Laboratory Technician

Laboratory technicians perform experiments and carry out procedures as part of research projects.

Fast Facts & Skills


Education & Training: 

Laboratory Technicians can enter the workforce with a high school diploma, and then earn a two-year degree or four-year degree to earn a higher salary.

Laboratory technicians perform experiments and carry out procedures as part of research projects.  They may also provide assistance with investigating potential products that could cure disease, improve crops, help clean up the environment, and detect contaminated food.  There may be some routine work but the possibilities for a variety of tasks and independent thinking are huge if the person demonstrates both initiative, proficiency at laboratory skills, and knowledge. In general, technicians have regular weekday hours (9 am - 5 pm), unless there is a “work crunch” at the company. Career pathways often start in entry-level positions such as fill or solution preparation, and progress to Research and Development (R & D) technician, and further with additional education.

Laboratory technicians prepare samples for analysis. They follow SOPs to complete laboratory processes and experiments.  They work to understand experimental goals and results and provide feedback and basic troubleshooting as necessary. To learn more they reading appropriate literature to better understand experimental principles.  They present data for review and discussion at individual and group laboratory meetings.

In terms of laboratory maintenance, they provide assistance and help with managing inventory.  They also perform instrument quality control and preventative maintenance.

They help with reviewing and update SOPs, tracking logs, and material/reagent specifications.
They are expected to follow good documentation practices such as maintaining a formal notebook, maintaining traceability documents, and entering data in LIMS or spreadsheets.

They comply with quality, regulatory and company standards as well as work within a GMP and ISO environment.

Alternate job title:  Laboratory associate, Research associate

Where to Work and Learn

Example Employers: 

InnovATEBIO programs offer degrees, certificates, or teach skills in these related areas.

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