As a laboratory technician, you get to do all the nitty gritty work, like collecting samples. But you also get to study and take part in conducting tests. So it's not all nitty gritty, at least.

The majority of your day as a laboratory technician will be spent in a lab, surrounded by bodily fluids, chemicals, and organic matter. If any of that makes you squirmish just thinking about it, then it's not too late to turn back.

Employers prefer that you have a bachelor's degree before pursuing a position as a laboratory tech, but associate degrees are also welcome. Before you start, you'll need to rack up a few years of experience in lab work. It probably wouldn't be a good thing if you blew up the lab on your first day.

What Does a Laboratory Technician Do

There are certain skills that many laboratory technicians have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed ability to use technology, interpersonal skills and observation skills.

Learn more about what a Laboratory Technician does

How To Become a Laboratory Technician

If you're interested in becoming a laboratory technician, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 61.5% of laboratory technicians have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.0% of laboratory technicians have master's degrees. Even though most laboratory technicians have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Laboratory Technician

Laboratory Technician Career Paths

Average Salary for a Laboratory Technician

Laboratory Technicians in America make an average salary of $40,038 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $58,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Laboratory Technician Salary
$40,038 Yearly
$19.25 hourly
$27,000
10 %
$40,000
Median
$58,000
90 %

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Laboratory Technician Education

Laboratory Technician Majors

30.3 %
14.6 %

Laboratory Technician Degrees

Bachelors

61.5 %

Associate

18.0 %

High School Diploma

8.6 %

Top Colleges for Laboratory Technicians

1. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

2. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

6. University of Vermont

Burlington, VT • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,276
Enrollment
10,612

7. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Enrollment
16,205

8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

9. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

10. University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,730
Enrollment
18,830

Top Skills For a Laboratory Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.1% of laboratory technicians listed lab equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as ability to use technology and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Laboratory Technician Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Laboratory Technician templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Laboratory Technician resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Laboratory Technician Demographics

Laboratory Technician Gender Distribution

Male
Male
53%
Female
Female
47%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among laboratory technicians, 46.7% of them are women, while 53.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among laboratory technicians is White, which makes up 57.3% of all laboratory technicians.

  • The most common foreign language among laboratory technicians is Spanish at 54.4%.

Online Courses For Laboratory Technician That You May Like

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Become A Master in HPLC Technique - (Liquid Chromatography)
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Become A Professional in HPLC From A to Z - Your Comprehensive guideline. The first and the lonely Chemistry HPLC course...

Biomedical Equipment Technician Training: Maintenance & Repair
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Maintaining and troubleshooting sophisticated medical instruments is not an easy task. In order to deliver effective care, the technician requires the knowledge of different aspects of biology and engineering. The different devices work in so many different ways and the literature about repair and troubleshooting is often hard to come by. It can be quite frustrating to search for solutions every time the operator encounters a problem. There is added pressure because the availability of medical...

Teaching in University Science Laboratories (Developing Best Practice)
coursera

This course is developed to improve the effectiveness of laboratory classes in higher education. It aims to support teachers to improve their teaching skills for active learning in university science laboratory courses. It will show you how laboratory sessions can differ with respect to their aim and expected learning outcomes, how to engage students for learning and how to cope with their different levels of pre-knowledge and experience and probe their understanding. Last but not least it will...

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Best States For a Laboratory Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a laboratory technician. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Hawaii, New York, and Massachusetts. Laboratory technicians make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $98,434. Whereas in Hawaii and New York, they would average $51,281 and $50,010, respectively. While laboratory technicians would only make an average of $46,201 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Laboratory Technician Jobs:
207
Highest 10% Earn:
$144,000
Location Quotient:
1.34

2. New York

Total Laboratory Technician Jobs:
2,993
Highest 10% Earn:
$73,000
Location Quotient:
1.26

3. Massachusetts

Total Laboratory Technician Jobs:
2,279
Highest 10% Earn:
$65,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Full List Of Best States For Laboratory Technicians

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Top Laboratory Technician Employers

Most Common Employers For Laboratory Technician

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Pfizer$65,200$31.35164
2BASF$59,584$28.65229
3The Dow Chemical Company$50,317$24.19188
4PPG$49,648$23.87171
5ADM$48,966$23.54189
6Halliburton$48,727$23.43139
7P&G$46,293$22.26171
8Quest Diagnostics$41,435$19.92248
9Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings$40,910$19.67513
10Lenscrafters$39,078$18.79903

Laboratory Technician Videos

Becoming a Laboratory Technician FAQs

How long does it take to become a Laboratory Technician?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a laboratory technician. That is the time it takes to learn specific laboratory technician skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 6 to 8 years years to become a laboratory technician.

How much money does a lab technician make an hour?

The amount of money lab technicians make per hour is between $15.00 and $30.00. These hourly wages reflect both the experience of the candidate as well as the type of work environment.

Entry-level technicians working outside of a medical lab earn an average of $15.00 per hour. These technicians may be working in a private lab, conducting tests, or gathering data for a private company. Technicians working in medical labs earn an entry-level hourly wage of $19.00 per hour.

Is being a lab technician a good career?

Yes, being a lab technician is a good career. This is because being a lab technician pays well and requires minimal specialized education.

An entry-level salary for a lab technician averages $20,000 to $25,000. These salaries reflect a candidate with minimal education and experience. The average technician makes approximately $41,000 a year.

What career path is a lab technician?

The Career Path of a Lab Technician is:

  • The medical field; working in a hospital lab running tests and recording data

  • Industrial setting; processing data in an office setting

  • Outdoor setting; conducting environmental tests on soil and water

What degree do you need to have to be a clinical lab technician?

You need to have a minimum of an associate's degree to be a clinical lab technician. In other cases, you may also need certifications along with a degree. These requirements vary among the state in which you are seeking employment and the individual employer.

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