Laboratory Assistant Careers

Clinical laboratory assistants, also known as clinical laboratory technicians, play an important role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. They aid lab technologists in prepping lab specimens for testing and analysis, and operate both manual and automated specimen analyzers. Others duties include sterilizing lab tools, initial setup for trials or experiments, and collecting and recording data. Laboratory assistants can work in scientific labs, hospitals or private physician offices. Positions typically require an associate degree, or two years of college.

Employment Opportunities

Laboratory assistants may choose from a variety of specialized positions, including:

  • Histotechnician
  • Phlebotomist
  • Pathology assistant


Laboratory assistants need a wide range of capabilities, including:

  • Understanding chemical solutions, scientific procedures & principles
  • Attention to detail
  • Knowledgeable on lab safety
  • Familiarity with lab technology & tools
  • Meticulous record-keeping & organization

Industry Spotlight

As more private and government labs open across the country, positions for experienced and qualified laboratory assistants should increase significantly over the next eight years.

- Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008