  We are part of the Department of Fundamental and Applied Sciences and the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and we fully support the Mission Statements of the Department and College.