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Become A Biological Science Technician

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Working As A Biological Science Technician

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • $39,226

    Average Salary

What Does A Biological Science Technician Do

Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

Duties

Biological technicians typically do the following:

  • Set up, maintain, and clean laboratory instruments and equipment, such as microscopes, scales, and test tubes
  • Gather and prepare biological samples, such as blood, food, and bacteria cultures, for laboratory analysis
  • Conduct biological tests and experiments 
  • Document their work, including procedures, observations, and results
  • Analyze experimental data and interpret results
  • Write reports that summarize their findings

Most biological technicians work on teams. Biological technicians typically are responsible for doing scientific tests, experiments, and analyses under the supervision of biologists or other scientists who direct and evaluate their work. Biological technicians use traditional laboratory instruments, advanced robotics, and automated equipment to conduct experiments. They use specialized computer software to collect, analyze, and model experimental data. Some biological technicians collect samples in the field, so they may need certain skills, such as the ability to hike long distances over sometimes rugged terrain to collect water samples.

Biological technicians work in many research areas. They may assist medical researchers by helping to develop new medicines and treatments used to prevent, treat, or cure diseases.

Biological technicians working in a microbiological context, sometimes referred to as laboratory assistants, typically study living microbes and perform techniques specific to microbiology, such as growing cultures in petri dishes or staining specimens to aid in their identification.

Technicians working in biotechnology apply the knowledge and techniques they have gained from basic research to product development.  

Biological technicians also may work in private industry and assist in the study of a wide range of topics concerning mining and industrial production. They may test samples in environmental impact studies, or monitor production processes to help ensure that products are not contaminated.

Biological technicians working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture or other government agencies may perform biological testing to support agricultural research and wildlife and resource management goals.

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How To Become A Biological Science Technician

Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. It is important for prospective biological technicians to gain laboratory experience while they are in school.

Education

Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. Most colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in the biological sciences.

Biological science programs usually include courses in general biology, as well as in specific subfields such as ecology, microbiology, and physiology. In addition to taking courses in biology, students must study chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Computer science courses are helpful for learning how to model and simulate biological processes and for learning how to operate some laboratory equipment. 

Laboratory experience is important for prospective biological technicians, so students should take biology courses that emphasize laboratory work.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Biological technicians need to conduct scientific experiments and analyses with accuracy and precision.

Communication skills. Biological technicians must understand and follow the instructions of their managing scientists. They also need to be able to communicate their processes and findings clearly in written reports.

Critical-thinking skills. Biological technicians draw conclusions from experimental results through sound reasoning and judgment.

Observational skills. Biological technicians must constantly monitor their experiments. They need to keep a complete, accurate record of their work, including the conditions under which the experiment was carried out, the procedures they followed, and the results they obtained.

Technical skills. Biological technicians need to set up and operate sophisticated equipment and instruments. They also may need to adjust equipment to ensure that experiments are conducted properly.

Other Experience

Prospective biological technicians should have laboratory experience. In addition to coursework, students may gain laboratory experience during summer internships with prospective employers, such as pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturers, or in university laboratories.

Advancement

Biological technicians may advance to scientist positions, such as microbiologist, after a few years of experience working as a technician or after earning a master’s degree or Ph.D. Gaining more experience and higher levels of education often allows biological technicians to move into positions such as natural sciences managers or postsecondary teachers.

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Biological Science Technician jobs

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Biological Science Technician Career Paths

Biological Science Technician

Biological Science Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

49.6%

Male

48.3%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

82.6%

Hispanic or Latino

8.3%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

1.7%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.8%

French

14.1%

German

5.1%

Russian

3.8%

Portuguese

2.6%

Chinese

2.6%

Carrier

2.6%

Dakota

2.6%

Bulgarian

1.3%

Welsh

1.3%

Igbo

1.3%

Yoruba

1.3%

Romanian

1.3%

Czech

1.3%

Burmese

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Thai

1.3%

Mandarin

1.3%
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Biological Science Technician Education

Schools

Oregon State University

15.3%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

6.9%

Humboldt State University

6.9%

Colorado State University

6.3%

Northern Arizona University

5.9%

University of California - Davis

5.9%

Washington State University

4.5%

Northern Michigan University

4.5%

Boise State University

4.2%

North Dakota State University -

4.2%

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

3.8%

University of Montana

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

University of Wyoming

3.8%

University of Idaho

3.8%

Western Washington University

3.5%

Iowa State University

3.5%

Michigan State University

3.1%

State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill

3.1%

Ohio State University

3.1%
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Majors

Biology

27.2%

Environmental Science

20.8%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

10.2%

Wildlife Management

8.3%

Zoology

5.2%

Geography

3.6%

Natural Resources Management

3.2%

Forestry

2.9%

Botany

2.2%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

2.1%

Microbiology

1.9%

Animal Science

1.8%

Plant Sciences

1.8%

Geology

1.7%

Chemistry

1.6%

Public Health

1.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.3%

Business

1.2%

Criminal Justice

1.1%

Management

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

53.9%

Masters

27.7%

Other

8.6%

Doctorate

4.2%

Certificate

2.6%

Associate

2.6%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Biological Science Technician

HabitatRestorationLaboratoryEquipmentSafetyDataCollectionResourceManagementDataEntryArcGISWaterSamplesWaterQualityATVWildlifeRefugeDNAGoshawkInvasivePlantSpeciesBiologicalSamplesPlantIdentificationTopographicMapsUsfsWeatherConditionsRestorationProjects

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Top Biological Science Technician Skills

  1. Habitat Restoration
  2. Laboratory Equipment
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted refuge manager in communicating with private landowners to describe habitat restoration goals and education of activities.
  • Operated, repaired and maintained specialized fisheries field and laboratory equipment.
  • Served as Safety Committee representative and developed emergency plans, protocols and job hazard analyses.
  • Conduct small mammal research in the Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest including data collection and data entry
  • Supported the purchase, inventory, and maintenance of supplies and equipment in order to accomplish natural resource management objectives.

Top Biological Science Technician Employers

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Biological Science Technician Videos

Biological Science Technician

Careers after Biological Sciences - James

CAREERS IN BIOLOGY SCIENCE – B.Sc,M.Sc,Science technician, Research,Job Opportunities,Salary Package

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