Working in the Lab

If you like the idea of examining things at the molecular and cellular level, consider a career as a medical and clinical laboratory technologist or technician.

Lab technologists and technicians both collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. However, technologists, who must have a bachelor’s degree, perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures.

Almost half of technologists and technicians work in hospitals, and 17 percent work in medical and diagnostic laboratories.

  • Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians: 8.28 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 4,204 to 4,552 positions. Median wage is $53,064.

Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists with lab tests and experiments. They usually have a bachelor’s degree. Most work in research and development or in colleges and universities.

  • Biological technicians: 12.22 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 409 to 459 positions. Median wage is $43,064.

Chemical technicians help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes. They must have an associate degree and undergo on the job training that may last up to a year. They typically work in testing laboratories (19 percent) and pharmaceutical manufacturing (10 percent).

  • Chemical technicians: 5.41 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 665 to 701 positions. Median wage is $47,293.

Figures from the Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2028.

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