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Train to Work in a Clinical Laboratory

Working in medical lab sciences is a highly trusted profession and a vital part of the healthcare system. A Clinical Laboratory Assistant (CLA) professional can have a direct impact on people’s lives and health. Careers in the medical laboratory offer diverse opportunities and excellent earning potential.

CLAs serve patients in a variety of healthcare settings, including:

  • medical clinics
  • hospitals
  • infusion centers
  • long-term care facilities
  • Research facilities
  • insurance companies

Upon completion of the Clinical Lab Assistant Program, you would be qualified for jobs in the following areas:

  • Clinical Lab Assistant
  • Electrocardiography (EKG) Technician/Cardiac Monitor Technician
  • Phlebotomy Technician

Graduates of the Clinical Laboratory Certificate at Edmonds leave our program with extensive classroom and skills lab training, as well as hands-on experience in a laboratory setting. There is tremendous demand for CLAs, and graduates are able to quickly find employment in this field!

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) employment of Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians nationally is projected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031, about average for all occupations. An increase in the aging population will lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures.

The Washington State Employment Security Department (esd.wa.gov) projects the average annual growth rate of 2.2% from 2020 through 2030 for Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians in Snohomish County and 1.6% in Seattle-King County.  CLA’s are the next step on the pathway from Phlebotomist to Medical Lab Scientist. Pay varies by experience, employer, and locality.

Academic Planning 

The CLA program requires a total of 40 credits and is usually completed in three quarters.

Quarter 1 (Core classes)

Course Title Credits
AHE 110 Human body 5
AHE 115 Basic Life Support/CPR 1
AHE 116 Intro to Health Care 4
BSTEC 104 Medical Terminology 3

Quarter 2

Course Title Credits
AHE 141 Phlebotomy Technician 5
AHE 148 Clinical Lab Assistant Fundamentals 5
AHE149 Clinical Lab Assistant Simulation Lab 3

Quarter 3

Course Title Credits
AHE 112 EKG/Cardiac Monitoring/Telemetry 5
AHE 119 Electrocardiography Technician Externship or approved elective 1 credit or more
AHE 143 Phlebotomy Externship or approved elective 4 credits 
AHE 147 Clinical Lab Assistant Externship or approved elective 2 credits 

Clinical Experiences/Externship Requirements

Participation in a clinical experience requires proof of vaccination for common infectious diseases including influenza and COVID-19. The Clinical Passport outlines the immunization requirements, please download a copy and keep it in a safe place. The CPNW-Clinical Passport Tutorial provides an overview of each section of the document and will take about 30 minutes to complete. If you have additional questions after completing the tutorial, please contact an Allied Health faculty advisor.

Background checks are also required to participate in clinical externships and need to be completed before registering for a clinical Externship class. A list of Disqualifying Crimes and Negative Actions is provided by the DSHS Secretary. If you have any concerns please contact an Allied Faculty advisor.

All immunization and criminal background checks for allied health programs go through our online data bank system CastleBranch. To place an order, enter package code EE78. The cost is $96.00.


For program information and questions please contact our Clinical Laboratory Assistant program advisors:

Erika Ferreri | erika.ferreri@edmonds.edu | 425.640.1924

AAS-T and BAS degrees

Students who want to continue their studies in health care may apply the Clinical Laboratory Assistant coursework towards additional Allied Health certificates, our Allied Health associate degree and our Integrated Healthcare Management Bachelor of Applied Science degree:

**Upon completion of the Phlebotomy Certificate of Completion within the Clinical Lab Assistant Certificate, students will be eligible for the Washington State Department of Health Medical Assistant - Phlebotomy licensure. Obtaining the Phlebotomy Certificate of Completion or Clinical Lab Assistant Certificate is not contingent upon passing an external certification or licensure exam.