What makes our medical laboratory workforce unique?

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Am J Clin Pathol


Introduction/Objective: A career in the medical laboratory requires advanced education and technical training. To assist both employers and employees, several government organizations conduct demographic, education, and wage surveys for the general U.S. labor market. Through its workforce surveys, the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) does the same for the medical laboratory professions. Our aim was to compare the findings of these surveys and identify similarities and dissimilarities between the general labor pool and the medical laboratory workforce. Methods/Case Report: Since the 2021 ASCP Wage survey is currently open, we reviewed the findings described in ASCP's 2019 Wage Survey of Medical Laboratories in the United States (Am J Clin Pathol 2021;155:649-673) with the publicly available information (for 2019) on demographics, educational attainment, and average hourly earnings available on the websites of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) as well as United States Census (www.census.gov). Results (if a Case Study enter NA): In 2019, the male: female ratio was 52.9:47.1 in general labor pool and 19.1:80.9 in the medical laboratory workforce. The average age of a worker in the general labor pool was 41.9 years and was 42 years in the medical laboratory workforce. The average hourly earnings were $27.99/hour in the general labor pool and ranged from $16.64/hour (phlebotomists) to $53.95/hour (pathologists assistants) in the medical laboratory workforce, with the MLS/MT/CLS earning $30.02/ hour to $52.53/hour. While 33.1% adults in the U.S. have attained a bachelor's degree or above, 73.79% have attained this in the medical laboratory workforce. Conclusion: Compared to the general labor pool, the medical laboratory workforce is a highly educated workforce and has a higher participation by women. The average worker age and average hourly wage are comparable. We encourage laboratorians to participate in ASCP surveys since such surveys reveal data that can drive better prospects for the medical laboratory workforce.

PubMed ID

Not assigned.





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