What does a Lab Technician do?
Lab Technicians collect samples, study and conduct tests on biological specimens, chemical compounds or other specimens for scientific study. They use a range of machinery, complex computer programs and laboratory equipment to perform their tests. They also record their findings for study or scrutiny by Physicians and Doctors.
Lab Technicians work in a range of settings, such as laboratories, offices, construction sites and industrial plants. Depending on the setting, they can work a variety of hours. Most Lab Technicians work full-time during regular business hours. Some Lab Technicians may need to work occasional nights and weekends when performing a timed experiment.
Lab Technician skills and qualifications
A successful Lab Technician candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform job duties effectively. Some of these skills include:
- Proficiency in calibrating and maintaining technical laboratory equipment
- The ability to learn and follow specific scientific techniques
- Ability to use technical equipment with maximum accuracy and efficiency
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Outstanding attention to detail
- Ability to work independently
- Strong time management skills
- Interpersonal skills
Lab Technician experience requirements
Lab Technicians must have a solid foundation in science subjects such as biology, physics and chemistry. Previous experience as a Lab Assistant can be beneficial for a Junior Lab Tech position. Many employers require candidates to have a category 2 lab experience and up to two years of experience in a laboratory environment.
Other requirements depend on the role. Medical Lab Technician roles typically require a Degree in Microbiology, Biochemistry or other relevant fields. They must also have a deep understanding of molecular biology, including experience in a technical role. Senior Lab Technicians require over five years of experience, with knowledge of complex technical analysis and biological sequencing library and other role-relevant skills.
Lab Technician education and training requirements
Lab Technicians must have a university degree, apprenticeship or school leaving certificates. Employers who are looking to fill research roles require candidates to have a degree or higher national diploma.
Research roles often require candidates to have a degree or Higher National Diploma in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Forensic Science or any relevant science discipline. Candidates who have completed an advanced apprenticeship in a Lab Technician role can also qualify for positions, although they need to get a degree to apply for more senior roles.
Employers can hire school leavers applying to an entry role or apprenticeship if they have credentials like a Certificate in Laboratory Skills, Registered Science Technician Award or Chartered Scientist designation.
Lab Technician salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Lab Technician is £20,831 per year. However, actual pay depends on factors such as industry, experience, location and the employer.
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