Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What education or training is required for someone to work in the medical laboratory field?
It is preferred that people who draw blood have training as a Laboratory Technician or Assistant from a community college. However, we do sometimes provide phlebotomy training. You need to have good customer service skills and a passion for working with people. There is also a college or university Laboratory Technologist program that is usually three or four years in length and includes a clinical placement. People with this training usually work in the laboratory analyzing patient specimens.
Can you recommend a particular program and/or school?
There are many different schools that provide quality training in medical laboratory technology. Please visit the Student section of our website for links to schools in B.C. and Ontario.
Is a high school diploma required for someone to work in this occupation?
Yes. It is also beneficial to have successfully completed courses in science.
What experience or background is required for someone to work in the medical laboratory field?
At LifeLabs, it is very important to provide caring, compassionate service to patients. Individuals with previous customer service experience or who have worked with the public or in a healthcare setting are preferred.
What personal characteristics or competencies are required to work in medical laboratories?
At LifeLabs, we seek individuals who have very strong interpersonal skills, who are able to prioritize many tasks, who thrive in a fast-paced environment, and who can learn quickly.
What is the typical work environment for this occupation?
LifeLabs provides lab service within the communities where we operate, so many patient care roles work at local patient service centres in B.C., Ontario and Quebec. Some patient care employees travel to long term care facilities and/or patient homes as part of our home care service. Couriers travel to physician offices within a geographic area. Analytical staff work in one of our regional laboratories.
What are the typical hours of work?
LifeLabs offers full time, part time, casual and seasonal employment. Depending on the role, employees may work regular business hours or shifts.
What is the salary range for this position?
Salary ranges depend on the role you are interested in. We review our employees’ compensation levels annually to ensure market competitiveness. Most roles enjoy the added incentive of pay for performance, meaning we recognize your successes in helping to achieve our goals and objectives. At LifeLabs, you can count on competitive compensation and a generous benefits package.
What is the outlook for this position?
The medical laboratory field is stable. According to the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science, up to 85% of decisions about a patient’s diagnosis and treatment are based on laboratory test results. We provide a vital healthcare service to the public.
What advice do you have for someone entering this field?
As with any career, make sure you are entering this field for the right reasons. You must have an interest in the healthcare field and a strong desire to help people.
What employment trends are affecting this occupation?
Medical laboratory science is considered a scarce skill, so the job outlook for those who study to become a Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) is excellent. It is estimated by industry associations that over 40% of current MLTs will be retiring by the year 2015.
How do I apply for a position at LifeLabs?
LifeLabs uses a web-based application tool to obtain and manage applications. Please click on the Opportunities link at the top of the page to prepare your application. This will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. You can submit your resume using this online tool.
Is there a way for me to submit my resume even if there are no current opportunities in my area of expertise?
Yes, please create a profile using the application tool by clicking on the Opportunities link. This will take approximately 20 minutes. You will be able to apply for other open opportunities using the profile you created. Please remember your username and password in order to revise your profile at any time.