Workforce & Professional Development

Laboratory Workforce News: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

By Nancy Maddox, MPH

The Good
U.S. News & World Report recently named “lab technician” one of America’s best careers for 2010.

Lab technician was one of 11 healthcare careers recommended for “traumatized job seekers and anxious students.” The magazine notes that “job growth is expected to be faster than average, with the number of clinical lab workers rising about 16 percent” and additional openings available to replace retiring workers.

The Bad
ASCP reports in its January 1 ePolicy News update that the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is mulling the closure of its 20-year-old clinical science program—despite the program’s status as the only of its kind in the state, and despite graduates 100% success rate securing positions within three months. ASCP indicated that it planned to approach program administrators to “shed light on the laboratory workforce shortage.”

The Ugly
Unfortunately, the U.S. News & World Report article mentions lab technician opportunities in private diagnostic laboratories and physicians’ offices and fails to mention opportunities in public health.

Ditto for the entry on clinical laboratory technologists and technicians in the current edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook put out by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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