scientist professor working in the laboratory image by Canakris from
Laboratory technicians are employed in hospitals, clinics, food companies, manufacturing plants and stand-alone labs. Lab technician skills are needed in areas such as biology, chemistry, and physical and life sciences.These positions are highly procedural, and since lab techs often work in environments containing volatile chemicals, strict safety measures must always be followed. As of 2010, the average salary range for a laboratory technician was $31,000 to $45,000, reports Indeed. Lab tech jobs may only need an associate degree from a community college; however some positions are specialized and require on-the-job training.
Laboratory technicians must perform various tests as part of their job. They are typically non-technical, routine lab tests with detailed instructions handed down by the lab technologist or manager. An example would be testing to produce data that supports different scientific investigations or theories.
Part of a lab technician’s job is to prepare samples, specimens and slides for further study and examination by lab technologists or scientists. Laboratory technicians also prepare lab equipment such as monitors, agitators or spinners to certain specifications for testing to be carried out.
When laboratory supplies run low, it is sometimes the job of a laboratory technician to take care of it. He will maintain records of current supplies, and what is needed in the future.
The laboratory technician may be asked to analyze and examine different criteria in the lab. Situations will vary depending on the type of lab, but could range from analyzing the chemicals in a food item, to samples of blood for transfusions, to potential toxicity of a new drug.
Aside from keeping their own work area clean and sanitary, laboratory technicians may be routinely asked to clean the lab as a whole. This could include dusting and wiping down testing equipment and fume hoods, or washing out beakers jars and test tubes.