Lab & Biomedical

Healthcare does not function without the laboratory. Biomedical research and practice inform better diagnoses, technological innovations, and individualized treatment plans. This often requires a mix of technical proficiency and hard-nosed science, so degree programs in this field do not deal in fluff. Expect your training to be either hands-on high-tech practice, densely complex theoretical study, or a mix of both.

Degree programs in the lab and biomedical spheres vary depending on the career they service. A technician might spend just a few years in school, while a microbiologist might spend an entire decade. The hands-on nature of many of these professions means that purely online programs are a rarity, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t several hybrid programs and other versatile options available. Check out the programs and careers below and see which one is right for you.

(Cytologist) Cytotechnologist

There are many diseases and cancers that can only be diagnosed by trained laboratory specialists called cytotechnologists. These inquisitive and detail-oriented professionals have the skills and training to prepare cell samples, determine abnormalities in cells, and write detailed reports so pathologists can make a diagnosis.

Bioinformatics Scientist

Bioinformatics takes cues from the world’s organisms to build a healthier and cleaner future and has many applications in the modern tech landscape. The field combines analytics and data representation to make sense of the vast amounts of data generated every day.

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineering is a branch of engineering that combines biology, medicine, and engineering to help improve human health.

Biomedical Equipment Technician

Biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) are also known as medical equipment repairers. These professionals are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing patient care equipment.

Biotechnologist

Biotechnology is the intersection of biology and engineering. Professionals in this field can manipulate organisms to produce everything from antibiotics to hormones.

Cardiac Sonographer

Performing cardiac sonograms requires training and education. To work in this field, professionals must complete a cardiac sonography education program. These programs are offered at the associate, bachelor’s, or certificate level. As part of a program, students will complete didactic coursework as well as intensive clinical rotations to gain hands-on skills.

Cardiovascular Technologist

According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for women, men, and most ethnic groups. Cardiovascular technologists play a crucial role in helping to diagnose this disease by conducting various tests and procedures.

Clinical Laboratory Scientist

Physicians have many tools to help diagnose and treat their patients. One of the first things many doctors do when evaluating a patient is order laboratory tests such as blood work, biopsies, and urinalysis. While running some of these tests can be relatively straightforward, some tests require a high degree of expertise and skill. These crucial tests that can help diagnose cancer, diabetes, and infectious disease are performed by trained clinical laboratory scientists (CLS) and medical technologists (MT).

Computed Tomography (CT) Technician

Computed tomography (CT) is a type of imaging technology that uses x-rays to create detailed images of the body. This non-invasive procedure creates cross-sectional images of the body.

Diagnostic Molecular Scientist

Diagnostic molecular scientists primarily work in laboratories, studying various human samples including fetal cells, hair follicles, and blood and bone. Their duties include sequencing DNA, preparing samples, reporting findings, and analyzing data.

EEG Technician

To become an EEG technician, aspiring professionals can complete on-the-job training or an education program.

EKG or Cardiographic Technician

EKG or cardiographic technicians are integral to the field of healthcare, as they capture and analyze heart patterns to aid in diagnosing heart conditions. The technician works under the direction of a physician to take recordings of patients’ heart activity.

Embryologist – Reproductive Health Specialist

Most commonly, embryologists can assist with in vitro fertilization or IVF. This process starts with stimulating a woman’s ovaries, so she begins to ovulate. Once the eggs are formed, they are harvested using ultrasound guidance.

Endoscopy Technician

Endoscopy technicians assist doctors and nurses with endoscopies. They establish and maintain a sterile field, assist with equipment set up, help run equipment during procedures, sterilize equipment after procedures, and can be responsible for maintenance and repairs.

Epidemiologist

Epidemiologists study the distribution of determinants of health issues and events within a population. In other words, they use scientific, data-driven studies to understand the patterns of health issues and risks within a group of people.

Genetic Counselor

Receiving a genetic disease diagnosis can be incredibly hard. As tests have become more prevalent, so has the crucial support role of genetic counselors. Genetic counselors provide advocacy, education, and expertise to patients and clients who are pursuing genetic testing or have received a genetic disease diagnosis.

Hematologist (Oncologist)

What happens when something in the blood isn’t working correctly? It can lead to a variety of disorders such as blood clots, leukemia, and anemia. All of these disorders (and more) are diagnosed, managed, and treated by hematologists.

Histotechnologist

Histotechnologists prepare patient specimens for evaluation by affixing them to a slide and using reagents, chemicals, and dyes in a specific order to make the cells more visible.

Medical Laboratory Scientist

Medical laboratory scientists (MLS) must know how to use specialized lab equipment, perform complicated multistep tests, interpret results, and troubleshoot irregularities.

Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technicians have typically completed an associate of applied science (AAS) in medical laboratory technology. These two-year programs prepare aspiring professionals for success in this field with lecture courses such as hematology, clinical chemistry, immunology, and microbiology.

Microbiologist

Microbiologists study microorganisms, observing how they grow, interact with other organisms, and survive within their environment. They also delve into the structure, growth, and development of these organisms.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine technologists must complete an associate’s degree higher in nuclear medicine technology. Certification in this field is optional, although it is an industry standard and required by most employers.

Ophthalmic Technician

Ophthalmic medical technicians work with an ophthalmologist to provide patient eye care by performing mechanical and medical procedures. They often work in hospitals, clinics, private practices, multispecialty offices, and refractive surgery centers.

Pathologist

Pathologists are medical doctors who study tissue, bodily fluids, organs, and blood to understand and diagnose disease and illness. They take samples and run diagnostic tests, working with a care team to develop treatment recommendations based on their findings.

Pathologists’ Assistant

Pathologists’ assistants work in hospitals, private pathology labs, morgues, and medical teaching facilities under the supervision of pathologists. They are responsible for many of the day-to-day tasks including gross (initial) examinations, preparing specimens for testing, and collecting samples.

Pharmacist

Pharmacists have extensive knowledge about medicines, how medications interact within the body, and state and federal regulations. They also must be skilled communicators who can assess a patient’s knowledge of medication and convey enthusiasm and trust for a prescribed course of treatment. In addition to direct work with medication and patients, pharmacists often help file insurance forms, manage staff within pharmacies, and administer vaccines.

Pharmacologist

Pharmacology encompasses various disciplines, including biochemistry, physiology, genetics, molecular biology, and chemistry. The primary objective of pharmacology is to understand how drugs affect living organisms and develop new drugs and therapies that can alleviate suffering and improve public health.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians have received specialized training with an associate degree or certificate program; others have completed extensive on-the-job training.

Radiologic & MRI Technologist

Simply put, radiologic technologists take x-rays of areas of a patient’s bodies. MRI technologists use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines to make diagnostic images of a patient’s entire body or specific areas as needed.

Sonographer (Radiographer)

Sonographers are the professionals who perform sonograms. They are required to have specialized education and training to use the equipment, know what they are looking at, summarize findings for doctors, and help patients understand their procedures.

Sterile Processing Technician

Discover how to become a sterile processing technician, including degrees and training programs, career growth, salary, and career alternatives.

Surgical Technologist

Aspiring professionals can become a surgical technologist by completing an approved certificate or associate’s degree in surgical technology.

Toxicologist

Toxicologists provide research based on the negative and positive ways chemicals affect human lives. Testing for efficacy, safety, and the direct impact of chemicals on human, animal, and environmental vitality. 

Vascular Technologist

Allied health professionals called vascular technologists have the training and skills to use ultrasound equipment to examine blood vessels in order to aid doctors in making clinical diagnoses.