Biomedical Sciences: B.S. Biomedical Sciences
Cytotechnology Submajor

Employment Outlook


Expected Growth

Employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. The volume of laboratory tests continues to increase with both population growth and the development of new types of tests.

Technological advances will continue to have opposing effects on employment. On the one hand, new, increasingly powerful diagnostic tests and advances in genomics—the study of the genetic information of a cell or organism—will encourage additional testing and spur employment. On the other hand, research and development efforts targeted at simplifying and automating routine testing procedures may enhance the ability of nonlaboratory personnel—physicians and patients in particular—to perform tests now conducted in laboratories.

Although hospitals are expected to continue to be the major employer of clinical laboratory workers, employment is expected also to grow rapidly in medical and diagnostic laboratories, offices of physicians, and all other ambulatory healthcare services.


Earnings

Median annual wages of medical and clinical laboratory technologists were $53,500 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $44,560 and $63,420. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,180, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,680. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of medical and clinical laboratory technologists were:

Federal Executive Branch $59,800
General medical and surgical hospitals 54,220
Medical and diagnostic laboratories 53,360
Offices of physicians 49,080
Colleges, universities, and professional schools 47,890


According to the American Society for Clinical Pathology, median hourly wages of staff clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, in various specialties and laboratory types, in 2007 were:

  Hospital Private clinic Physician office laboratory
Cytotechnologist $27.55 $28.75 $26.24
Medical technologist 23.45 23.00 20.00

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition (www.bls.gov/oco/ocos096.htm).