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Laboratory Professionals and Training

Until recently only Clinical Laboratory Scientists (CLS) were recognized as testing personnel in California laboratories. Legislation has passed and regulations are pending for a new California category of Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) to do testing when supervised by CLS personnel. In addition, regulations Certifying Phlebotomists have been in effect since April 8, 2003. Official recognition of these categories provides a "career ladder" within our laboratories and will help assure quality training of laboratory staff and better service to our patient community.

General information regarding qualifications for training and educational background for all categories of Laboratory Personnel can be obtained from Laboratory Field Services, State Dept. of Health Services. Additional qualifications and entrance requirements for specific training programs should be obtained directly from the school(s) offering training.

Download CAMLT's Brochure on the profession below!

Image by Hans Reniers

Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS)

Licensure as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) in California requires a Bachelor’s degree with required coursework to qualify for a CLS Trainee license and entry into a training internship program. The internship is generally one year and includes practical laboratory training in all specialty areas of a cooperating medical laboratory as well as didactic training. After training the candidate must pass a comprehensive written exam* to obtain a California CLS License. Many schools also qualify their students to sit for one or more of the national certifying exams (Usually ASCP) which are used as a benchmark in states without licensing laws. Once licensed, renewal will require 24 Continuing Education units per 2 year licensing cycle.

Required Coursework Includes:

Bachelors degree with:

18 semester or equivalent quarter hours of Biological Science

  • Required Courses: Medical Microbiology, Hematology and Immunology

  • Recommended Courses: Parasitology, Virology, Mycology

16 semester or equivalent quarter hours in Chemistry

  • Required Courses: Analytical Chemistry, (Quantitative Analysis) and Biochemistry

  • Recommended Courses: Clinical Chemistry

3 semester or equivalent quarter hours in Physics

  • Including instruction in Principles of Light and Electricity

Find Approved Training Programs Here

Scientist in the Lab

Medical Laboratory Technicians

Scientist on Computer

This newest category of personnel for the clinical laboratories of California but has been in existence in other states for many years. California regulations require an Associate degree or 60 semester or equivalent quarter units of specified course work and 6 months of clinical training. Candidates will also need to pass one of the California recognized National MLT examinations to qualify for a California MLT license. There is a requirement for twelve Continuing Education units per year for license renewal. Licensing is on a two year renewal cycle.

Required Coursework Includes:

  • Associate degree or 60 semester or equivalent quarter units in chemical, physical, biological, or clinical laboratory science with specific course requirements:

  • 36 semester or equivalent quarter units in physical or biological sciences.

  • 6 semester or equivalent quarter units in chemistry.

  • 6 semester or equivalent quarter units in biology.

  • If you served in the U.S. Air Force, the college work will be posted on a Community College of the Air Force transcript. If you served in other branches of the U.S. armed forces, the college work will be posted on a transcript from an approved military college.

Find Approved Training Programs Here


Certified Phlebotomists

Phlebotomists must be certified at one of three levels as shown below. Final Phlebotomy regulations have been in effect since April 9, 2003. Phlebotomists with experience prior to the enactment of the regulations (April 9, 2003) must have additional training and take an approved exam to become certified under the new regulations. Experience may waive the practical portion of the training (depending on the number of hours of prior employment).

More Phlebotomy information is available from Laboratory Field Services.

CAMLT welcomes Phlebotomists to join our organization and serve in leadership roles

Phlebotomy Certification Levels:

  • Limited Phlebotomy Technician (LPT) – skin puncture phlebotomy only

  • Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT I) – skin puncture and venipuncture

  • Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT II) – skin puncture, venipuncture and arterial draws


Find Approved Training Programs Here

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