Imaging & Diagnostic Testing

Medical Laboratory Technologist

Career Progression

Entry Level

Medical Technician

Mid Level

Medical Lab Scientist, Medical Lab Technologist

Senior Level

Clincial Lab Scientist

Pathway Category

Mid-Level: These positions pay more than those at the entry level, but also often require some related work experience and additional education, such as a technical training/certificate, two-year associate’s degree, or four-year bachelor’s degree. This is generally the point where workers have identified a career they enjoy and begin fine-tuning their skills and earning related licensures. Some experienced workers from other industries or students who have completed internships or apprenticeship training programs may be able to enter at this elevated level.

What does a person in this career do?

You have an eye for detail! You’re more comfortable working behind-the-scenes by running tests and evaluations that help to investigate, diagnose, and treat patients. Your sharp mind and problem solving abilities work best when put to use in a laboratory or other facility with less direct contact with the general public.

Occupations in the Imaging & Diagnostic Testing family often play a supportive role in running tests and evaluations that aid in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, injuries, or other physical conditions. This is one of the fastest growing areas of health sciences and offers a great way to enter the field without extensive education and experience requirements. These professionals will have some direct patient interaction, such as when drawing blood or taking X-rays, but most of their time is spent in laboratories or other off-site locations while remotely assisting health care professionals by conducting prescribed tests, investigating results, and communicating findings. These professionals may also make recommendations for additional tests or specialized treatments based on their findings.

These roles are great for people who are curious, have an attention to detail, and like to solve puzzles or problems. New and exciting innovations to technology and medicine will continue to expand the opportunities in this family, especially in the areas of genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and on-demand advanced health screenings.

Description of duties

Assist in the operation and maintenance of equipment and supplies necessary to offer an internal view of the human body through x-ray, ultrasound, and other radiologic technologies and procedures. Prepare machines and patients for procedures, answering questions and offering advice for addressing anxiety and other concerns. Observe regulatory and safety laws, rules, and regulations at all times.

Quick Facts

Wage/Salary Range

Education & Training

Typical Work Environments

Personality Traits

Discover your strengths by taking the assessment.

Knowledge and Skills Required

  • Medical Equipment and Software
  • Chemistry and Biology
  • Measuring and Data Analysis
  • Mathematics and Science
  • Active Listening and Critical Thinking
  • Complex Problem Solving

Other Job Titles

  • Medical Technologist (MT)
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS)
  • Lead Lab Tech
  • Research Assistant
  • Chief Medical Technologist