When we think of a career in medicine, becoming a doctor or nurse is often what immediately springs to mind. But the medical field actually has a huge and diverse range of careers open to medically-minded people. If you love science and the human body but aren’t so keen on interacting with patients or cleaning up bodily fluids, a career in medical laboratory science could be just for you.
What Is Laboratory Science?
A laboratory scientist is a highly trained medical professional who specializes in the clinical testing of bodily fluids to detect disease and abnormality. By using highly sophisticated equipment and techniques, lab scientists are able to detect even the smallest of changes in a person’s body and are essential in the process of diagnosing and treating a patient.
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Laboratory Scientist?
There are many benefits of becoming a laboratory scientist. On the practical side of things, the laboratory science profession has a projected growth of around 16%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. With a national average salary of over $61,000, a career in laboratory science can provide a sizeable stable income, enough to support a family.
Not only that, but laboratory science is an intellectually stimulating career, with the opportunity to help other people that isn’t expensive or difficult to break into. Institutes like the University of Cincinnati Online offer courses to become a qualified medical laboratory scientist online, which is especially useful for parents or full-time workers who want to break into a different career.
How Do You Know If It’s the Right Career for You?
Picking or changing career can be a nerve-wracking and anxiety filled time. It’s normal to worry whether what you’ve picked is the right career for you. There are certain personal attributes and qualities that lend themselves to the role of a laboratory scientist, so if these are something you struggle with, it may be worth researching whether the role is right for you further.
Due to the particular and sensitive nature of the materials being handled by a laboratory scientist, you will need to show that you are organized, clean and can focus your attention to the task at hand. Not only that, but you shouldn’t be at all squeamish, as it is likely you will have to handle all types of bodily fluids. If you faint at the sight of blood, this probably isn’t the job for you.
However, if you are interested in working as part of a team, detail-oriented, scientifically-minded and want to help people, this could be the perfect career for you.
How Can You Become a Laboratory Scientist?
There are many tracks to becoming a medical laboratory scientist, and the career is no longer out of reach. There are options to take a bachelors in laboratory science full-time at a university, but there are even more flexible options out there such as the University of Cincinnati’s online medical laboratory scientist bachelor’s degree. This means you can continue to work and have your own life while also studying and pursuing a new career.