Medical Laboratory Technicians and Pathologists Assistants

NOC 3212


Medical laboratory technicians conduct routine medical laboratory tests and set up, clean and maintain medical laboratory equipment. They are employed in medical laboratories in hospitals, clinics, research facilities, post-secondary educational institutions and government research laboratories. Pathologists’ assistants assist at autopsies and examinations of surgical specimens or perform autopsies under a pathologist’s supervision. They are usually employed in hospitals and universities.


Medical laboratory technicians:

  • Collect, sort and prepare blood, tissue and other samples from patients
  • Log and validate patient samples and prepare them for testing
  • Set up medical laboratory equipment
  • Conduct routine laboratory tests and sample analyses
  • Perform quality assurance of testing techniques
  • Clean and maintain medical laboratory and medical laboratory equipment.

Pathologists’ assistants:

  • Obtain patients’ medical records and arrange for radiographic examinations
  • Prepare, assist with or perform autopsies and surgical specimen examinations
  • Dissect organs and specimens, collect tissue samples for analysis and record findings
  • Clean and maintain instruments, equipment and supplies
  • Develop and maintain processes for laboratory quality control
  • May prepare bodies for release to funeral homes following completion of autopsies
  • May supervise and train junior resident pathologists and morgue attendants.

Other Titles

  • Clinical laboratory technician
  • Community health technician – medical laboratory
  • Histology technician
  • Medical laboratory aide
  • Technical assistant – pathology

(Government of Canada National Occupation Classification)


  • Attention to detail
  • Team work
  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Safety Control
  • Physical Stamina
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to teach

Education/Training Requirements

Post-secondary diploma/degree

  • Medical laboratory technicians/assistants require completion of a college certificate program in medical laboratory science.
  • Combined laboratory and X-ray technicians require completion of a combined laboratory X-ray technology program
  • Pathologists’ assistants require some post-secondary courses or a university degree in life sciences


  • For medical laboratory technicians/assistants, certification by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science is usually required by employers.
  • For pathologists’ assistants, specialized on-the-job training is required. Certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathology – Board of Certification is also typically required by employers.

Potential Earnings in Durham Region

The average and median wages and salaries for individuals employed as medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants are as follows. Place of Residence (POR) is defined as individuals who reside within the Durham Region. Place of Work (POW) is defined as individuals who are employed within the Durham Region.

Median Wages and Salaries (POW) Average Wages and Salaries (POW) Median Wages and Salaries (POR) Average Wages and Salaries (POR)
$48,966 $49,274 $54,411 $55,203

Employment Prospects

Industry (NAICS) Jobs in Durham Region (POW) Durham Region Residents Employed (POR)
6215 Medical and diagnostic laboratories 65 125

(Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development 2016 data in Durham Workforce Authority’s 2017 Health & BioScience Sector Report)

Additional Resources

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