Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants – NOC : 3212

Unit Group
3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
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.
Example Titles
medical laboratory assistant
medical laboratory technician
pathology assistant
phlebotomy aide
View all titles
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
  • 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.
Classified elsewhere
  • Biological technicians in non-medical laboratories (in 2221 Biological technologists and technicians )
  • Chemical technicians in non-medical laboratories (in 2211 Chemical technologists and technicians )
  • Medical laboratory technologists (3211)