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Become A Biology Laboratory Assistant

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Working As A Biology Laboratory Assistant

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Biology Laboratory Assistant 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 Biology Laboratory Assistant

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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Do you work as a Biology Laboratory Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$57,000
Show Salaries
$30,000
Min 10%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Altor Bioscience
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
District of Columbia
Avg Experience Level
1.4 years
How much does a Biology Laboratory Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Biology Laboratory Assistant in the United States is $57,294 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $30,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $106,000.

Real Biology Laboratory Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation MA Jan 04, 2016 $101,250
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA May 01, 2012 $89,000
Assistant In Molecular Biology General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Oct 15, 2013 $68,000
Assistant In Biological Engineering General Hospital Corporation MA Nov 15, 2015 $66,667
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Jun 09, 2010 $65,000
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation MA Nov 15, 2012 $64,296
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation MA Nov 15, 2009 $61,800
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Jan 15, 2010 $61,800
Assistant In Biology (Researcher MD or PHD) General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Feb 29, 2016 $54,734
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Jan 01, 2011 $52,530
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Dec 01, 2015 $52,116
Assistant In Cell Biology General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Feb 01, 2010 $50,450
Assistant In Cell Biology General Hospital Corporation MA Feb 01, 2014 $50,000
Assistant In Molecular Biology General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Feb 20, 2013 $50,000
Assistant In Molecular Biology General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Feb 01, 2013 $50,000
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation MA Oct 01, 2009 $50,000
Assistant In Biology General Hospital Corporation MA Jan 01, 2015 $48,000 -
$75,000

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Top Skills for A Biology Laboratory Assistant

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Biology
  3. DNA
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Organized and maintained lab equipment for undergraduate biology courses.
  • Organized and prepared materials, solutions, and activates for introductory biology laboratory courses.
  • Perform multiple PAGE and DNA isolation assays that produced documented successful results.
  • Assisted with stem cell research involving influenza vaccine, prepared cell cultures and cell samples for quantitative PCR.
  • Assisted with laboratory sessions and examinations for biology, botany, microbiology, and anatomy courses.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Biology Laboratory Assistants

  1. Connecticut
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Minnesota
  5. Washington
  6. Maine
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Illinois
  10. District of Columbia
  • (247 jobs)
  • (132 jobs)
  • (666 jobs)
  • (419 jobs)
  • (570 jobs)
  • (149 jobs)
  • (459 jobs)
  • (788 jobs)
  • (580 jobs)
  • (55 jobs)

Biology Laboratory Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,259 Biology Laboratory Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Biology Laboratory Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Biology Laboratory Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

57.2%

Male

32.1%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

58.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Asian

11.7%

Black or African American

10.9%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.1%

French

13.2%

Chinese

5.1%

Arabic

5.1%

German

4.6%

Mandarin

3.6%

Korean

3.6%

Russian

3.6%

Vietnamese

3.0%

Hindi

3.0%

Portuguese

3.0%

Italian

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Gujarati

1.5%

Greek

1.5%

Urdu

1.0%

Filipino

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Swahili

0.5%

Swedish

0.5%
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Biology Laboratory Assistant Education

Schools

University of Oregon

7.6%

Northeastern University

7.6%

Pennsylvania State University

7.1%

Emory University

6.5%

University of California - San Diego

6.0%

University of California - Davis

5.4%

Oregon State University

5.4%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.9%

University of Central Florida

4.9%

University of California - Irvine

4.3%

North Carolina State University

4.3%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.3%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.3%

Drexel University

4.3%

East Carolina University

3.8%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.8%

University of Cincinnati

3.8%

Saint John's University - New York

3.8%

West Virginia University

3.8%

University of Dayton

3.8%
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Majors

Biology

49.8%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

7.1%

Nursing

4.5%

Psychology

4.1%

Environmental Science

3.7%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

3.5%

Business

3.4%

Chemistry

3.1%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Biotechnology

2.2%

Pharmacy

2.0%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

1.8%

Biomedical Engineering

1.8%

Zoology

1.7%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.6%

Microbiology

1.5%

Kinesiology

1.4%

Neuroscience

1.4%

Public Health

1.4%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

62.1%

Masters

15.2%

Other

10.5%

Associate

4.9%

Doctorate

4.6%

Certificate

2.1%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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