A laboratory tester, sometimes known as a science technician, is a professional trained to operate and maintain laboratory equipment, perform experiments, and observe and record test results. Laboratory testers are employed by numerous businesses, institutions and agencies.
Their work serves many purposes, from improving product safety, to seeking solutions for social and scientific problems. To help accomplish their career objectives, laboratory testers apply their experience and specialized training in research and development, mathematics and scientific theory.
To secure a position as a laboratory tester, individuals should meet specific criteria, including:
Depending on their work environment and specific responsibilities, laboratory testers may also receive additional training on the safe handling and operations of certain equipment and materials.
Laboratory testers are generally responsible for conducting laboratory tests, maintaining equipment and materials, and calculating and reporting experiment results. They may also assist senior-level technicians or scientists with more practical aspects of research and development.
Laboratory testers typically use a variety of instruments and equipment, including microscopes, detectors, automated testing devices, computers and chemicals. They may also need to wear protective outerwear when handling certain biological or chemical specimens.
Laboratory testers work in a variety of settings, including:
Many laboratory testers work standard 40-hour work weeks. However, some experiments or studies may require testers to work extended or irregular hours in order to properly observe and report experiment results.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 54% of jobs for science technicians, including laboratory testers, are in biological and chemical fields.
A laboratory tester’s average hourly wage varies depending on their area of expertise; technicians working in agricultural labs make an average of about $16.34 per hour, while those working in the petrochemical industry make around $25.65 per hour.