4 Reasons Medical Lab Science is the Right Field for you

Updated: May 10, 2020

Are you trying to decide if medical laboratory science (MLS) is the right field for you? There are many aspects to consider when choosing your career path. You want to find a career that inspires you to come to work every day. One where you can learn and grow. One with possibilities and opportunities waiting to be explored. But, there is also the practical side. What is the career outlook? Is there job stability? What is the compensation?  Will this career give you the work-life balance you have dreamed of? Searching for the correct path can be a stressful process. I understand, and I am here to offer you my help. Let ‘s explore four reasons why medical lab science is the career you have been looking for.


Are you trying to decide if medical laboratory science (MLS) is the right field for you? There are many aspects to consider when choosing your career path. You want to find a career that inspires you to come to work every day. One where you can learn and grow. One with possibilities and opportunities waiting to be explored. But, there is also the practical side. What is the career outlook? Is there job stability? What is the compensation?  Will this career give you the work-life balance you have dreamed of? Searching for the correct path can be a stressful process. I understand, and I am here to offer you my help. Let ‘s explore four reasons why medical lab science is the career you have been looking for.


1. Job Diversity and Growth

MLS have an exciting job. We are most associated with hospital work but, there are many more options for an MLS beyond that. From zoos to the FBI to pharmaceutical companies and fertility clinics. You can find a well-trained medical lab scientist hard at work. As technology continues to advance many testing techniques are updated. New tests are added. Automation allows workflows to be more efficient. As an MLS you must be willing to grow and change with the times. It is exciting to be learning about new lifesaving measures, rapid tests, and cutting-edge technologies.


2. Career Stability

When looking for a job you want to be sure that the future is bright before diving in head first. Many who work in a hospital are unionized. Unions ensure that you are treated fairly by management. You will not be unfairly terminated and will receive appropriate compensation. Choosing to work in a hospital is generally regarded as a very stable career Similarly, careers with government entities are usually very stable. Biotech startups and industry companies are inherently unpredictable. Startups can be a fun place to work – among other driven, often young co-workers. All are trying to push this company to fulfill its potential. But sometimes they fail. With industry jobs, there is the risk of being bought out by another company or of drastic shifts in management. Changes can bring layoffs and personnel movement. But, risk is often rewarded. Less stable jobs in industry can come with excellent benefits and higher pay. Often with stock options or signing bonuses. Deciding what is right for you will take some thought. Many people prefer the stability of hospital and government work. While others are willing to take risks. It is essential to evaluate what kind of career will serve you the best at this point in your life. At the end of the day, your happiness is vital – you will be working for many years.

3. Good pay

Speaking of pay… let’s get into the nitty-gritty of compensation. With any career that requires special schooling, you will be rewarded for your dedication. The pay for a medical lab scientist is higher due to the critical nature of the job. You will be compensated fairly for your dedication and knowledge. The data you are responsible for generating as an MLS can directly affect a patient’s diagnosis or treatment. Compared to someone just starting out with a BS in biology the average starting salary of a medical lab scientist is about $8 / hour higher.

Average starting salary biology: $16 / hour

Average starting salary medical lab scientist: $24 / hour


My own experience:

  • $18 / hour ($31,500/ year) starting pay out of college with a BS in microbiology working in a research lab

  • $39.41 / hour starting pay as an MLS with no experience working as a generalist in a hospital

  • I more than doubled my salary with a one-year, post-baccalaureate, medical lab science program

I included this information to illustrate yet another reason this field is rewarding. But, I want to caution you about making a career choice purely for financial gain. A career is about more than how much money you make. Your new career should excite you. If you make a decision based solely on monetary gain I can guarantee you that later on down the line it will haunt you. Burnout is a real thing. working 9-5 to get a paycheck will wreak havoc on your happiness. I urge you to follow your dreams and pursue your passion. You cannot buy happiness. 



4. Positive work-life balance

What defines a good work-life balance? To me, it is about having time outside of work to do the things I love. Having enough time to travel and spend time with family. It means work that you don’t have to take home with you. A job that can give you security and the means to live a full life. Finding a job that can provide you with your ideal work-life balance is important. Take a minute to describe your ideal life. Imagine yourself in 5 -10 years. Look around – what do you see? Are you climbing to the top of your corporate ladder? Buying a new house? Spending the holidays with your family? Traveling the world? Define what is important to you. A career in medical lab science can fit into a variety of different life objectives. There is flexibility. Working per diem, or part-time at a hospital – can give you time to travel the world. I know many who work a night shift so they can spend the day with their children. You can climb up the ladder – working up the ranks to a specialist, a lead tech, a supervisor or a manager. As an MLS you are compensated with a salary that can allow you to save and buy that house. This is a field full of different opportunities. Take the path through it that allows you to cultivate a perfect work-life balance.

Finding your new career

Understanding what is most important to you and your future is vital in determining the correct career path. If you are looking to be challenged. Pushed to continue growing and learning with your field. If you like having options. Knowing that you can move laterally throughout your chosen field to find the space you feel fits best with your interests. If you aim to find a career that can last you a lifetime. One that is stable and has good career outlooks. If it is important to make sure you are financially stable. If you want to find your perfect work-life balance. Then medical lab science is the right career for you. So, don’t waste another minute. Find out what you need to do to apply and make your dream a reality. Begin your journey today.


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