Laboratory Technician

Biomedicine is among the fastest growing industries for laboratory technicians; professionals in this specialized field are called clinical laboratory technologists. If you have an interest in testing and analysis and the desire for a hands-on career, earning an online degree in clinical laboratory science or applied science can help you advance your career goals.

To secure a position as a laboratory technician, individuals should meet specific criteria, including:

  • Earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science or applied science, the natural sciences, or a related discipline
  • Completing several mathematics and science courses during their secondary and post-secondary education
  • Receiving on-site training from a senior-level laboratory technician on equipment use and maintenance, testing procedures and other aspects of lab protocol
  • Staying informed on the latest industry technology, including equipment, instruments, software and hardware
  • Maintaining solid analytical and communication skills

Depending on their individual responsibilities and work environments, laboratory technicians may also be required to receive additional training on lab safety and proper testing methods. In particular, clinical lab technicians are required to understand the correct procedures for handling, storing and examining sensitive biological material like blood, tissues and body fluids.

Laboratory Technician Job Description

Laboratory technicians arrange, perform, analyze and report on a range of tests for a variety of public and private businesses, government agencies and research firms. They regularly apply their knowledge and experience in scientific theory and testing to practical aspects of research and development.

Laboratory technicians are trained to use and maintain numerous diagnostic instruments and equipment, from chemicals and computers, to automated testing devices. They are also skilled in how to methodically conduct tests involving chemical reactions, specimen analysis and other procedures.

Laboratory technicians work in numerous settings, including:

  • Biomedical, pharmaceutical or forensic laboratories
  • Healthcare facilities and organizations
  • Technical service firms
  • State, local and government agencies

Many laboratory technicians work typical eight-hour days. Due to the detailed nature of some experiments and research, occasional overtime or irregular hours may occasionally be required.

Laboratory Technician Salary

Demand is anticipated to be exceptionally high for clinical laboratory technologists and professionals with expert knowledge of advanced lab and production equipment, and manufacturing facilities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 54 percent of laboratory technicians are employed in the chemical and biological fields.

The average hourly wage of a laboratory technician often depends on their area of expertise; technicians working in chemical labs make an average of about $20.25 per hour, while clinical laboratory technicians specializing cytology (the study of the effects of diseases on cells) can earn up to $27.55 per hour.

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