How Much Do Medical Laboratory Scientists Make? | MLS Salary
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How Much Do Medical Laboratory Scientists Make?

September 18, 2023

As the need for laboratory diagnostic procedures increases, medical laboratory scientists and other laboratory professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for medical laboratory scientists and other lab professionals to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2032. The increased need for these critical healthcare team members has contributed to salary growth. The Medical Laboratory Observer’s (MLO) 2023 annual salary survey of laboratory professionals showed average compensation of laboratory professionals at $106,938.

What Is the Salary of a Medical Laboratory Scientist?

As of September 2023, job site ZipRecruiter reports a national average of $68,049 for medical laboratory scientists. The 2023 MLO annual survey listed an average salary of $82,269.

What Factors Influence the Salary of a Medical Laboratory Scientist?

Job function, location, education, employer and ASCP(MLS) certification can have a significant impact on earnings.

Job Function

Two female medical laboratory scientists in white coats are shown working with laboratory equipment.The MLO annual survey showed average salaries for several job functions. Pathologists were the highest paid laboratory professionals with an average annual salary of $147,313.


ZipRecruiter data by state shows medical laboratory scientists can expect annual salaries as of September 2023 ranging from $49,869 to $75,343 depending upon the state in which they are employed.


Education also impacts salary with lab professionals holding post-graduate degrees earning an average of $121,277 and lab professionals holding bachelor’s degrees earning an average of $100,374 in 2023 according to the MLO survey.


The BLS reports higher salaries for lab professionals in outpatient care centers and hospitals. The MLO annual salary survey showed professionals working in larger labs earned higher salaries.

ASCP(MLS) Salary

An American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification signifies that a medical laboratory scientist has met established education, clinical competency and experience requirements. More experience typically correlates with higher pay. 

Earn Your Degree in Medical Laboratory Science

Though potential earnings may factor into the decision to pursue a career as a medical laboratory scientist, Karen Giddens, MS, MLS(ASCP), director of the master’s program in medical laboratory science at PCOM Georgia, advises prospective students to weigh other important criteria.

“This profession requires a high level of problem-solving skills,” Giddens said. “A large part of everyday tasks involves troubleshooting, deductive reasoning, and sequential thought processes to arrive at a conclusive result that impacts patient centered treatment or diagnosis. Medical laboratory science requires knowledge, comprehension of theory, and precise laboratory skill sets, but equally important, when and how to apply it.”

A passion for human science and a desire to help humanity are also important attributes for a future medical laboratory scientist, Giddens added.

PCOM’s master’s degree in medical laboratory science is designed to help students acquire the skills and knowledge needed for careers as medical laboratory scientists. PCOM offers two options for aspiring laboratory professionals:

  • The pre-professional program features online coursework, clinical rotations and monthly, intensive in-person laboratory experiences to help prepare students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a biologic or chemical science and who have completed the prerequisite coursework.
  • The post-professional program is a completely online MLS program for students who have a bachelor’s degree in medical or clinical laboratory science and are certified as a Medical Technologist, MT(ASCP) or Medical Laboratory Scientist, MLS(ASCP). No clinical internship is required.

Learn More

Medical laboratory scientists are vital healthcare team members. They provide accurate, reliable test results that aid in diagnosis and help facilitate positive outcomes for patients. Learn more about this healthcare field and how you can take the next step toward a rewarding career as a medical laboratory scientist: