Laboratory Science Profession

Profession in high demand

Career Description
Medical laboratory professionals perform laboratory tests necessary to provide information for use by physicians in detecting, diagnosing, or treating diseases.  They are vital members of the health care team; 70-80% of all clinical diagnosis is based, in some way, on laboratory test results.
Training and Requirements
The minimum education requirements for the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS)/Medical Technologist (MT) is the completion of a Bachelor's Degree program, which includes three to four years of course work plus a clinical experience in an accredited educational program in clinical laboratory science.  In Washington State, academic course work is available at Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, the University of Washington, and Washington State University.  The education programs providing the clinical experience are Central Washington University, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, and Heritage University CLS Program.

The most common training for the Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) is a two-year Associate Degree program.  In Washington, training for MLT-AD is available at Clover Park Technical College, Shoreline Community College, and Wenatchee Valley College.  Wenatchee Valley College also has regional programs located in Spokane, Omak, Tri-Cities, Pendleton, Walla Walla, and Moses Lake.

There are no schools for Cytotechnology or Histotechnology in Washington at the current time.  Information about Cytotechnolgy can be obtained from the American Society for Cytotechnology Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood has an associate degree histology technician program.  The National Society for Histotechnology can provide information on Histotechnology.

Information on Cytogenetics training can be obtained from the Association of Genetic Technologists.

Skills needed include:
  • Aptitude for science course work
  • Good eye/hand coordination and manual dexterity
  • Good communication abilities
  • Ability to work with precision and accuracy
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Ability to work as a team player

    Training Programs in Washington State

    Medical Laboratory Science/Medical Technologist Programs (Bachelor Degree):

    Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center
    School of Medical Technology
    101 West 8th Avenue
    Spokane, WA 99220

    Contact:  Cynthia Hamby
    Phone:  (509) 474-3382
    website: SHMC Med Lab Science Program

    University of Washington
    Medical Technology Program
    Department of Laboratory Medicine
    Box 357110
    Seattle, WA 98195-7110

    Contact:  Kara Hansen-Suchy
    Phone:  (206) 598-0428
    web site: Univ of WA Medical Tech Program

    Heritage University CLS Program
    3240 Fort Road
    Toppenish, WA 98948

    Contact: Terese Abreu
    Phone: (509) 454-6100
    website: Medical Technology Program

    Medical Laboratory Technician Programs (Associate Degree):

    Clover Park Technical College
    Medical Laboratory Technician Program
    4500 Steilacom Blvd. SW
    Tacoma, WA 98499-4098

    Contact:  Dana Guinn
    Phone:  (253) 589-5625
    website: Clover Park  Lab Technician Program

    Shoreline Community College
    Medical Laboratory Technology Program
    16101 Greenwood Avenue North
    Seattle, WA 98133-5696

    Contact:  Molly Morse
    Phone:  (206) 546-6947
    website: Shoreline Medical Lab Program

    Wenatchee Valley College
    Medical Laboratory Technician Program
    1300 5th Street
    Wenatchee, WA 98801

    Contact:  Patrick Tracy
    Phone:  (509) 682-6668
    website: Wenatchee Med Lab Technicial Program

    For questions about this site or about Clinical Laboratory Careers Educational Programs in Washington State, please email

    Prepared by the Washington State Clinical Laboratory Advisory Council, Washington State Department of Health,  University of Washington Medical Technology Program, Sacred Heart Medical Center School of Medical Technology, Heritage University CLS Program, Clover Park Technical College Medical Laboratory Technician Program, Renton Technical College Medical Laboratory Technician  Program, Shoreline Community College Medical Laboratory Technology Program, Wenatchee Valley College Medical Laboratory Technician Program, Washington State Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, and Washington Clinical Laboratory Management Association Chapters.

    last updated:  July 2014