Clinical Lab Assistant

Clinical lab assistants perform the basic functions of laboratory work under the supervision of other laboratory professionals. Tasks include processing specimens, simple testing, reporting results, and performing data entry in a laboratory setting. Work settings include doctor’s offices, hospitals, research facilities, and industrial laboratories.

Career Opportunities

Clinical lab assistant is an entry-level position that typically does not require a credential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (2008-2009) predicts excellent job opportunities as openings for clinical lab assistants are projected to grow 14% between 2006 and 2016, faster than the average for all occupations.

Graduates of this Bellevue College certificate program should have a hiring advantage over applicants who have no training in laboratory work. Job seekers will also need English language skills.

The lab assistant job often serves as a stepping stone for further advancement in the healthcare field, and lab assistants who continue their education can move up in the laboratory or into other healthcare positions. Because of this upward mobility within the field, there are frequent openings for new entry-level applicants.

Nationally, pay generally ranges from $11.29 to $25.73 per hour with an average of $17.86, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages survey (May 2008). Pay varies by experience, employer, and locality.

For currently available jobs and pay information in Washington, visit

Certificate of Accomplishment

This certificate has a total of 29 credits and is usually completed in three (3) quarters. It prepares students for entry-level positions in clinical laboratory settings.

See the full Certificate of Accomplishment curriculum.


  • Acceptance to Bellevue College as a credit student
  • Basic computer skills and access to a computer with Internet access is highly recommended
  • Placement by assessment into ENGL& 101 for advanced classes

Recommended Course Scheduling

Because of pre-requisites, the usual progression through classes is as follows:

1st Quarter
2nd Quarter
3rd Quarter
Total: 10 CreditsTotal: 9 CreditsTotal: 10 Credits
HPRO 100 (5 credits)HPRO 125 (5 credits)HPRO 146 (5 credits)
HPRO 105 (2 credits)HPRO 130 (4 credits)HPRO 147 (5 credits)
HPRO 120 (3 credits)

Note: HPRO 146 and 147 are each 5.5 weeks long and are taken back-to-back in the same quarter. Neither class is offered during summer quarter.

Is there a faster, full-time progression through these classes?

For full-time students only, the following is the only “fast track” progression currently offered. No class substitutions or reordering of classes is allowed at this time.


1st Quarter
2nd Quarter
Total: 15 CreditsTotal: 14 Credits
HPRO 100 (5 credits)HPRO 130 (4 credits)
HPRO 105 (2 credits)HPRO 146 (5 credits)
HPRO 120 (3 credits)HPRO 147 (5 credits)
HPRO 125 (5 credits)

Note: HPRO 146 and 147 are each 5.5 weeks long and are taken back-to-back in the same quarter. Neither class is offered during summer quarter. At this time, HPRO 130 is the only class that may be taken concurrently with HPRO 146 and HPRO 147.