Career Development

What Does a Laboratory Technician Do?

Find out what a laboratory technician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a laboratory technician.

Laboratory technicians are highly trained professionals who work in the field of biomedical science. They commonly perform tests and experiments on samples taken from patients, animals, plants, or other sources to determine their composition and characteristics.

Lab technicians may also be responsible for maintaining equipment, keeping records of test results, and performing quality control checks on samples or equipment. In some cases, they may even develop new methods for testing or analyzing samples.

Laboratory Technician Job Duties

Laboratory technicians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Performing routine tasks such as preparing samples for testing or maintaining equipment
  • Conducting tests to determine chemical composition of materials such as soil, water, and air samples
  • Preparing samples for analysis by following standard operating procedures
  • Conducting experiments in support of projects conducted by scientists or engineers
  • Collecting samples from patients or other sources such as soil, water, or air to test for bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms that could indicate disease or environmental hazards
  • Applying knowledge of chemistry, biology, microbiology, statistics, and other sciences in order to carry out analyses of samples
  • Cleaning and sterilizing equipment and facilities used in experiments
  • Recording data about samples to be analyzed, including their source and any additional information about their composition or origin
  • Preparing solutions used in experiments, such as reagents used in chemical analyses or solutions used to culture bacteria

Laboratory Technician Salary & Outlook

Laboratory technicians’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $70,500 ($33.89/hour)

The employment of laboratory technicians is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

As scientific and technological research continues to provide new knowledge, laboratory technicians will be needed to conduct experiments and analyze data. In addition, the need to reduce costs in many industries may lead to greater use of laboratory automation, which should result in more jobs for laboratory technicians.

Laboratory Technician Job Requirements

A laboratory technician typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Laboratory technicians are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field, such as biology, chemistry or forensic science. Some employers may accept candidates who have an associate’s degree or a post-baccalaureate certificate.

Training & Experience: Laboratory technicians receive on-the-job training from their employers. This training may include learning how to use laboratory equipment, safety procedures and how to perform tests. Training may last for a few days to a few months, depending on the complexity of the job.

Certifications & Licenses: A laboratory technician is required to be certified in the field and able to show proof of this certification when applying for jobs. A certification is not always a requirement when hiring a laboratory technician, but it can be a great way to show your dedication to the field.

Laboratory Technician Skills

Laboratory technicians need the following skills in order to be successful:

Attention to detail: Laboratory technicians must be able to perform their duties with extreme attention to detail. This is because they may be working with dangerous chemicals or handling sensitive data. It’s important that they perform their duties correctly to ensure the safety of their coworkers and the integrity of the data.

Communication skills: Laboratory technicians must be able to communicate with their coworkers and supervisors. They must also be able to explain their work to others, such as patients or clients. Effective communication skills can help you to work with others and solve problems.

Problem-solving skills: Laboratory technicians solve problems every day, so it’s important for them to have strong problem-solving skills. They use these skills to identify the source of an issue, research potential solutions and implement the best solution.

Organizational skills: Laboratory technicians must be able to organize their work space and the tools and materials they use. This is important because it ensures that they can complete their work in a timely manner and that they don’t waste any of the resources they have been given.

Technological skills: Laboratory technicians should have basic technological skills to perform their job duties. This includes knowledge of computer software, operating laboratory equipment and using laboratory software. Technological skills are important for laboratory technicians to complete their work and communicate with other professionals.

Laboratory Technician Work Environment

Laboratory technicians work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, and research laboratories. They may work in clean rooms, where they must wear protective clothing, or in standard laboratory settings. Most laboratory technicians work full time, and some may work evenings or weekends to meet the demands of their job. They may also be on call, which means they must be available to work at any time. Laboratory technicians may be exposed to hazardous materials and chemicals, so they must take precautions to protect themselves. They may also be exposed to infectious diseases, so they must take precautions to protect themselves and others.

Laboratory Technician Trends

Here are three trends influencing how laboratory technicians work. Laboratory technicians will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Talent

The need for more technical talent is a trend that is being felt across all industries, as businesses are increasingly relying on technology to run their operations. This has led to an increased demand for laboratory technicians who have the skills and training necessary to operate and maintain complex equipment.

As the need for more technical talent grows, laboratory technicians will be in high demand and will be able to command higher salaries. They will also be in a better position to take on more responsibility and advance their careers.

A Greater Focus on Quality Control

As the pharmaceutical industry continues to grow, so too does the focus on quality control. This means that laboratory technicians will need to be well-versed in quality control procedures in order to ensure that products meet the highest standards.

Laboratory technicians can utilize this trend by becoming experts in quality control methods and procedures. This will allow them to work with greater confidence in their own abilities and help them to stand out from the competition.

More Collaboration Between Scientists and Technicians

There is a growing trend towards collaboration between scientists and technicians in the laboratory setting. This is due to the fact that both scientists and technicians play important roles in the research process.

Laboratory technicians are responsible for performing many of the day-to-day tasks that are needed to keep the lab running smoothly. By collaborating with scientists, they can learn about new techniques and technologies that can improve their work. In turn, scientists can benefit from the expertise of technicians, which can help them to achieve their research goals faster.

How to Become a Laboratory Technician

A Laboratory Technician career can be a great way to get started in the science field. As a Laboratory Technician, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of equipment and materials, learn about different scientific processes, and work with scientists from many different disciplines.

To become a Laboratory Technician, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and some experience working in a laboratory setting. You may also want to consider taking additional courses in chemistry, biology, and math.

Advancement Prospects

Laboratory technicians generally start out in entry-level positions, working under the supervision of more experienced technicians and scientists. As they gain experience and knowledge, they may be promoted to positions with more responsibility, such as lead technician or supervisor. Some technicians may also move into sales or marketing positions for laboratory equipment or supplies. With further education, laboratory technicians may become research assistants or even scientists.

Laboratory Technician Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are constantly striving to improve our products and processes. To do this, we rely on the skills of our laboratory technicians to test materials and products, and provide accurate data and analysis. We are currently seeking a laboratory technician to join our team. The ideal candidate will have experience working in a laboratory setting, and be able to perform a variety of tests with accuracy and precision. They will also be able to maintain accurate records of their findings, and provide detailed reports of their work.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Perform and document all laboratory procedures with precision and in accordance to Standard Operating Procedures
  • Maintain cleanliness of work area and equipment, and follow safety protocols at all times
  • Calibrate and maintain laboratory equipment according to manufacturer’s specifications
  • Order and receive laboratory supplies, and track inventory levels
  • Prepare reagents and solutions needed for experiments
  • Perform data entry for experimental results, and generate reports as needed
  • Assist in the development of new methods and procedures
  • Train new employees on proper laboratory techniques and safety procedures
  • Participate in research projects as needed, and contribute to scientific papers and presentations
  • Attend conferences and seminars related to field of expertise
  • Stay up-to-date on latest industry developments and trends
  • Perform quality control checks on finished products

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in medical technology, biology, chemistry, or related field
  • 1-2 years experience working in a laboratory setting
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Good organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Previous experience working in a clinical laboratory
  • Certification as a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) or Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS)
  • Experience with laboratory equipment and instruments
  • Working knowledge of laboratory safety procedures

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