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

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required and nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed.

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

Job Titles

  • Medical Laboratory Scientist, Hospital Scientist, or Medical Scientific Officer
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist, Hospital Scientist, or Medical Scientific Officer

    Specialisations: IVF Embryologist

Fast Facts

  • $1,469 Weekly Pay
  • 23,800 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 73.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 36 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 69.1% female Gender Share

The number of Medical Laboratory Scientists grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow moderately over the next 5 years:
from 23,800 in 2017 to 25,000 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 12,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Medical Laboratory Scientists work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Health Care and Social Assistance; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Education and Training.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,469 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (73%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 36.0 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 69.1% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200717000
200820700
200920400
201022100
201122100
201220900
201319900
201417100
201518500
201623000
201723800
202225000

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. 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.
EarningsMedical Laboratory ScientistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings14691230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance53.2
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services26.4
Education and Training15.3
Public Administration and Safety3.2
Other Industries1.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateMedical Laboratory ScientistsAll Jobs Average
NSW36.031.6
VIC30.426.2
QLD15.219.7
SA5.96.7
WA10.910.8
TAS0.22.0
NT0.71.1
ACT0.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketMedical Laboratory ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-245.8-9.99.9
25-3434.2-23.623.6
35-4427.1-21.721.7
45-5417.6-20.820.8
55-597.2-8.88.8
60-644.5-6.06.0
65 and Over3.6-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationMedical Laboratory ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate38.5-8.68.6
Bachelor degree54.5-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma7-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
Year 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required and nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Laboratory Operations VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Biology

    90% Important

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

  2. English Language

    83% Important

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

  3. Medicine and Dentistry

    83% Important

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

  4. Administration and Management

    73% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  5. Chemistry

    73% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The 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.

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.

Activities

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

  1. Getting Information

    96% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Analyzing Data or Information

    93% Important

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

  3. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    90% Important

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

  4. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    89% Important

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

  5. Documenting/Recording Information

    87% Important

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

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The 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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