- Medical Laboratory Science in Canada
- Before You Come to Canada
- Becoming a Medical Laboratory Technologist in Canada
- Finding a Job in Canada
- Provincial Societies and Regulatory Bodies
- Additional Resources
As a medical laboratory technologists (MLT), you can live and work virtually anywhere in Canada. There is a need for medical laboratory technologists in both big cities and smaller communities. Most medical laboratory technologists work in hospitals, but jobs are also available in private laboratories, community health clinics, public health facilities, university research labs, biotechnology companies and specialty labs. Areas of specialization include clinical chemistry, hematology, clinical microbiology, transfusion science, histotechnology, diagnostic cytology, clinical genetics, immunology, electron microscopy, virology, parasitology and flow cytometry.
Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) certification is accepted across Canada. Medical laboratory technology is a regulated health profession in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In these provinces, you need a licence to work. British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Territories are not regulated. You are responsible for contacting the appropriate regulatory body or society to find out what their requirements are for licensure.
While you are waiting to go to Canada, there are many important things you can do to improve your chance for success.
The FCRO provides you with helpful resources such as the Planning to Work In Canada? workbook and the Working in Canada Tool. Use these resources to find and collect important information and to develop your job search plan.
You will need to prove your language skills in English or French, or be tested. If you need to improve your language skills, start before you come to Canada.
Begin your Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) with the CSMLS. PLA evaluates your academic credentials, experiential (practical) learning, professional development and work history to determine your equivalency to the national standard for MLTs in Canada. You can complete the assessment before you come to Canada, but you must come to Canada to write the CSMLS certification examinations.
Your official education, work and identity documents are important. It is much easier for you to request and organize your documents while still in your home country. CSMLS recommends that your college or university send documents in English or French, if possible.
If you want to work in the province of Quebec, you will need to contact the regulatory body, l’Ordre professionnel des technologistes médicaux du Québec (in French only), for details regarding registration requirements.
There are three steps to becoming a medical laboratory technologist in other provinces:
- Be declared eligible to write the CSMLS national certification examination. To be eligible you must either:
- Successfully complete an MLT educational program accredited by the Canadian Medical Association or
- Successfully complete the CSMLS Prior Learning Assessment.
- Write the CSMLS national certification examination
- You must apply to write the examination and pay the appropriate fees.
- The examination is offered three times a year at locations across Canada.
- You do not have to live in Canada to take the examination, but you must come to Canada to write it.
- If you want to work in a regulated province after you have passed the examination, you will need to contact the regulatory body in that province for its registration requirements.
You should take time to research job requirements and develop a plan for finding work. You should ask for help.
Many hospitals and health centres list job openings on their websites. CSMLS has a job board for members.
Membership in a professional association is a helpful way for you to learn about the profession in Canada, to make contacts and to have access to important resources. Explore the CSMLS website for further information about the profession and its opportunities.
- British Columbia Society of Laboratory Science
- Alberta College of Medical Laboratory Technologists
- Saskatchewan Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists
- Manitoba Association for Medical Laboratory Science
- College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Manitoba
- Ontario Society of Medical Technologists
- College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario
- Ordre professionnel des technologistes médicaux du Québec (in French only)
- New Brunswick Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists
- Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists
- Prince Edward Island Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists
- Newfoundland and Labrador Society of Medical Laboratory Science
Medical Laboratory Assistant
Medical laboratory assistants are not a regulated health profession in any province or territory. CSMLS administers a voluntary certification examination. There is a fee for this examination. If you are interested in working as an MLA in Canada, review the MLA examination handbook available on the CSMLS website.