Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants (NOC 3212)

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The 2019-2023 job prospects by occupation have been revised to take the COVID-19 health crisis into account. For more information about the meaning of each diagnostic, see the glossary.
Estimated hourly wage
in Québec (2018-2020)
Minimum 17.00$
Median 27.67$
Maximum 35.00$
Job prospect
Employment in 2018
Skill level
Technical (usually a college or secondary school vocational diploma)

Nature of work

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.

Main duties

  • Medical laboratory technicians perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Collect blood, tissue and other samples from patients
  • - Log patient samples and prepare them for testing
  • - Set up medical laboratory equipment
  • - Continued…
  • - Conduct routine laboratory tests and sample analyses
  • - Perform quality assurance of testing techniques
  • - Clean and maintain medical laboratory and medical laboratory equipment.
  • Pathologists' assistants perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Prepare for autopsies by obtaining patients' medical records and arranging for radiographic examinations
  • - Assist with or perform autopsies and surgical specimen examinations under pathologists' supervision
  • - Dissect, examine, weigh and photograph organs and specimens, collect tissue samples for chemical analysis and record findings
  • - Discard specimens according to established safety procedures
  • - Clean and maintain instruments, equipment and supplies
  • - May prepare bodies for release to funeral homes following completion of autopsies
  • - May supervise and train junior resident pathologists and morgue attendants.

Employment requirements

  • * Medical laboratory technicians/assistants require completion of a college certificate program in medical laboratory science.
  • * Certification by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science may be required for medical laboratory technicians/assistants.
  • * 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 and Specialized on-the-job training.

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