Love Science? Become a Clinical Laboratory Assistant

June 6th, 2013 by

If you always loved trying out new science experiments as a child, or you were always eager to sign up for a new chemistry class in high school, then you would probably be the right fit for a career in the field of science. One of the most interesting and hands-on careers out there is that of the clinical laboratory assistant.

Discover more about what this position entails, what education you need to secure a career in the field, what the requirements are for enrollment in a degree program and why an online education could be the key to your success.

Daily Life and Tasks of a Clinical Lab Assistant

Just like the name suggests, a clinical lab assistant works in some kind of medical laboratory. Most assistants will end up in hospitals, but there is also a demand for assistants in medical research facilities or pharmaceutical companies.

You might spend your time checking a slide of cells for growth under a microscope, helping to document changes for a large medical research project, helping with the administrative side of a drug testing experiment or even using equipment to detect abnormalities or disease in the blood of patients.

The career combines elements of computing, chemistry and biology, which can make it the perfect fit for anyone who feels confident in the scientific realm. Find out  more about earning your degree online to become a lab assistant.

Required Education in This Field

There are three basic ways to become eligible to work as a clinical lab assistant. The first is the associate degree, which is the most popular option. It is a two-year program that covers subjects like hematology, phlebotomy, bodily fluids and laboratory techniques.

There is also the option to do a certificate program, which takes just over a year and is only suggested for those who already have an associate degree in another field. The certificate can be a way to begin a new career without starting your education over from scratch.

The final option is the bachelor’s degree, which takes an average of four years to complete. While this is a strong choice for those who want to secure advanced positions in the field, it is not required for entry-level careers.

Prerequisites for an Associate Degree in Clinical Laboratory Technology

Since the associate degree in clinical laboratory technology is the most popular way to prepare for a lab assistant career, it is important to understand how to qualify for enrollment. Most colleges will expect students to have a high school diploma, be 18 or over by the time of enrollment and be able to pass basic exams in fields like chemistry and math.

Advantages of an Online Education

Most students are not able to drop everything to head back to school for two years or more. By enrolling in an online degree program, however, you don’t have to. Stream lectures live, listen to recorded seminars in your own time, take exams whenever you feel prepared, and do it all from the comfort of your own home.

To learn more about becoming a clinical laboratory assistant as well as other popular health care degrees, visit

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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