Medical Laboratory Scientists
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.
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
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.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
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)
|Earnings||Medical Laboratory Scientists||All Jobs Average|
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.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Medical Laboratory Scientists||All Jobs Average|
Around 82% of Medical Laboratory Scientists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Melbourne - North East
- Melbourne - South East
- Melbourne - Inner East
- Melbourne - Inner South.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
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)
|Age Bracket||Medical Laboratory Scientists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.6||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
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.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Medical Laboratory Scientists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||40.9||10.1|
|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 can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
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.
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.
Teaching people how to do something.
Talking to others.
Using maths to solve problems.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
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.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
46%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
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.
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.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
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.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Communicate by speaking.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
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).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
54%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
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.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
See details that are far away.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
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.
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 are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
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.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
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.
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.
Use electronic mail.
96%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Talk with people face-to-face.
95%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Work with people in a group or team.
Talk on the telephone.
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.
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.
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.
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.