Community College of Rhode Island

Go to 50th Anniversary website

Get Adobe Reader

*PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view - Download here

Clinical Laboratory Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a clinical laboratory technician?

A: Clinical laboratory technicians perform all of the routine tests in an up-to-date clinical laboratory: blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, urinalysis and microbiology. Working with the supervision of a clinical laboratory scientist, a clinical laboratory technician looks for clues to the absence, presence, extent, and causes of diseases. The challenges and rewards of medicine and science allows the clinical laboratory technician to be involved in the best of both worlds. Clinical laboratory technicians must be accurate, dedicated and skilled. They must also be self-motivated, and take the initiative to do what must be done every day to be part of the healthcare team.

Clinical laboratory technicians must be able to discriminate between closely similar items and correction of errors by use of pre-set strategies. They are required to know specific techniques and instruments, and be able to recognize factors which directly affect procedures and results. For confirmation of results, knowledge of more than one test within each specialty area is expected. The technician monitors quality control programs within predetermined parameters.

Q: Where do these individuals work?

A: Clinical laboratory technicians can work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, for-profit laboratories, clinical, nursing homes, public health facilities, private laboratories, doctors' offices, research, sales and commercial laboratories. Business and industry currently have positions open for qualified clinical laboratory technicians.

Q: What is the average salary?

A: The national average salary for clinical laboratory technicians is approximately $26,800, although salaries vary by area of the country. The entry-level salary in Rhode Island is $26,000-$32,000 per year, and usually includes benefits. Evening and part-time positions are available with shift differential.

Q: What type of training is required?

A: A two-year program that includes clinical laboratory training is required. At the end of this experience, the students are eligible to take a registry examination which certifies them to work in this field and become licensed as a clinical laboratory technician by the State of Rhode Island. The training program at CCRI is an associate degree program that combines theory with technical skills. This program includes a 23-week supervised clinical experience at a local hospital.

The student will receive an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree with a major in Clinical Laboratory Technology. The student can advance in this area by continuing his/her education at a four-year institution like Rhode Island College or the University of Rhode Island to get a Bachelor's degree in Clinical Laboratory Science.

Q: How long will it take to become a clinical laboratory technician?

A: This program can be completed in two consecutive years. However, if a student must work, all the non-technical courses can be taken at the student's convenience (evening or day). The technical courses are offered only during the daytime and must be taken in sequence unless special permission is obtained from the Program Director. At a student's request, a program of study can be designed to fit his/her special needs as long as there is a space available at the clinical site and arrangements have been made with the Program Director prior to the student's entrance into the technical courses.

Q: What are the necessary high school courses?

A: Any high school student interested in this program should be enrolled in a math and science curriculum, which includes algebra and basic sciences (including biology and chemistry). The student should also have good reading and writing skills, and be ready for English Composition I at the college level.

Q: What is the typical cost of the program?

A: The typical cost of the program includes the tuition for a full-time student for five semesters, books, lab coats, uniforms, and travel expenses for the semesters at the clinical site. The total cost is approximately $5,000.

Q: If I apply, what are the chances of getting accepted?

A: CCRI accepts approximately 16 students into the Clinical Laboratory Technology Program each May. If students have prior college education or clinical experience, they can gain advanced placement into the program.

Q: Whom may I contact for more information?

Community College of Rhode Island
1762 Louisquisset Pike
Lincoln, RI 02865

Q: What online resources would you recommend?

A: American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) - www.ascls.org
This is the professional organization for clinical laboratory science practitioners. Click on Careers Center.

A: American Society for Clinical Pathology - www.ascp.org
Information on medical laboratory careers.

Go to top of page

This page developed and maintained by Allied Health. Send comments and suggestions to .


Last Updated: 8/28/12