Medical Laboratory Scientists

ANZSCO ID 2346

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
30,900
Future Growth
5.6%
Weekly Earnings
$1,792
Full-Time Share
71%
Female Share
71%
Average age
39

Summary

Medical Laboratory Scientists conduct medical laboratory tests to assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

Also known as: Hospital Scientist, or Medical Scientific Officer.

Specialisations: IVF Embryologist.

A bachelor degree in medical or biomedical science is needed to work as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.

Tasks

  • preparing tissue sections for microscopic examination

  • examining and analysing samples to study the effects of microbial infections

  • analysing samples of body tissue and fluids to develop techniques to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases

  • advising Medical Practitioners on the interpretation of tests and methods for use in the diagnosis and treatment of disease

  • setting up the steps and rules of laboratory medical testing

  • operating and maintaining laboratory equipment

  • maintaining laboratory quality assurance and safety standards

  • preparing scientific papers and reports

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Creative
  • Helping
Physical Demand
  • Light

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow moderately
  • is likely to reach 28,400 by 2026.
  • Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
5.6%
(or 1,500 jobs)
From
26,900
in 2021
To
28,400
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 19,300
2012 22,900
2013 15,800
2014 23,600
2015 20,700
2016 21,300
2017 25,300
2018 26,000
2019 28,200
2020 22,700
2021 26,900
2026 28,400

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 71% of people employed as Medical Laboratory Scientists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 5 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,792 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,422
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,257

    Median hourly earnings are $47, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Medical Laboratory Scientists All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,792 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Health Care and Social Assistance
45.6%
2
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
25.6%
3
Education and Training
21.7%
4
Manufacturing
4.3%
5
Other industries
3.2%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

29.0% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

31.7% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

17.6% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

8.0% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

10.0% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.6% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.6% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.6% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Medical Laboratory Scientists All Jobs Average
NSW 29.0 31.6
VIC 31.7 25.6
QLD 17.6 20.0
SA 8.0 7.0
WA 10.0 10.8
TAS 1.6 2.0
NT 0.6 1.0
ACT 1.6 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
39
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
71%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Medical Laboratory Scientists is 39 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 71% of the workforce. This is 23 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Medical Laboratory Scientists All Jobs Average
15-19 0.1 5.0
20-24 4.3 9.3
25-34 32.0 22.9
35-44 28.5 22.0
45-54 19.6 21.6
55-59 8.0 9.0
60-64 4.9 6.0
65 and Over 2.6 4.2
Median Age 39 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor degree in medical or biomedical science is needed to work as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Medical Laboratory Scientists All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 40.9 10.1
Bachelor degree 53.3 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 3.2 11.6
Certificate III/IV 0.5 21.1
Year 12 2.0 18.1
Year 11 0.1 4.8
Year 10 and below 0.0 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Medical Laboratory Scientists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 77%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 70%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 66%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 66%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 64%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 64%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 59%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 59%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 59%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 57%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 57%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 57%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 57%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 57%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 55%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 55%

    Operations analysis

    Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.

  • 54%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 50%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 48%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 46%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 83%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 73%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 72%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 68%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 65%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 64%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 61%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 59%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 54%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 49%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 49%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 48%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 48%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 47%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 46%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 44%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 44%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 41%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 30%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 30%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 79%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 75%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 75%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 73%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 71%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 71%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 70%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 63%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 59%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 59%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 59%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 57%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 55%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 55%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 54%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 52%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 50%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 45%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 43%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 41%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 90%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 88%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 87%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 87%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 87%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 83%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 81%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 80%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 80%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 78%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 76%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 75%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 73%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 71%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 70%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 70%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 66%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 63%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 62%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 49%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 62%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 62%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 57%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 33%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 81%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 81%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 81%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 79%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 62%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 48%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 96%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 96%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 95%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 95%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 94%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 89%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 88%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 85%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 83%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 82%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 78%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 77%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 75%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 74%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  • 71%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

  • 68%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 64%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 62%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 59%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-1042.00 - Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists.


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