Laboratory assistants work for researchers, scientists, or professors in the laboratory setting. They are expected to have a solid background in the field of study of the laboratory they are assigned to. They do a variety of tasks in the laboratory, such as setting up equipment, observing experiments, analyzing results, creating reports, and recommending improvements to the testing. They may also be assigned to clean and sanitize laboratory equipment as needed. Laboratory assistants should have good research skills, analytical skills, and organizational skills.

Laboratory Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real laboratory assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Gain hands-on experience of managing and debugging errors in Linux servers.
  • Manage mice populations and genotyping data spreadsheets.
  • Sole personnel in charge of managing mouse colony including genotyping, animal husbandry and data organization.
  • Perform essential testing in hematology, blood bank, microbiology, urinalysis, chemistry and phlebotomy.
  • Install voicemail systems including DC power, hardware setup and network connections.
  • Learned mechanics and science of gas and liquid chromatography as well as HPLC.
  • Maintain and QC check laboratory equipment.
  • Assist anatomy and physiology professors in laboratory classroom environment with lecture and test preparation.
  • Follow infection control and safety procedures while carrying out daily phlebotomy functions in an outpatient setting.
  • Perform basic analyzer troubleshooting on centrifuge, label printers, and maintain quality controls on chemistry and hematology analyzer.
Laboratory Assistant Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Observational skills show that you are capable of gathering information about the workplace around you through a means of communication.

Laboratory Assistant Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, laboratory assistant jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a laboratory assistant?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of laboratory assistant opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 5,700.

On average, the laboratory assistant annual salary is $30,701 per year, which translates to $14.76 an hour. Generally speaking, laboratory assistants earn anywhere from $23,000 to $39,000 a year, which means that the top-earning laboratory assistants make $16,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a laboratory assistant. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a medical laboratory technologist internship, assistant laboratory technician, clinical laboratory technician, and research laboratory technician.

Laboratory Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Laboratory Assistant Resume Examples

Laboratory Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 15% of Laboratory Assistants are proficient in Specimen Collection, Phlebotomy, and Lab Equipment. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Communication skills, and Observational skills.

We break down the percentage of Laboratory Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Specimen Collection, 15%

    Maintain required records and documentation; perform clinical specimen collection in all departments and processing duties following established practices and procedures.

  • Phlebotomy, 14%

    Assumed responsibility for writing and implementing phlebotomy policies and procedures according to Hospital policy and OSHA standards.

  • Lab Equipment, 9%

    Performed routine and preventive maintenance of computer lab equipment for the purpose of ensuring availability of equipment in safe operating condition.

  • Customer Service, 7%

    Demonstrated skill in troubleshooting, logical analysis, problem escalation, documentation and reporting within a technically-oriented customer service environment.

  • Patient Care, 7%

    Perform a variety of laboratory procedures with minimum supervision following standard operating procedures while maintaining high quality patient care and confidentiality.

  • Data Entry, 5%

    Perform data entry of critical data related to component production and movement of components into inventory locations and final disposition.

Some of the skills we found on laboratory assistant resumes included "specimen collection," "phlebotomy," and "lab equipment." We have detailed the most important laboratory assistant responsibilities below.

  • Analytical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a laboratory assistant to have. According to a laboratory assistant resume, "biological technicians need to conduct scientific experiments and analyses with accuracy and precision." Laboratory assistants are able to use analytical skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "assisted by testing water quality samples and electronically documenting data for future historical statistical data retrieval. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many laboratory assistant duties rely on communication skills. This example from a laboratory assistant explains why: "biological technicians must understand and follow the instructions of their managing scientists." This resume example is just one of many ways laboratory assistants are able to utilize communication skills: "utilized effective communication skills to take lab orders that utilize data entry. "
  • Observational skills is also an important skill for laboratory assistants to have. This example of how laboratory assistants use this skill comes from a laboratory assistant resume, "biological technicians must constantly monitor their experiments" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "set up computer lab systems construct low lighting device for astronomy observational deck"
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "technical skills" is important to completing laboratory assistant responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way laboratory assistants use this skill: "biological technicians need to set up and operate sophisticated equipment and instruments" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical laboratory assistant tasks: "performed technical responsibilities for water quality control on upper klamath lake. "
  • See the full list of laboratory assistant skills.

    Before becoming a laboratory assistant, 63.5% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 5.5% laboratory assistants went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most laboratory assistants have a college degree. But about one out of every seven laboratory assistants didn't attend college at all.

    Those laboratory assistants who do attend college, typically earn either a biology degree or a chemistry degree. Less commonly earned degrees for laboratory assistants include a psychology degree or a business degree.

    When you're ready to become a laboratory assistant, you might wonder which companies hire laboratory assistants. According to our research through laboratory assistant resumes, laboratory assistants are mostly hired by Tenet Healthcare, Aerotek, and Adventist Health System. Now is a good time to apply as Tenet Healthcare has 36 laboratory assistants job openings, and there are 32 at Aerotek and 31 at Adventist Health System.

    Since salary is important to some laboratory assistants, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kansas City Community College District, Kansas, and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. If you were to take a closer look at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, you'd find that the average laboratory assistant salary is $49,262. Then at Kansas City Community College District, Kansas, laboratory assistants receive an average salary of $48,833, while the salary at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is $48,756.

    View more details on laboratory assistant salaries across the United States.

    For the most part, laboratory assistants make their living in the education and health care industries. Laboratory assistants tend to make the most in the education industry with an average salary of $35,020. The laboratory assistant annual salary in the manufacturing and government industries generally make $31,564 and $31,010 respectively. Additionally, laboratory assistants who work in the education industry make 14.7% more than laboratory assistants in the health care Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious laboratory assistants are:

      What Medical Laboratory Technologist Internships Do

      A medical laboratory technologist intern is responsible for assisting laboratory technologists in performing examinations and medical procedures. Medical laboratory technologist interns perform administrative duties under the supervision of a medical professional such as collecting laboratory samples, sending out reports, responding to patients' inquiries and concerns, and ensuring the adequacy of laboratory inventories. They also maintain the cleanliness of the facility, including the sterilization of equipment and segregation of disposable materials to avoid contamination and potential hazards that may affect medical results and processes.

      In this section, we compare the average laboratory assistant annual salary with that of a medical laboratory technologist internship. Typically, medical laboratory technologist interns earn a $402 higher salary than laboratory assistants earn annually.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both laboratory assistants and medical laboratory technologist interns positions are skilled in specimen collection, phlebotomy, and lab equipment.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a laboratory assistant responsibility requires skills such as "customer service," "data entry," "communication," and "safety procedures." Whereas a medical laboratory technologist internship is skilled in "microbiology," "urinalysis," "immunology," and "blood bank." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      The education levels that medical laboratory technologist interns earn is a bit different than that of laboratory assistants. In particular, medical laboratory technologist interns are 1.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a laboratory assistant. Additionally, they're 0.7% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of an Assistant Laboratory Technician?

      The primary responsibility of a lab assistant is to help scientists and technologists. Lab assistants are assigned to prepare and monitor tests and experiments in research or medical laboratory. They analyze data and establish reports based on test results. Also, they set up the tools and equipment used in the lab. It is also part of their job to clean the lab rooms-knowledge in lab management, communication skills, attention to detail, and medical-related management.

      The next role we're going to look at is the assistant laboratory technician profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $2,697 higher salary than laboratory assistants per year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both laboratory assistants and assistant laboratory technicians are known to have skills such as "lab equipment," "patient care," and "laboratory equipment. "

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that laboratory assistant responsibilities requires skills like "specimen collection," "phlebotomy," "customer service," and "data entry." But an assistant laboratory technician might use skills, such as, "procedures," "cpr," "blood products," and "preventive maintenance."

      Assistant laboratory technicians may earn a higher salary than laboratory assistants, but assistant laboratory technicians earn the most pay in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $32,317. On the other side of things, laboratory assistants receive higher paychecks in the education industry where they earn an average of $35,020.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, assistant laboratory technicians tend to reach similar levels of education than laboratory assistants. In fact, they're 2.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.7% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Clinical Laboratory Technician Compares

      A clinical laboratory technician typically works under the direction of a physician or medical technologist to perform tests that will aid in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions and illnesses. You will perform various duties, including preparing samples for analysis, monitoring tests and procedures, and matching blood for transfusion. Additionally, you are expected to participate in staff training and educational opportunities and contribute to a secure and safe environment for patients, physicians, co-workers, and visitors. This role will also require ensuring that laboratory information remains confidential.

      Let's now take a look at the clinical laboratory technician profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than laboratory assistants with a $34,277 difference per year.

      Using laboratory assistants and clinical laboratory technicians resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "specimen collection," "phlebotomy," and "lab equipment," but the other skills required are very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a laboratory assistant is likely to be skilled in "communication," "safety procedures," "c++," and "anatomy," while a typical clinical laboratory technician is skilled in "clinical laboratory technologist," "lis," "blood bank," and "instrument maintenance."

      Clinical laboratory technicians make a very good living in the health care industry with an average annual salary of $66,281. Whereas laboratory assistants are paid the highest salary in the education industry with the average being $35,020.

      Clinical laboratory technicians are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to laboratory assistants. Additionally, they're 7.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 2.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Research Laboratory Technician

      Research laboratory technicians play a vital role in scientific laboratories. They perform varied duties and responsibilities, which include setting up, operating, and maintaining the laboratory equipment, assisting in laboratory-based research activities such as sampling, testing, and analyzing results, and providing technical support to the laboratory team members. In addition, they are expected to support the development and advancement of science and modern medicine. Other typical duties of research laboratory technicians include preparing samples and specimens, keeping abreast with current technical developments, and ensuring strict compliance with safety procedures.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than laboratory assistants. On average, research laboratory technicians earn a difference of $6,033 higher per year.

      While their salaries may vary, laboratory assistants and research laboratory technicians both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "lab equipment," "data entry," and "laboratory equipment. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "specimen collection," "phlebotomy," "customer service," and "patient care" are skills that have shown up on laboratory assistants resumes. Additionally, research laboratory technician uses skills like flow cytometry, pi, accurate records, and molecular biology on their resumes.

      In general, research laboratory technicians make a higher salary in the manufacturing industry with an average of $53,591. The highest laboratory assistant annual salary stems from the education industry.

      The average resume of research laboratory technicians showed that they earn higher levels of education to laboratory assistants. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 11.4% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 2.5%.