ASCP publishes results of 2021 wage survey

Oct. 19, 2022
Includes data from 9,819 respondents.

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) published the results of its 2021 wage survey in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology on Oct. 5. The confidential survey collects wage data from the clinical laboratory workforce in the United States. The 2021 report includes data from 9,819 respondents.

After adjusting for inflation, the mean hourly wage for staff-level personnel increased for only two occupations since 2019: cytologist and medical laboratory scientist/medical technologist/clinical laboratory scientist. Wage decreases for other staff-level occupations ranged between –0.53% and –5.48%. Most lead and supervisor-level occupational titles reported wage rate increases in 2021, but investigators noted that these increases have not kept up with the current inflation. Geographically, laboratory professionals from urban areas continue to earn more than their rural counterparts.

The 2021 wage survey also examined the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on wages, burnout, laboratory testing and staffing. Data indicated that, despite a significant pandemic-related increase in testing volume with rapid turnaround time demands, 84% of respondents indicated no change in their salary at the time of publication. Furthermore, 6.5% of respondents reported a temporary or permanent decrease in salary related to COVID-19; 9.5% reported a salary increase.

The results also underscored many of the challenges facing the laboratory science community. At the time of the survey, 52.5% of respondents reported “presently experiencing burnout.” Additionally, 37.1% of respondents reported considering getting a similar position in a different clinical laboratory and 30.5% reported considering changing careers completely.

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