Skip to main content
5 answers
Asked 359 views

Which career is better Occupational therapist or Medical Laboratory Technologist in Canada ?

I am studying Human Health Science (3rd year) which we learn more of anatomy and physiology also chemistry and biology. I am an introverted person however, I am a good team member and I like to interact with people but not for too long. And I want to have a chance to work part time or a flexible schedule. Also, I want to earn at least 70k annualy before tax because I will spend 2-3 more years studying to have a real job. Please let me know the pros and cons of these careers for Canada. Thank you 🙏

Thank you comment icon You are welcome. Martin Schoen

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


5 answers

Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Ruveyda,

Occupational Therapist vs. Medical Laboratory Technologist in Canada

When comparing the career paths of an Occupational Therapist (OT) and a Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) in Canada, there are several factors to consider based on your background, preferences, and career goals.

Occupational Therapist:


Patient Interaction: As an OT, you will work closely with patients to help them improve their daily living skills and quality of life.
Flexibility: OTs often have the flexibility to work in various settings such as hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, or even start their own private practice.
Rewarding Career: Being able to make a positive impact on individuals’ lives by helping them regain independence and function can be highly rewarding.
Competitive Salary: In Canada, occupational therapists can earn a median annual salary of around $80,000 CAD.


Emotional Demands: Working with patients who may be facing physical or mental challenges can be emotionally taxing.
Continuing Education: OTs are required to engage in ongoing professional development to maintain licensure and stay current with best practices.

Medical Laboratory Technologist:


Analytical Work: MLTs perform laboratory tests and analyses, playing a crucial role in diagnosing diseases and monitoring patient health.
Less Patient Interaction: If you prefer working behind the scenes rather than directly with patients, this role may be more suitable for you.
Stable Job Market: There is a growing demand for MLTs in Canada due to an aging population and advancements in medical technology.
Salary Potential: The median annual salary for MLTs in Canada is around $70,000 CAD.


Repetitive Tasks: Some aspects of the job may involve routine tasks such as sample processing and analysis.
Strict Deadlines: Working in a laboratory setting often comes with strict deadlines for test results delivery.
Potential Exposure to Hazards: MLTs may be exposed to infectious materials or hazardous chemicals while handling samples.

Based on your background in Human Health Science and your preferences for part-time work and a minimum annual salary of $70,000 before tax, both careers could align with your criteria. However, considering your introverted nature and desire for flexibility, pursuing a career as an Occupational Therapist might offer more opportunities for varied work environments and patient interaction while still meeting your financial goals.

Ultimately, it’s essential to further research each profession, possibly shadow professionals in both fields, and consider which aligns best with your skills, interests, and long-term career aspirations.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT): This organization provides valuable insights into the occupational therapy profession in Canada, including information on education requirements, job outlook, and salary expectations.

Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS): The CSMLS offers resources on the role of Medical Laboratory Technologists in Canada, certification processes, professional development opportunities, and industry trends.

Government of Canada Job Bank - Occupational Therapists & Medical Laboratory Technologists Profiles: The Job Bank provides up-to-date data on job descriptions, salaries, job prospects, and educational requirements for both Occupational Therapists and Medical Laboratory Technologists across various regions in Canada.

Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Tori’s Answer

Comparing Occupational Therapy and Medical Laboratory Technologist:

Occupational Therapy:

Requires a bachelor's degree followed by a master's or doctoral degree in occupational therapy.
Duration of fieldwork: Level 2 fieldwork for occupational therapist students is typically 12 weeks, 5 days a week, 40 hours per week.
National certification exam: Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) National Certification Examination.
Average salary in Canada: $60,000 to $90,000 CAD per year.

Medical Laboratory Technologist:

Requires a 2-3 year certificate program, with some programs offering bachelor's degrees.
Duration of clinical placements: Varies but generally ranges from several weeks to several months.
National certification exam: Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) exam.
Average salary in Canada: $50,000 to $80,000 CAD per year.

Occupational Therapy Classes:

Human Anatomy and Physiology
Psychology and Developmental Psychology
Therapeutic Techniques and Interventions
Assessment and Evaluation
Research Methods and Evidence-Based Practice
mental health
physical dysfunction

Medical Laboratory Technologist Classes:

Clinical Chemistry
Laboratory Procedures and Techniques
Laboratory Safety
Medical Ethics and Professionalism

Occupational therapy: place they work
Rehabilitation Centers
Outpatient Clinics
Community Health Centers
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Home Health Care
Private Practice
Government Agencies
Research and Academic Institutions
mental health hospitals

Population type they work with Occupational therapy:
Pediatrics ( Autism, ADHD , cerebral palsy and other conditions)
mental health population (
physical dysfunction ( stroke, Parkinson's, traumatic brain injury and other conditions)

Medical Laboratory Technologist places they work:
Diagnostic Laboratories:
Research Laboratories:
Public Health Laboratories:

Face-to-Face Patient Interaction:

Occupational therapy:
typically have a significant amount of face-to-face interaction with their patients.
Conduct initial evaluations
Provide treatment sessions
Educate and train clients
Offer counseling and support
Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams

Medical Laboratory Technologists:
Limited face-to-face interaction compared to direct patient care professions like OTs.
May interact with patients during phlebotomy, specimen collection instructions, and patient education in certain settings.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Ruveyda
Thank you comment icon And what do you think that I am more compatible with which career? Ruveyda
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Martin’s Answer

Sure, I can help with that, but I'm more familiar with the U.S. situation than Canada's. However, I believe the roles would be pretty much the same in both countries. As an Occupational Therapist, you'd have the chance to interact directly with patients, while as a technologist, you'd be more focused on handling equipment. It really comes down to what makes you happy, as both jobs offer good pay. Personally, I'd rather spend my day helping people than analyzing different chemical levels in a lab.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Ruveyda
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Godfrey’s Answer

Botha careers are good however it depends on what's one want to pursue,if you want work and purse scientific health research with working with tissues,cells and cultures then you better go for medical laboratory.However if you want to work with direct patient care to follow them up upto recover progress then occupational therapy would be the ideal fot you..
Occupational therapy are more of rehabilitative medicine that tries to bring back patients who are injured to regain their lost capacity either limb rehabilitation following fractured bones.
Patients undergoing OT also are trained on how to cope with none functional aspect of human body not necessary following an accident or injury.
It has a patient attachment aspect for a longer period unlike medical laboratory.
With knowledge of anatomy and physiology it would be ideal to pursue OT, however medical laboratory also requires such knowledge as you will be required to do phlebotomy work, tissues samples among other procedures.
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Ruveyda
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Rosemarie’s Answer

I am a medical technologist here in the US what I can tell you is that for a person who is more of an introvert and doesn’t like having too much interaction with people being a medical technologist will be a great career path! As for Occupational Therapy you will be dealing a lot with patients and working with them to improve on their health.
Medical technologist works behind the scenes and the work we do is what leads the physician to make a diagnosis.
Both careers are very good choices, I am not sure about Canada but here in the US you can be a medical technologist with a bachelor’s degree in some cases even with an associates in MLT however for occupational therapy I believe you need to have your masters before you can start working in the field! Please correct me if I am wrong! 😑
Good luck with your choice and I sure you would make the right decision!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Ruveyda