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 Medical Laboratory Scientists complete postgraduate studies.

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

All Medical Laboratory Scientists

  • $1,871 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 24,200 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 71% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 42 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 71% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Medical Laboratory Scientists (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
from 24,200 in 2018 to 25,700 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 12,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 2,400 a year).

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
  • Location: Medical Laboratory Scientists work in many parts of Australia. Victoria has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Health Care and Social Assistance; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Education and Training.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,871 per week (very high compared to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (71%, higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 71% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business talks with employers who have tried to fill vacancies. Find out more in the latest report on Medical Laboratory Scientists.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200820800
200920600
201022300
201122300
201221000
201320100
201417200
201518700
201623300
201724300
201824200
202325700

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, 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.
EarningsMedical Laboratory ScientistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings18711460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance61.1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services19.8
Education and Training14.6
Public Administration and Safety1.5
Other Industries3.0

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateMedical Laboratory ScientistsAll Jobs Average
NSW29.031.6
VIC31.725.6
QLD17.620.0
SA8.07.0
WA10.010.8
TAS1.62.0
NT0.61.0
ACT1.61.9

Age Profile

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 BracketMedical Laboratory ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.1-5.05.0
20-244.3-9.39.3
25-3432.0-22.922.9
35-4428.5-22.022.0
45-5419.6-21.621.6
55-598.0-9.09.0
60-644.9-6.06.0
65 and Over2.6-4.24.2

Education Level

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 QualificationMedical Laboratory ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate40.9-10.110.1
Bachelor degree53.3-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma3.2-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV0.5-21.121.1
Year 122.0-18.118.1
Year 110.1-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.0-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in medical or biomedical science is needed to work as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. Many Medical Laboratory Scientists complete postgraduate studies.

Membership with the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Biology

    83% Skill level

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

  2. Chemistry

    73% Skill level

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

  3. English language

    72% Skill level

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

  4. Mathematics

    68% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. Computers and electronics

    65% Skill level

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

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.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Electronic mail

    100% Important

    Use electronic mail.

  2. Being exact or accurate

    96% Important

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  3. Face-to-face discussions

    96% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  4. Indoors, heat controlled

    95% Important

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  5. Teamwork

    95% Important

    Work with people in a group or team.

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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