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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Laboratory Associate
Top Careers After Laboratory Associate
Hispanic or Latino12.3%
Black or African American1.0%
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San Jose State University7.6%
University of California - Davis7.6%
University of Phoenix7.6%
University of California - San Diego7.6%
New Mexico State University7.0%
University of California - Irvine5.8%
North Carolina State University5.8%
California State University - Northridge4.7%
University of California - Santa Barbara4.7%
California State University - Los Angeles4.7%
Iowa State University4.7%
California State University - Fullerton4.1%
Pennsylvania State University4.1%
University of Southern California4.1%
University of California - Los Angeles3.5%
University of California - Berkeley3.5%
University of California - Santa Cruz3.5%
University of Missouri - Saint Louis3.5%
Johns Hopkins University3.5%
University of Alabama2.9%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Associate Laboratory Member||Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center||New York, NY||Jan 06, 2016||$170,000|
|Associate Laboratory Member||Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2012||$141,885|
|Clinical Laboratory Associate||Color Global, Inc.||Burlingame, CA||May 10, 2015||$90,000|
|Principal Quality Lab Associate||Baxalta Us Inc.||Milford, MA||Jul 01, 2015||$90,000|
|Crime Lab Associate||Georgia Bureau of Investigation||Decatur, GA||Sep 30, 2011||$62,923 -
|Lab Associate||Nanostellar, Inc.||Redwood City, CA||Sep 25, 2012||$61,984|
|PD & TS Laboratory Associate||Norwich Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Norwich, NY||Sep 18, 2013||$60,211|
|Laboratory Associate||EMES Professional Associates, PC||Cranford, NJ||Apr 30, 2015||$60,195|
|Laboratory Associate||Bioquiddity Incorporated||San Francisco, CA||Sep 14, 2016||$60,000 -
|Clinical Laboratory Associate (Qa/Ac)||Unipack Inc.||Belleville, NJ||Sep 01, 2015||$56,000|
|Clinical Laboratory Associate (Qa/Ac)||Unipack Inc.||Belleville, NJ||Jan 09, 2016||$56,000|
|Associate Research Lab||Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas||Dallas, TX||Aug 15, 2009||$50,485|
|Laboratory Associate||EMES Professional Associates||Cranford, NJ||Oct 01, 2015||$46,717|
|Laboratory Associate||EMES Professional Associates||Cranford, NJ||Oct 01, 2014||$46,093|
|Laboratory & Reserach Associate||Institute for Advanced Learning & Research||Danville, VA||Sep 01, 2011||$43,998|
|Lab Associate||EMES Professional Associates||Cranford, NJ||Oct 01, 2011||$42,053|
|Laboratory Associate||Arteriocyte Inc.||Cleveland, OH||Oct 01, 2012||$42,000|
|Clinical Laboratory Associate (Quality Assurance)||Labconnect, LLC||Jackson, TN||Sep 01, 2015||$40,331|
|Clinical Laboratory Associate (Quality Assurance)||Labconnect, LLC||Johnson City, TN||Sep 01, 2015||$40,331|
|Laboratory Associate||New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology||Socorro, NM||Dec 09, 2013||$38,985|
|Bio-Analytical Lab Associate||Sannova Analytical, Inc.||Somerset, NJ||Aug 28, 2014||$38,896 -
|Laboratory Associate||FB Laboratories Inc.||Hauppauge, NY||May 04, 2015||$38,700|
|Laboratory Associate||FB Laboratories, Inc.||Hauppauge, NY||Oct 01, 2015||$38,000|
|Teaching Laboratory Associate||Iowa State University of Science and Technology||Ames, IA||Sep 04, 2014||$37,000|
|Teaching Laboratory Associate||Iowa State University of Science and Technology||Ames, IA||Jul 19, 2010||$35,210|
|Laboratory Associate||Theranos, Inc.||Palo Alto, CA||Aug 23, 2014||$35,000 -
|Lab Associate||Etonbio Inc.||San Diego, CA||Jan 18, 2013||$32,400|
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