Clinical Technologist

Clinical technologists are concerned with the entire human body and the functioning of its organs. They use specialized procedures and sophisticated apparatus to diagnose and help with corrective treatment for patients. They usually work with the doctor or specialist concerned and sometimes as members of a medical team. They often have to work outside of normal working hours.

Clinical technologists specialise in one or more of the following fields:

Cardiology (study of the heart and vascular system): involves the use of specialised equipment to diagnose heart disease.

Cardiovascular Perfusion: involves assisting in the operating theatre during open-heart surgery.

Critical Care: involves assisting the anaesthetist and critical care doctor with the use of sophisticated equipment on patients in different critical care situations.

Nephrology: involves the treatment of patients suffering from kidney failure by operating the dialysis machines.

Neurophysiology: involves the diagnosis of problems of the central and peripheral nervous system, e.g. examination of patients with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, head injuries, psychiatric disorders etc.

Pulmonology: involves assisting doctors in the diagnosis of lung diseases with the aid of sophisticated electronic equipment.

Reproductive Biology: involves the diagnosis of infertility problems and treatment recommendation

Personal Requirements

  • patience and determination
  • emotionally strong (able to deal with patients who are terminally ill)
  • ability to work very accurately
  • self-assertive
  • able to work under stressful conditions
  • ability to work in a team

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate (matric), or equivalent with a Diploma pass
Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Recommended subjects: Life Sciences

In addition, check the university admission requirements to see if you qualify for the programme you want to do.

What to Study

Diploma: Training is available at units approved by the HPCSA, Clinical and Laboratory Sciences is offered at UCT. CUT, TUT and DUT offer the N.Dip. Clinical Technology.

The following exit levels of training and registration exist:

After two years of training: students receive a Certificate for Primary Health Care. They can register as assistant clinical technologists and work under supervision of registered clinical technologists.

After three years of training: students obtain the N.Dip. Clinical Technology and register as clinical technologists.

After four years of training: students obtain the B.Tech. Clinical Technology. After one year vocational training they register as clinical scientists who are able to do training and go into private practice.

Clinical technology is a health profession recognised by the HPCSA and has its own Professional Board. Clinical technologists are compelled to register with this board in order to practice the profession.


  • clinical departments of academic and private hospitals
  • with doctors / specialists in private practices
  • private laboratories
  • self-employment

Further Information

Any doctor or specialist in one of the above-mentioned areas of speciality

The S A Society of Clinical Technologists
Private Bag X 5
Red Cross Children’s Hospital
Rondebosch, 7700
Tel: (021) 658-5267

Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) 
(553) of Hamilton and
Madiba Streets,
Arcadia, Pretoria
Tel: (012) 338-9300

Getting Started

  • do volunteer work at your local clinic or hospital
  • enrol for a First Aid course
  • speak to a clinical technologist about this career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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