How Much Salary Should You Expect as a Medical Lab Assistant?

How Much Salary Should You Expect as a Medical Lab Assistant?

In order to have a realistic expectation of your earning potential as a medical lab assistant you must first understand the factors that influence salary.

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Job description

medical lab assistants (MLAs) perform many of the routine tasks in a hospital or clinical laboratory. They may prepare cultures of tissue cells and microorganisms, as well as perform routine blood tests. In addition, medical lab assistants may also do some of the more complex tasks such as cell counts and blood typing.

The median annual salary for medical lab assistants was $33,610 in May 2017. The salary range for MLAs varies depending on the type of employer, geographic location, and years of experience.


Medical lab assistants, also known as MLAs, work in clinical laboratories and perform various tasks related to the analysis of patients’ bodily fluids. These may include blood, urine, and tissue samples. They work under the supervision of licensed medical laboratory technologists or other health professionals.

Most MLAs have at least an Associate’s degree in medical lab technology, although some may have a Bachelor’s degree. They must also be certified by a nationally recognized organization such as the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel or the American Medical Technologists.

The duties of an MLA can vary depending on the size and type of facility in which they work. However, most MLAs are responsible for collecting and preparing samples for analysis, operating and maintaining lab equipment, and performing basic lab tests. They may also be involved in quality control procedures or patient care activities such as phlebotomy.

Education and training

In order to become a medical lab assistant you will need to complete an accredited medical lab assistant program. These programs typically last between one and two years, and they will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to work in a medical laboratory. After completing your training, you will be eligible to take the certification exam offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Once you have passed this exam, you will be a certified medical lab assistant (MLA).


While laboratory assistants are not required to have formal education beyond high school, certification may be beneficial. Certification programs are available through community colleges, technical institutes, and online. These programs typically take one year or less to complete and include coursework in Medical Terminology safety, infection control, and phlebotomy.

Some positions may require certification as a phlebotomist or medical assistant Certification for these positions is available through professional organizations such as the National Healthcare Association and the American Medical Technologists.


Many medical lab assistants have either an certification or
Associate’s degree in medical laboratory science. Some medical lab assistant programs are even available online, though they may require some clinical work to be completed in person.Prospective medical lab assistants should make sure their program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Certification as a medical lab assistant is not required in all states, but it may give jobseekers a competitive edge. The American Medical Technologists (AMT) and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification both offer certification for medical lab assistants


When considering a career as a medical lab assistant, salary is an important factor to take into account. This position requires a post-secondary education, typically in the form of a certificate or diploma, and some previous medical experience is often an asset. In terms of salary, medical lab assistants fall into the same range as other health care support occupations. According to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, the average salary for this occupation is $33,280 per year.

Job outlook

The medical lab assistant job outlook is positive due to an aging population and the near constant advancement of medical technologies. Job seekers should expect strong competition for MLT jobs. Candidates with an associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology or science and relevant clinical experience will have the best job prospects.

Pros and cons

There are several factors to consider before making the decision to become a medical lab assistant. The most important factor is likely to be salary. As with most professions, medical lab assistants earn a range of salaries depending on experience, geographical location, and the type of facility they work in. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to earn as a medical lab assistant.

Starting Salary
The average starting salary for a medical lab assistant is $30,000 per year. This salary will increase with experience and geographical location. For example, an experienced medical lab assistant working in New York City can expect to earn significantly more than an entry-level medical lab assistant working in a small town.

Geographical Location
As with most professions, your geographical location will have a big impact on your salary as a medical lab assistant. If you live and work in an urban area, you can expect to earn more than if you live and work in a rural area. This is because urban areas tend to have higher costs of living and more opportunities for medical lab assistants.

Experience is another important factor to consider when deciding how much salary to expect as a medical lab assistant. Starting salaries for entry-level positions are typically lower than salaries for experienced positions. However, experienced medical lab assistants can also expect to earned higher salaries if they have post-secondary education or certification in their field.

What to expect

In order to become a medical lab assistant, you will need to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. After completing a training program, you should expect to earn a salary of $30,000-$40,000 per year.

How to become a medical lab assistant

A medical lab assistant helps laboratory technologists and technicians by performing routine tasks, such as drawing and labeling blood samples, counting cells, and operate centrifuges and microscopes. They also may type, file, and answer phones. Assistants usually work in hospitals, clinics, and reference laboratories. Some travel to doctors’ offices and other sites to collect specimens. Most medical lab assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate.

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