How Much Does a Medical Laboratory Assistant Make?

It’s no secret that Medical laboratory assistants are in high demand. So, how much does a medical laboratory assistant make? We have the answer.

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Job Description

medical laboratory assistants are an important part of the medical team. They work in medical laboratories and perform a variety of tasks, including preparing cultures, running tests, and recording results.

Some medical laboratory assistants may specialize in a particular area, such as blood banking or histology. In larger laboratories, they may work under the supervision of a medical technologist or another experienced lab worker.

Medical laboratory assistants typically need at least a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and all states require them to be licensed by the state in which they work.


The median salary for a medical laboratory assistant is $33,610 per year, or $16.17 per hour. The top 10% of earners make more than $48,920 per year, while the bottom 10% earn less than $23,700 per year.


The education requirements for medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) vary by employer, but most MLAs have at least a high school diploma. Some employers may require MLAs to have completed a postsecondary certificate or associate degree program in medical laboratory technology.

Job outlook

The job outlook for medical laboratory assistants is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in this field will grow by 11 percent between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations.1 This growth is largely due to an aging population and advances in medical technology, which require more diagnostic testing. As a result, there will be an increased demand for medical laboratory assistants to perform routine tasks and help keep laboratories running smoothly.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists,
on the Internet at (visited March 14, 2019).


In order to be a medical laboratory assistant one needs to have certain skills. These include: the ability to work independently with little supervision, strong attention to detail, good organizational skills, and manual dexterity. One must also be able to follow instructions and have a basic knowledge of computers.

Work environment

Medical laboratory assistants work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and clinics. They typically work in a laboratory setting, which may be operated by a hospital, physicians’ group, or independent laboratory. In some cases, medical laboratory assistants may travel to patients’ homes or other locations to collect specimens.

Career path

medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) work under the supervision of medical laboratory technologists or pathologists and perform routine technical tasks in a clinical laboratory. They prepare specimens for analysis, operate and maintain equipment and report results. Although most MLAs have postsecondary education, some may be trained on the job.

In Canada, MLAs are employed in hospitals, diagnostic and medical laboratories, public health units, and blood donor clinics. They work full time, but may be required to work evenings, nights or weekends.

The majority of MLAs have a college diploma in medical laboratory technology. Programs typically take 2 or 3 years to complete and are offered by colleges of applied arts and technology across Canada.

Pros and cons

Before discussing how much a medical laboratory assistant makes, it is important to understand the pros and cons of the job.

As a medical laboratory assistant, you will be responsible for performing a variety of tests on patient samples. This can be a very rewarding job, as you will be playing an important role in diagnosing and treating medical conditions. However, it is also a demanding job, and you will need to have strong attention to detail and excellent organizational skills.

In terms of pay, medical laboratory assistants are typically paid an hourly rate. The exact amount will vary depending on your experience and qualifications, but you can expect to earn between $15 and $25 per hour.


How much does a medical laboratory assistant make?

The median annual wage for medical laboratory assistants was $32,330 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,430, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,610.

In May 2017, the median annual wages for medical laboratory assistants in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private: $33,210
Physicians’ offices: $32,560
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private: $31,930


Below is a glossary of terms you may encounter while working as a medical laboratory assistant:

-Abutment: a support used to hold a dental prosthesis in place.
-Abscess: a pus-filled sac that forms around an infection.
-Accessory Digestive Organs: organs that help with digestion, but are not part of the digestive tract, such as the liver and pancreas.
-Acidosis: a condition in which there is too much acid in the body.
-Acute: having sudden onset and severe symptoms.
-Adhesion: abnormal tissue growth that binds two surfaces together.
-Amenorrhea: absence of menstruation.
-Analgesic: a medication used to relieve pain.
-Anemia: a condition in which there is an insufficient number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood.
-Aseptic Technique: a set of procedures used to prevent contamination by pathogens.
-Aspiration: removal of fluid or cells from the body using suction.

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