Laboratory Technician Employment Information

Laboratory Technician Job Overview Laboratory technicians perform tests on various substances to determine their ...

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Laboratory Technician Job Overview

Laboratory technicians perform tests on various substances to determine their effectiveness, better understand their composition or learn about their properties. Daily tasks may include operating specialized equipment such as:

  • Agitators
  • Centrifuges
  • Condensers
  • Grinders
  • Ovens
  • Vibrating screens

This is a diverse job category and may include employment in many different industries. Laboratory technicians might test the load-bearing capacity of building materials, examine the density of lubricants or examine the chemical strength of cleaning products. They may also look for the presence of certain substances, such as cyanide or hydrocarbons.

In addition to performing tests, laboratory technicians are responsible for recording their results, preparing reports, documenting processes used and creating graphs and charts. Job duties also include setting up, cleaning and storing lab equipment properly.

Laboratory Technician Job Education Requirements

Laboratory technicians typically need a minimum of an associate's degree in chemical technology, applied science or a related field. However, some employers may provide on-the-job training to the right candidate. A strong background in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics is important for this job. Applicants should also have excellent analytical skills, critical-thinking skills and attention to detail.

Laboratory Technician Job Market

The job outlook for laboratory technicians is about average in the United States, with projected job growth around 9 percent for the coming decade. This is slightly lower than the national average of 11 percent. Those interested in a similar position as a medical and clinical lab technician will enjoy a better job outlook with projected growth of 14 percent.

Laboratory Technician Salary Information

The median annual salary for lab technicians in a chemical setting is $42,920. Those with earnings in the bottom 10 percent make less than $26,220, while those in the top 10 percent earn over $70,710. Chemical manufacturing is the best-paying industry for this position, with an average salary for $50,710.

  1. Laboratory Technician