Clinical laboratory science is one of the broadest specializations within the Master of Science in Health Science (MSHS) degree program, encompassing a robust set of core and elective science courses that help meet the requirements of many lab-based positions. Earning such a degree can lead to a rewarding career in health science.
A Spectrum of Options
There are many opportunities for those who pursue a master’s in health science specializing in clinical laboratory science — a program which teaches students how to master laboratory techniques necessary to help clinicians diagnose and treat disease. As the field of medicine continues to progress, and the demand for personalized care grows, physicians are relying more on complex diagnostic tools to accurately interpret the various signs and symptoms presented by their patients. Analyzing blood and tissue samples is at the core of clinical laboratory science and various job functions.
Here is a snapshot of some careers you might have with an MSHS in clinical laboratory science:
- Clinical Laboratory Technologist.
- Cytogenetic Technologist.
- Diagnostic Molecular Scientist.
- Medical Laboratory Scientist.
- Medical Laboratory Technician.
- Pathologist’s Assistant.
Compensation, Career Growth and Demand
There are many pathways to careers in health science, and there is no set of universal requirements to secure gainful employment. However, salary, career growth potential and job responsibilities differ greatly depending on a number of factors. Clinical laboratory technologists, for example, had a median annual salary of about $51,000 in 2015. This value fluctuates depending on geographical location and whether the technologist is licensed.
Though a license is not required in all states, having one makes an applicant more competitive and leads to higher pay. In California, for instance, a licensed technologist can earn $75,000 a year. While someone with a bachelor’s degree could become a technologist, those with a master’s in health science tend to take on administrative roles as well as roles that involve a stronger analytical component. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated a 16 percent growth in jobs for lab-based technologists through 2024, driven by increased demand from the healthcare sector.
From phlebotomists to diagnostic molecular scientists, people with a master’s in health science with a focus on clinical laboratory science are well-positioned to take on a number of essential roles in labs, from supporting clinicians in primary care hospitals to researchers in commercial pharmaceutical companies — all the while enjoying the benefits of being in a growing industry whose mission is to help others.
Learn more about the UTRGV MSHS in Health Sciences in Clinical Laboratory Sciences online program.
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