How Much Does a Medical Laboratory Assistant Earn in Canada?

Find out how much a medical laboratory assistant earns in Canada.

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Blog Description: Find out what the average salary is for a medical laboratory assistant in Canada.

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Job Description

Medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) perform various technical and clerical tasks in medical laboratories under the general supervision of technologists, technicians, or other health professionals. They may prepare equipment and materials for tests, maintain databases and specimen repositories, collect and process specimens according to established procedures, carry out routine tests, record test results, and prepare tissue samples for examination by pathologists. Most MLAs work in hospitals, clinics, or diagnostic laboratories affiliated with hospitals; some work in independent commercial laboratories.


medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) work under the supervision of medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) and perform a variety of technical and clerical duties. Their tasks include:

-receiving and preparing samples for testing
-performing routine tests
-collecting blood from donors
-maintaining and calibrating equipment
-entering test results into databases

In some provinces, MLAs may also perform more complex tests under the supervision of an MLT.


Medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) in Canada earn an average salary of C$34,746 per year, with a range of salaries from C$30,131 to C$39,537.

The majority of MLAs work full-time, although there are some part-time and casual positions available. Salaries will vary depending on factors such as experience, qualifications, geographical location and employer.

In addition to their salary, MLAs may also be eligible for benefits such as health insurance vacation pay and pension plans.

Job outlook

In 2019, placement services placed 1,900 medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) in full-time, permanent jobs across Canada. turnover is low in this occupation.
In addition to the growing number of retirements, medical laboratory assistants are in demand to perform more specialized tests as the sophistication of testing technology continues to increase.
Most job openings will result from retirements and employment growth.


The education necessary to become a medical laboratory assistant (MLA) in Canada varies by province, but most require a high school diploma, while some may also require post-secondary education, such as a college diploma or university degree. In general, the more education an MLA has, the higher their salary will be.


Medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) perform routine technical and clerical tasks in hospitals, public health laboratories, private medical laboratories and research institutions. They work under the direction of medical laboratory technologists and operate computerized equipment.

In order to become an MLA in Canada, you will need to complete a college diploma or certificate program in medical laboratory technology. These programs are offered at community colleges and universities across the country.

Admission requirements vary, but most programs require high school graduation with courses in English, mathematics and science. Some programs may require arithmetic and/or biology courses as well. If you have already completed some post-secondary education, you may be able to enter a program with advanced standing.

Programs usually take two or three years to complete, although some schools offer four-year programs that lead to a bachelor’s degree. Co-operative education opportunities, which alternate periods of study with periods of paid work experience related to the program of study, are often available and may be required by some programs.


Generally, medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) in Canada earn between CAD$21 and CAD$24 per hour. The average hourly wage for an MLA is about CAD$22.50. Bonuses and profit sharing opportunities can increase earnings, and MLAs working in management roles may earn a higher salary.

Key skills

Laboratory assistant positions are expected to grow by 3% in Canada between 2019 and 2029 according to Job Bank Canada. The job market for this position is thus considered good. As of May 2020, the average hourly wage for a medical laboratory assistant in Canada was $21.50, according to the Government of Canada Job Bank. The salary range for this position is usually between $16 and $26 per hour. In order to become a medical laboratory assistant, you usually need a college diploma in medical laboratory technology or life sciences. Some provinces may require certification from the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science. Key skills for this position include being detail-oriented, organized, able to work independently and being able to handle confidential information with discretion.

Work environment

According to the Government of Canada, most medical laboratory assistants work in hospitals. They may also work in private laboratories, blood donor clinics or public health facilities.

Career path

Medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) play an important role in the healthcare system by helping to diagnose and treat patients. They work in hospital laboratories and clinics, and their duties include collecting and preparing blood and other samples for testing, performing basic lab tests, and recording and maintaining patient records.

In order to become a medical laboratory assistant, you must complete a recognized MLA program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges, and they take about two years to complete. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to write the Canadian Medical Laboratory Association (CMLA) certification exam, which is required for MLAs in Canada.

The average salary for a medical laboratory assistant in Canada is $35,000 per year. Salaries vary depending on experience, education, geographical location, and employer.

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