What does a Laboratory Technician do?
Laboratory Technician ensures that all the laboratory operations, such as testing, run smoothly. In university laboratories or publicly funded laboratories, they help Researchers perform tests on various samples including biological specimens, chemical compounds and fluids. They may work alone or as part of a scientific team, depending on the duties assigned to them.
Most Laboratory Technicians work around 40 hours a week. Sometimes, their work involves on-call duties and shifts. Laboratory Technicians work in various forensic departments, educational institutions, manufacturing companies and health facilities.
Laboratory Technician skills and qualifications
A successful Laboratory Technicians candidate will have certain prerequisite skills and qualification that typically include:
- Experience with numerical calculations and concepts such as ratios, percentages and fractions
- Ability to handle delicate laboratory equipment, small vials and test tubes
- Patience to work under pressure with excellent hand-eye coordination skills
- Physical strength to carry, lift and move heavy equipment and stand on their feet for long hours
- Excellent report writing skills
- Working knowledge of electrical and non-electrical laboratory equipment
- Excellent time management, analytical and team working skills
- Basic knowledge of laboratory procedures and safety guidelines to work with dangerous substances like flammable materials and biohazards
Laboratory Technician experience requirements
Employers usually value experience in a laboratory environment, as it not only shows the candidates’ familiarity with laboratory procedures, but also demonstrates their interest and commitment in the field. Some employers require candidates to have some part-time or voluntary work experience in a scientific or laboratory setting. Other employers consider candidates who have shadowed someone in their organisation.
Laboratory Technician education and training requirements
While a degree isn’t necessary, many employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree or HNC/HND in fields such as physics, pharmacology, forensic science, environmental science, chemistry, biotechnology, biomedical science or biology.
Some employers accept candidates without a degree, provided that they have GCSEs or science-related A-levels (or equivalent). Other employers prefer candidates with relevant vocational qualifications such as NVQs in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities or Laboratory Sciences. They also consider candidates who completed an apprenticeship.
Laboratory Technician salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Laboratory Technician in the UK is £21,071 per year. Their actual salary may vary depending on factors, including their degree of experience, level of education and employer-specific requirements.
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