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Professionals who work in medical technology perform an array of behind-the-scenes tasks for doctors and scientists. Drawing on their technical skills, these workers perform complex medical laboratory tests with results that have huge implications in healthcare the science. Other duties performed by medical lab technicians in Minnesota and beyond include:

  • Analyzing bodily fluids such as blood and urine
  • Studying samples and comparing specific details for the purpose of scientific analysis
  • Using complex medical equipment to run tests and experiments
  • Discussing test results with scientists and medical professionals
  • Keeping detailed notes of test processes and results

Fast Facts for Medical Lab Technicians in Minnesota

In the state of Minnesota, 3,140 medical and clinical laboratory technicians were employed in 2014. The bulk of these workers were concentrated in the following regions:

  • Minneapolis - St. Paul - Bloomington: 1,880
  • Rochester: 270
  • Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area: 230
  • Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area: 170
  • St. Cloud: 170
  • Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area: 160
  • Duluth, MN-WI: 130
  • Northeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area: 70
  • Mankato - North Mankato: 50

Because of the growing demand in this field, jobs for medical lab technicians in Minnesota may be especially plentiful. According to U.S. Department Labor figures, employment could increase by as much as 23.4 percent during the decade leading up to 2022. That translates into 760 new jobs during that time period.

Salaries for Medical Lab Technicians in Minnesota

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical lab technicians in Minnesota earned an annual mean wage of $45,550 in 2014, which works out to approximately $21.90 per hour.

Some industries paid higher than average wages for this profession on a national level, however. Here are the top paying industries for these workers in 2014:

  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing: $52,960
  • Offices of Dentists: $52,420
  • Individual and Family Services: $51,930
  • Specialty (Except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals: $47,020
  • Other Residential Care Facilities: $44,830

Metro Areas for Salary and Popularity

Region

Employment per 1,000 Residents

Annual Mean Wage in 2014

Minneapolis - St. Paul - Bloomington

1.03

$45,000

Rochester

2.60

$49,100

Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area

1.23

$44,360

Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area

1.38

$44,230

St. Cloud

1.69

$45,550

Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area

0.91

$46,560

Duluth, MN-WI

1.05

$49,120

Northeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area:

1.26

$41,980

Mankato - North Mankato

1.05

$47,000

Expert Q&A

To learn more about the medical laboratory industry in Minnesota, we reached out to Janice M. Conway-Klaassen, PhD, MT(ASCP)SM, Director of the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program at the University of Minnesota. Below, she shares her insights on the overall industry and the schools' medical laboratory science program.

What are some of the unique issues medical laboratory scientists and medical and clinical laboratory technicians face in the state of Minnesota?

Minnesota has a rich history of medical technology and medical laboratory science practice, but we may also face a critical shortage of laboratory practitioners in the next ten years as many of the baby boomers reach retirement age. We have also seen an increase in demand for laboratory testing as new technologies are developed and patients now have direct access. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increased need much higher than average for the laboratory workforce.

There is also a lack of awareness of the profession. Often, television programs show doctors performing lab tests or students with a biology degree are performing these medical tests. However, medical laboratory science is a distinct medical profession. We need more visibility of our profession and our educational requirements so we can recruit more people to the field. During a recent Health Force Minnesota Laboratory Summit, we discussed some of the barriers to increasing graduate numbers for the workforce and develop possible solutions. Although the workforce shortage is not unique to Minnesota, it is a critical factor we face.

What is the greatest benefit of practicing this field within the state of Minnesota?

Minnesota has one of the best health care industries in the nation. For that reason, health care and health care practice here is cutting edge. We have great laboratory professional leadership within the state of Minnesota because we are deeply involved with our national professional societies. We also have a strong collaborative culture between educators, employers, and hospital administrators, and it allows us to work toward our common goal of providing quality graduates/employees for quality patient care. This is pretty unique across the nation.

How will the job/industry change in the next 10 to 20 years?

The practice of laboratory science will make some dramatic changes in the next 10-20 years. Technology and types of testing continue to grow and change each year. Changes in medical practice models to Interprofessional teams and consultations provide new career directions for laboratory practitioners. Many people wonder if new technologies and more automation will decrease the need for laboratory practitioners. This same question has been raised for more than 60 years. As innovation and automation change testing methods, the actual practice must adapt to what is needed.

How is your school preparing students for a future career in this field?

Our Medical Laboratory Science Program begins with a strong foundation in the basic and medical sciences. The experiences offered at the University of Minnesota and the opportunities for interaction with students in other health careers make this the ideal place to become a health care professional. Graduates of the MLS Program are also prepared to be leaders in health care delivery, medical laboratory professional societies, other medical professions, and as member of a research and development team. Because they are prepared to be innovative, our graduates are prepared to adapt to an ever-changing field of practice, job security, and a wide array of career pathways.

What component of your medical laboratory science program are you most proud of?

I'm immensely proud of the things our graduates have accomplished and how deeply faculty and graduates are engaged within our professional organizations. Medical laboratory science is an excellent career choice and our graduates have applied their knowledge and skills in medical laboratories as well as research, reference, and public health. Because our graduates are so well prepared, they are often promoted to supervisory roles within 2 years of graduation. Medical laboratory science is also an excellent background for other health care careers. Many graduates of our program have gone on to medical school, pharmacy, or physician assistant programs.

The University of Minnesota Medical Laboratory Sciences program is the oldest medical laboratory education program in the United States. Started in 1922 and with its first graduates in 1923, the program is steeped in a long-term tradition of cutting-edge, quality education practices. The vast majority of medical laboratory personnel in the State of Minnesota are graduates of the University's program. Those graduates are now in medical laboratory and corporate leadership positions throughout the state. Seven of our graduates have gone on to become President of the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), our national professional organization.

Sources:

  1. Interview with Janice M. Conway-Klaassen, PhD, MT(ASCP)SM, Director of Medical Laboratory Sciences Program at University of Minnesota, November 4, 2015
  2. Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  3. May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Minnesota, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm
  4. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
  5. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292012.htm
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More Minnesota Schools

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Alexandria
Associate
2,249
Minneapolis
Masters
3,793
Bemidji
Masters
4,571
Dultuh
Associate
296
Hibbing
Associate
1,412
Duluth
Associate
4,990
Fergus Falls
Associate
6,164
Mankato
Doctorate
14,515
Moorhead
Doctorate
7,494
Granite Falls
Associate
2,943
Brooklyn Park
Associate
6,448
Thief River Falls
Associate
4,027
Saint Cloud
Doctorate
16,940
Saint Paul
Associate
4,990
North Mankato
Associate
3,639
Minneapolis
Doctorate & First Professional
50,883
Winona
Masters
8,334

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Medical Lab Technicians

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Minnesota. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Medical Lab Technicians

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Medical Lab Technicians relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
St. Cloud 250 $45,030
Mankato 50 $45,910
North Mankato 50 $45,910

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