Wednesday, 22nd November 2017
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LABORATORY TECHNICIAN

Laboratory technicians are responsible for supporting senior scientists or lecturers with a variety of lab-based administrative tasks. Lab technicians support teams of scientists working in research, development or analysis and investigation in all areas of science and on all sizes of projects.

Every scientific research project and experiment needs to be planned and conducted efficiently, accurately and according to health and safety regulations. Scientific lab technicians will provide this administrative and technical support to scientists, ensuring the smooth-running of the laboratory during investigations and experiments.

Scientific laboratory technicians will need to have an interest and experience in laboratory work, providing reliable support and assisting where needed. Specific tasks will vary depending on the type of experiment being conducted, but general tasks will include:

  • Setting up experiments
  • Collecting and analysing samples
  • Operating laboratory equipment such as bunsen burners, pipetting machines and pH meters
  • Correctly storing specimens and samples
  • Recording and analysing data and results
  • Using computers to set up graphs and tables
  • Clearing down experiments and workplaces
  • Cleaning and servicing the equipment
  • Following strict safety checks and regulations

Depending on the employer and the area of work, scientific laboratory technicians will be required to handle and work with different types of specimens and relevant equipment. Their work can involve anything from testing water and drug samples, to measuring levels of radiation.

Regardless of which area they work in, scientific lab technicians will still be required to have a strong academic background, particularly in science, and a reliable and organised nature.

Laboratory technicians can also work in schools, as teaching lab assistants. They will be on hand to assist science teachers, professors and lecturers with setting up experiments to save time in the classes. They require similar skills and qualifications, but are likely to have less responsibilities and different tasks.