Diagnostic Molecular Scientist State Licensing and Board Certification
Some states require licensing for diagnostic laboratory workers; other do not. As a Diagnostic Molecular Scientist, you can pursue board certification in molecular biology through the American Society for Clinical Pathology. There are multiple routes to eligibility. All require at least a baccalaureate degree.
Becoming a Diagnostic Molecular Scientist
The basic route, for those just entering the field, is a baccalaureate plus completion of an NAACLS-accredited program in diagnostic molecular science. If you already hold ASCP certification as a technologist or specialist, then the additional academic certificate is not necessary. A combination of advanced science study and on the job experience can also qualify you to sit for exams. If you have a baccalaureate and one year of experience in a molecular biology laboratory, you will be eligible as long as your transcripts show a combined 30 semester hours in chemistry, biology, and the medical sciences.
After you have demonstrated your eligibility, you will receive an Admission Letter which will authorize you to schedule an examination. You can find content guidelines on the ASCP site. Passing the exam and meeting all requirements will allow you to use the title MB(ASCP). You will need to earn Continuing Medical Education units to maintain your certification. You can earn your CMEs through some combination of conferences and teleconferences, self-study, assessments, and formal courses.
Keep in mind that professional certification is only a small part of what distinguishes a scientist at the graduate level. Employers will ask for a range of skills, from assay development to technical writing. By participating in research, patent development, and publishing, you can build an impressive curriculum vitae.