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Technicians in a medical laboratoryThe National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s reference on occupations. It provides job descriptions, occupational statistics and labour market information. Check it out for the full and official description of this occupation.

Credentials recognition

Finding a job in Canada may be different than in your home country and you may need help finding job vacancies, updating your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews, and understanding what Canadian employers are looking for.

The employment requirements for medical laboratory technologists in Canada include: a 2-3 year college program in medical laboratory technology and a period of supervised practical training; registration with the provincial regulatory body or college of medical laboratory technologists in the region of work; certification by the CSMLS.

The CSMLS certifies the following disciplines: General Medical Laboratory Technologist; Clinical Genetics; Diagnostic Cytology and Medical Laboratory Assistant (voluntary certification).

To be eligible for the CSMLS Medical Laboratory Technology certification examinations, you need to complete an accredited educational program or a two-step prior learning assessment to evaluate your education, training and work experience.

The CSMLS has a prior learning assessment process available to internationally trained medical laboratory technologists before or after their arrival in Canada.

Note that the examination is offered three times a year at various locations across Canada. You do not have to be a resident of Canada to take it, but you have to come to Canada to write it. After successfully completing the certification examination, contact the relevant provincial authority if you want to work in a province where the occupation is regulated.

Credentials assessment services  

If you are planning to enroll in a college or university program to upgrade your skills, contact the institution in which you plan to study and find out the steps you should take and the credential assessment agency you should use.

Make sure not to discount your international education and skills. Try to build on your existing knowledge and skills and explore university and college options thoroughly before deciding. You might be able to have advanced standing, transfer some of your credits and benefit from prior learning assessment options by using your international credentials and experience to gain credit or course exemptions. This way you will complete your program more quickly, without wasting money and repeating the education you already have.

World Education Services (WES)
International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) – Alberta
The International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)

To find more organizations and agencies providing credential evaluation, assessment and qualification recognition services click here. You can also visit the Foreign Credentials Referral Office for information, path-finding and referral services on foreign credential recognition to help internationally trained workers like you succeed and put their skills to work in Canada more quickly.

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Best locations

Generally, job prospects in this occupation are very positive with the number of medical laboratory technologists and pathologists’ assistants expected to increase sharply in the coming years. Many new job openings could be filled by immigrants and for that reason, the Medical Laboratory Technologist is one of the 24 eligible occupations that can apply for immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker Program stream.

Most Canadian cities offer employment opportunities in the medical laboratory science sector, with both big cities and smaller communities having a need for medical laboratory technologists. However, when looking for jobs, broaden your geographic area to include smaller cities and towns close to your target city. For example, if you intend to work in Toronto, you might find a job opportunity in nearby Hamilton, which is less than an hour’s drive from there.

Before deciding where you want to settle in Canada, research and find out the regions where the demand for your area of the profession is higher.

Choosing a City.

Major employers

Medical laboratory technologists are an important part of Canada’s health-care system. There are about 20,500 medical laboratory technologists working in hospitals, public and private laboratories, university research facilities, pharmaceutical laboratories, veterinary research clinics, community health clinics and biotechnology companies across the country.

Many hospitals and healthcare centres post job openings on their websites. As well, you will find a member-only job board on the CSMLS website.

You can visit the Canada’s Best Diversity Employers website to check for immigrant-friendly corporations and organizations which you might be interested in. This special designation recognizes Canada’s best employers for recent immigrants. These employers offer interesting programs to assist newcomers to Canada in making the transition to a new workplace — and a new life in Canada.