About medical laboratory technologists
Medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) are health care professionals who work in 3 different disciplines:
- General medical laboratory technology
- Diagnostic cytology
- Clinical genetics
MLTs perform laboratory analyses and investigations and interpret laboratory results to assist clinicians with the diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and prevention of disease.
CIHI's Health Workforce Database (HWDB) collects standardized, comparative data on the supply, demographics, geographic and distribution characteristics, and education and employment details of MLTs in Canada.
- Data from 2008 to 2017 is available on request by completing this data inquiry form or emailing us at email@example.com.
- For more information on CIHI's MLT data, visit the HWDB metadata page.
Reports and analyses
- Canada’s Health Care Providers: Provincial Profiles, 2008 to 2017 — Data Tables (Jan 2019)
- Medical Laboratory Technologists, 2015 (Jan 2017)
- Canada’s Health Care Providers: Provincial Profiles, 2007 to 2016 — Data Tables (Dec 2017)
- Canada’s Health Care Providers: Provincial Profiles, 2013
- Canada’s Health Care Providers — 1997 to 2011: A Reference Guide
As of 2016, MLTs are regulated in all provinces except Prince Edward Island and British Columbia. MLTs are not regulated in the territories.
Note that British Columbia has a professional association for MLTs; membership in the British Columbia Society of Laboratory Science (BCSLS) is not mandatory but may be necessary for employment with some of the province’s health authorities.i
To practise as an MLT in Canada, an individual must meet various requirements. These can vary from one jurisdiction to another.
- Hold a diploma in medical laboratory science from an accredited program, or equivalent
- Pass the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) national certification examination (except in Quebec)
- Obtain membership and/or certification with the CSMLS (a condition of employment for many employers in provinces/territories without regulatory bodies)
- Register with a provincial regulatory body as required
Areas of practice
MLTs can practise in the disciplines in which they are certified. The top disciplines/areas in which MLTs practise are
- Clinical chemistry
- Transfusion medicine/science
- Microbiology and specimen procurement
- Receipt and dispatch
i. Health Match BC. Licensing/registration. Accessed November 21, 2016.