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Is it worth earning a Master’s degree if I want to become a medical lab scientist?

I really would love to be working hands-on in a hospital laboratory for my career. Are master’s degrees in MLS reserved for people who plan on working in management positions? I know I can take courses in medical lab technology and eventually take the ASCP exam for certification. Will a master’s degree guarantee higher salary while still remaining within a lab doing hands-on work? Sorry for the long winded question- I know it could’ve been worded better!
scientist laboratory labscientist MLS medicallabtechnologist medicallabscientist medicaltechnologist

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Anthony’s Answer

Hey Abby,

With regard to more education, yes. It is always a plus and a step in the right direction for more pay with more education. When it comes to negotiating salary for a job, the components are Skills, Education and Experience. The best thing to do is to take a look at job the job advertisement and see what it is asking for.

According to the ONet profile - about 5% of the population has a Masters degree. 59% have a Bachelors degree. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2011.00

Take a look at these job descriptions for positions on Massachusetts and see what they are asking for. If the job advertisement has a Masters degree in the "Preferred" or "Desired" section of the qualifications, that will let you know that a Masters degree is a step in the right direction for that particular job.

I would not deter you or anyone from obtaining higher education and more knowledge. It can certainly help you in your career field and beyond, especially if you want to step into leadership someday :)

I hope that helps.

Thank you for the help! Getting a Masters degree would definitely help me to stand out amongst other job applicants. I'll have to do some research about job postings in my area. Abby T.

My pleasure Abby. Glad to help. Anthony Sharp - The Edutainer (HE He/Him/His)

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Dennis’s Answer

Is getting a degree in medical laboratory science worth it? A. Definitely. Just study hard, pay attention to how and why a test is performed, develop good lab skills in school along with communication skills, tact and the ability to keep secrets (patient records), and you'll do fine.

Thank you for the advice! Abby T.

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Yvette’s Answer

It is a great question! It is vital to vision the steps for your future job in a positive domino path; excellent. To answer your question: having a master's degree will give you more opportunities and a better pay rate in general. But not necessarily mean your salary will increase if the company you work did not agree to honor that commitment. In some jobs, the salary payments are determinate by a job description and agreements with unions and not if you will advance with a master's degree (mostly government health institutions). But there is more room with private companies so they can recognize a master's degree education and increase your pay.

My advice is to focus on a four-year degree in science that can open the door for you to become the laboratory professional you want to be. Nowadays, the more you know about biomolecular technology, computer and basics sciences can very quickly make you very successful even with just an associate degree or BA. The path of higher education will bring you to incredible places, but it is important to acquire the expertise to work in a hospital lab. What about you would like to work in the future running specific tests with the "New Generation Sequencing Machines as the Ilumina!
https://www.illumina.com/
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