Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS)


  • Bacteriology: the study of bacteria as it relates to the field of medicine.
  • Blood Bank Serology: the study of blood serums and related diseases or organisms.
  • Chemistry: the study of atomic and molecular systems.
  • Hematology: the study of blood and blood producing organs of the body.
  • Immunology: the study of the human immune system and its reaction to foreign bodies.
  • Microbiology: the study of bacteria and other microorganisms.

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • This is a Bachelor’s Degree level laboratory career.
  • Educated as generalists in the area of chemistry, hematology, microbiology, molecular pathology, immunology, urinalysis, and other body fluids. May choose to specialize in any of these areas.
  • Medical Technologists are healthcare detectives, providing vital lab analyses on blood, body fluids, and tissues using sophisticated techniques and biomedical instrumentation. These analyses are critical to detect cancer, determine infectious agents, diagnose disease, and monitor therapeutic and abused drugs.
  • Use microscopes to examine blood, tissue, and other body substances, as well as match blood types for transfusion.
  • In small labs they do many different tests whereas in larger labs, are generally specialized. Along with testing, also can determine budgets, troubleshoot sophisticated lab equipment, teach, consult physicians concerning lab results, and be responsible for the work of those they manage and teach.
  • Are often employed in hospital labs, clinics, public health labs, research facilities, technical colleges, university programs, pharmaceutical companies, industrial laboratories, and the military.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Need excellent critical thinking skills, attention to detail, communication skills, people skills, analytical skills and organizational skills.
  • Those in smaller labs like having a variety of tasks to do each day.
  • Technologists sometimes work under stress. They must work carefully and quickly.
  • May work shifts, weekends, or holidays. 

Getting Started

Career Outlook