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Medical laboratory technologists

OaSIS code 32120.00

Medical laboratory technologists conduct medical laboratory tests, experiments and analyses to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and prevention of disease. Medical laboratory technologists who are supervisors are included in this unit group.


Also known as

  • Cytogenetics technologist - medical laboratory
  • Histology technologist
  • Medical laboratory cytotechnologist
  • Medical laboratory technologist
  • Medical laboratory technologist - anatomical pathology
  • Medical laboratory technologists supervisor
  • Medical technologist - medical laboratory

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Set up, operate and maintain laboratory equipment
  • Conduct and interpret chemical analyses of blood, urine, and cerebrospinal and other body fluids
  • Study blood cells and other tissues to determine their relation to various physiological and pathological conditions
  • Prepare tissue sections for microscopic examinations using techniques to demonstrate special cellular tissue elements or other characteristics
  • Perform and interpret blood group, type and compatibility tests for transfusion purposes
  • Validate, document and report test results
  • Establish procedures for the analysis of specimens and for medical laboratory experiments
  • Conduct quality control assessment of testing techniques
  • May supervise and train other medical laboratory technical staff, students and helpers
  • May assist pathologists during autopsies.

Additional information

  • Medical laboratory technologists may specialize in areas such as clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology, histotechnology, transfusion medicine or immunohematology, cytotechnology, cytogenetics and molecular genetics.
  • In Quebec medical laboratory technologists are referred to as les technologistes médicaux and are regulated by L’Ordre professionnel des technologistes médicaux du Québec (L’OPTMQ).

Similar occupations classified elsewhere


  • Chemical technologists and technicians (22100)
  • Biological technologists and technicians (22110)
  • Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations (33101)

NOC hierarchy breakdown

NOC version

NOC 2021 Version 1.0

Broad occupational category

3 – Health occupations


2 – Occupations usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship training of two or more years; or supervisory occupations

Major group

32 – Technical occupations in health

Sub-major group

321 – Technical occupations in health (except practitioners of natural healing)

Minor group

3212 – Medical technologists and technicians

Unit group

32120 – Medical laboratory technologists

Occupational profile

32120.00 – Medical laboratory technologists

Work characteristics

Work characteristics gathers the various components describing the work environment of each occupation, such as employers, work activities, and the work context. Each category displays up to 10 descriptors in descending order based, firstly, on their attributed ratings by the level of complexity (for Work Activities) or other measurement dimensions (for Work Context), and secondly, in alphabetical order. The whole list of descriptors and their ratings can be expanded at the bottom of each page.

Work Activities

Proficiency or complexity level
Analyzing Data or Information
4 - High Level
Assisting and Caring for Others
4 - High Level
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance
4 - High Level
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
4 - High Level
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
4 - High Level

Work Context

Structural Job Characteristics

Structured versus Unstructured Work
Degree of freedom to determine tasks and priorities
3 - Moderate amount of freedom
Work Week Duration
Worked hours in a typical week
2 - Between 35 to 40 hours

Physical Work Environment

Physical Proximity
Physical distance from others
5 - Physically touching or very close

Physical Demands

3 - About half the time
3 - About half the time
Bending or Twisting the Body
2 - Less than half the time

Interpersonal Relations

Contact with Others
4 - Every day, a few times per day
2 - Less than half the time
Work with Work Group or Team
4 - Highly important
4 - Every day, a few times per day


  • Blood banks
  • Community clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Medical laboratories
  • Post-secondary educational institutions
  • Private clinics
  • Research institutions

Skills and abilities

This section displays the various competencies required for an occupation. Each category displays up to 10 descriptors in descending order based, firstly, on their attributed ratings by the level of proficiency (for Skills and Abilities) or importance (for Personal Attributes) and secondly, in alphabetical order. The whole list of descriptors and their ratings can be expanded at the bottom of each page.


Proficiency or complexity level
Colour Perception
5 - Highest Level
Near Vision
5 - Highest Level
Pattern Identification
5 - Highest Level
Arm-Hand Steadiness
4 - High Level
Categorization Flexibility
4 - High Level


Proficiency or complexity level
Equipment and Tool Selection
5 - Highest Level
Operation and Control
4 - High Level
Operation Monitoring of Machinery and Equipment
4 - High Level
Quality Control Testing
4 - High Level
Critical Thinking
3 - Moderate Level

Personal Attributes

Attention to Detail
5 - Extremely important
4 - Highly important
Analytical Thinking
4 - Highly important
4 - Highly important
Concern for Others
4 - Highly important