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Biological Technicians Career

Career Description

Assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, make observations, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.

What Job Titles Biological Technicians Might Have

  • Biological Science Laboratory Technician
  • Biological Technician
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Research Associate

What Biological Technicians Do

  • Conduct research or assist in the conduct of research, including the collection of information and samples, such as blood, water, soil, plants and animals.
  • Analyze experimental data and interpret results to write reports and summaries of findings.
  • Keep detailed logs of all work-related activities.
  • Use computers, computer-interfaced equipment, robotics or high-technology industrial applications to perform work duties.
  • Clean, maintain and prepare supplies and work areas.
  • Set up, adjust, calibrate, clean, maintain, and troubleshoot laboratory and field equipment.
  • Measure or weigh compounds and solutions for use in testing or animal feed.
  • Isolate, identify and prepare specimens for examination.
  • Conduct standardized biological, microbiological or biochemical tests and laboratory analyses to evaluate the quantity or quality of physical or chemical substances in food or other products.
  • Examine animals and specimens to detect the presence of disease or other problems.
  • Participate in the research, development, or manufacturing of medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations.
  • Monitor laboratory work to ensure compliance with set standards.
  • Provide technical support and services for scientists and engineers working in fields such as agriculture, environmental science, resource management, biology, and health sciences.
  • Monitor and observe experiments, recording production and test data for evaluation by research personnel.
  • Feed livestock or laboratory animals.
  • Conduct or supervise operational programs such as fish hatcheries, greenhouses and livestock production programs.

What Biological Technicians Should Be Good At

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Biological Technicians Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

What Biological Technicians Need to Learn

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Median Salary: $42,520

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.