Montana University System’s Medical Laboratory Science

What is a Medical Laboratory Scientist?

Medical Laboratory Scientists (formerly called medical technologists) are important health care providers that perform laboratory analyses used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and maintenance of health. Because of the demands of this career, Medical Laboratory Scientists receive extensive education and training using biomedical analyses and complex instrumentation.

Medical laboratory scientists are accomplished professionals who are broadly trained to work in five areas of the laboratory including:

  • Microbology
  • Blood Banking (Immunohematolog)
  • Chemistry
  • Hematology
  • Immunology

MLS's have diverse career opportunities available to them, and they can combine their skills and interests to create a career that is suited to their desired goals. Most Medical Laboratory Scientists work in hospital laboratories, but many others are employed in clinics, physician offices, commercial laboratories, research facilities, veterinary clinics, public health facilities, criminology/forensic laboratories, the armed forces and the Peace Corps.

Some MLS's with a managerial background eventually become laboratory administrators or marketing specialists with medical supply companies that develop kits, instruments and equipment for diagnostic use. Some also apply their investigative skills to medical research, working closely with pathologists or research scientists.

No matter what career option they choose, MLS's have something in common. They have an interest in science with a strong desire to help others. They are accurate, reliable and recognize their responsibility to human health.