Lab Assistant Salary In The United States
Laboratory assistants are health care professionals who work closely with lab technicians and licensed doctors and physicians. It is the duty of the lab technician to closely examine chemicals, plants, artifacts as well as a variety of geological samples, along with human blood samples and not only. The median annual wage of a medical laboratory assistant in the United States of America is of around $43,000, with a median hourly wage of around $21 per hour. However, it is not uncommon for the most skilled and experienced lab technicians and assistants to make as much as $53,000 a year, while the lowest salary in the industry is of only $35,000 and it is usually received by those who fill entry-level positions.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States
There are several notable factors that impact the mean yearly wage of a lab assistant in the United States, from the number of hours they work, to their skills, education, experience and most importantly, their geographical location. That being said, a laboratory assistant that works in Alaska should expect a mean yearly wage of around $66,000, while one from Arkansas typically earns around $49,000 a year. On the other hand, the state of California pays its laboratory assistants with around $77,000 a year, while the state of Connecticut rewards them with approximately $66,000. Florida offers them a mean yearly wage of around $55,000 while Delaware pays them a median yearly salary of around $63,000.
Laboratory Assistant Job Description
Laboratory assistants usually work either in private laboratories or in state owned hospitals, although it is not uncommon for these health care professionals to work in private physician offices as well. They assist laboratory technicians and licensed physicians in performing a variety of routine lab tests, mainly on human tissue samples, fecal and blood samples. It is the duty o the laboratory assistant to prepare and handle the samples that are about to be tested, as well as to analyze the fluids and the samples for bacteria, parasites and such. These assistants are skilled and trained to handle and maintain complex laboratory equipment including cell counters and microscopes, and in most cases they need to deal with long-term maintenance services as well, as it is their duty to clean all the medical equipment and instruments and make sure they function correctly. The lab assistants and technicians typically report everything to the licensed physician.
Most of the modern laboratory assistants get their skills and knowledge through on the job training, in spite of the fact that going through a formal training program is extremely important. Most of the US states require lab assistants to be either registered or licensed, and the licensure requirements can vary greatly from one state to another. At the same time, certification is not a must for most of these professionals, in spite of the fact that most employers would rather hire a certified laboratory assistant over one who has just started working in the field.
Otherwise stated, a certification in this field can secure your position as a laboratory assistant. It is important for these health care professionals to possess great analytical skills, to have a good attention to detail, to stay focused and determined in the long haul as well as to possess good color vision and manual dexterity. Also, given the fact that most of the laboratory equipment is digital, it is important for the laboratory assistant to possess advanced computer skills as well.
These health care professionals do have some advancement opportunities if they want to get the best out of their job – they can choose to become either technicians or technologists by getting more formal training and experience in the field. They can advance to a supervisory position in laboratory work, they can become laboratory managers or even chief technologists.
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Becoming a lab assistant takes a lot of training, as these professionals deal with many different tasks from processing the medical specimen of the patient to recording the patient information. The first and most important step is choosing your specialization: as a medical laboratory assistant, you can specialize in one of the many different types of tests, from performing dissections and testing tissue samples to preserving blood, urine and such.
It is important to check with the local colleges and see their requirements for lab technicians and assistants, although most of them require you to have only a high school degree or a GED in order to enroll into their higher education program. Certification is yet another aspect – you can opt for a two year degree which leads to clinical laboratory assistant, as there are many community colleges that provide both certifications and degree programs in medical terminology, phlebotomy, urianalysis and a plethora of other lab skills.
Completing a work-study program is essential for becoming a laboratory technician or assistant these days, as it will help you obtain your certification. That, coupled with an internship in the field will undoubtedly increase your chances of getting a stable job in the industry. The training session ends with you completing the certification exam upon your graduation and getting the license from the state in which you plan to work.
Certification programs and exams for laboratory assistants are usually provided by CSMLS for Medical Laboratory Assistants. A MLA certification allows you to get fast recognition for your skills, experience and knowledge, and it will offer you a professional credential that will recognize your competence to practice as a lab assistant within the generally accepted set of national standards. The national certification examination for US lab technicians is open to all graduates of a formal medical laboratory assistant program.
Lab Assistant Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
A laboratory technician who fills an entry-level position in the United Kingdom should expect a median yearly pay of around 13,000 pounds, while the average medical laboratory assistant salary for those who live and work in Canada is of around C$39,000. Australian lab assistants typically earn around $20,00 per hour, although those who have 10 years of experience or more can earn a higher salary.
Verdict On Lab Assistant Salary
To summarize, laboratory assistants can get a very rewarding salary and this is the perfect job for those who are passionate about analyzing various samples under the microscope. Lab assistants can increase their annual wage by advancing to a higher position, such as that of laboratory manager or technician.