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NOC 2021 Version 1.0


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32120 – Medical laboratory technologists

Medical laboratory technologists conduct medical laboratory tests, experiments and analyses to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and prevention of disease. They are employed in medical laboratories in hospitals, blood banks, community and private clinics, research facilities and post-secondary educational institutions. Medical laboratory technologists who are supervisors are included in this unit group.


Example titles

  • 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.

Employment requirements

  • A two- or three-year college program in medical laboratory technology is required and a period of supervised practical training may be required.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
  • Certification by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science is usually required by employers.
  • Combined laboratory and X-ray technicians require completion of a combined laboratory X-ray technology program.
  • Some employers may require a university science degree for specialized medical laboratory technologists.

Additional information

  • 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).
  • Medical laboratory technologists may specialize in areas such as clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology, histotechnology, transfusion medicine or immunohematology, cytotechnology, cytogenetics and molecular genetics.


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

Breakdown summary

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
NOC 2021 Version 1.0
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