Generalist CLS vs Limited CGMBS License

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Comments (4)

CM in Orange, California

18 months ago

Hey everyone,

I'd appreciate some advise, as I've been scouring these forums for the past month. I was just recently approved for a trainee license for the Molecular Biologist route, but have been told that getting the general CLS license was the better option. I'd like to go after a CLS/MT license, but the more I research, the more it seems I'd be stuck taking prerequisites for a good while before I could start the program.

On the other hand, I work as a lab technician under Quest, and getting into their CGMBS program at SJC would be pretty simple (from my understanding, no interview for internal applicants, just performance reviews which work in my favor) and it would mean I'd be paid to be part of the program.

Would going after a CLS/MT license be worth the extra 1-2 years and the money? I'm unfamiliar with the type of testing CGMBS' do (haven't really run PCR or anything like that since undergrad) and the job market associated with it. I'd like to eventually try working in a hospital.

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CLS48 in California

18 months ago

I know someone that has a specialized molecular CLS license and did it at SJC. The problem with it is that it limits you to reference labs and those that only do molecular work. Basically Quest and LabCorp. This person worked at Focus but now they are closing and are moving to SJC. Your options are limited and your pay will be. Reference labs do not pay as well as hospitals.

Your job will basically just be PCR as that's what molecular is. Now molecular is getting pretty popular and is the next wave of the future. However, hospitals don't do molecular, they ship them out to reference labs. Even a generalist CLS can do molecular.

Now a specialist micro CLS is more valuable. You can work in reference lab or hospitals because all hospital labs have micro depts.

I do think the generalist CLS is the best option though. You can work in any department and can move up to supervisor, manager, or director in a hospital or reference lab. If you just get molecular, the most you could be is a molecular supervisor, but I doubt you could be manager of a whole lab.

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CM in Orange, California

18 months ago

Thanks for the input. The overall attitude of people I've consulted has been to go after a general license if I have the time and the means to do so. I did find a few CLS molecular hospital positions in the area in a quick search, but didn't find any entry level positions. Guess I'll be looking into CSUDH some more.

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CLS48 in California

18 months ago

You can also look at Loma Linda which isn't that far from Orange.

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