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Become A Lead Laboratory Technician

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Working As A Lead Laboratory Technician

  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $84,485

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Laboratory Technician Do

Chemical technicians use laboratory instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes.

Duties

Chemical technicians typically do the following:

  • Monitor chemical processes and test the quality of products to make sure that they meet standards and specifications
  • Set up and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment
  • Troubleshoot production problems or malfunctioning instruments
  • Prepare chemical solutions
  • Conduct chemical and physical experiments, tests, and analyses for a variety of purposes, including research and development
  • Compile and interpret results of tests and analyses
  • Prepare technical reports, graphs, and charts, and give presentations that summarize their results

Most chemical technicians work on teams. Typically, they are led by chemists or chemical engineers who direct their work and evaluate their results. For example, some chemical technicians help chemists and other scientists develop new medicines. Others help chemical engineers develop more efficient production processes.

Chemical technicians’ duties and titles often depend on where they work. The following are the two main types of chemical technicians:

Laboratory technicians typically help scientists conduct experiments and analyses. Often, they prepare chemical solutions, test products for quality and performance, and analyze compounds produced through complex chemical processes. Chemical laboratory technicians may analyze samples of air and water to monitor pollution levels. Laboratory technicians usually set up and maintain laboratory equipment and instruments.

Processing technicians monitor the quality of products and processes at chemical manufacturing facilities. For example, they adjust processing equipment to improve production efficiency and output. They also collect samples from production batches, which then are tested for impurities and other defects. In addition, processing technicians test product packaging to make sure that it is well designed, will hold up well, and will have a limited impact on the environment.

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How To Become A Lead Laboratory Technician

Chemical technicians need an associate’s degree or 2 years of postsecondary education for most jobs. Most chemical technicians also receive on-the-job training.

Education

For most jobs, chemical technicians need an associate’s degree in applied science or chemical technology or 2 years of postsecondary education.

Many technical and community colleges offer programs in applied sciences or chemical technology. Students typically take classes in mathematics, physics, and biology, in addition to chemistry courses. Coursework in statistics and computer science is also useful, because technicians routinely do data analysis and modeling.

One of the most important aspects of any degree program is laboratory time. Laboratory coursework provides students with hands-on experience in conducting experiments and using various instruments and techniques properly. Many schools also offer internships and cooperative-education programs that help students gain employment experience while attending school.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Chemical technicians must be able to set up and operate sophisticated equipment and instruments. They also may need to adjust the equipment to ensure that experiments and processes are running properly and safely.

Analytical skills. Chemical technicians must be able to conduct scientific experiments with accuracy and precision.

Communication skills. Chemical technicians must explain their work to scientists and engineers, and to workers who may not have a technical background. They often write reports to communicate their results.

Critical-thinking skills. Chemical technicians reach their conclusions through sound reasoning and judgment.

Interpersonal skills. Chemical technicians must be able to work well with others as part of a team because they often work with scientists, engineers, and other technicians.

Observation skills. Chemical technicians must carefully monitor chemical experiments and processes. They must keep complete records of their work, including conditions, procedures, and results.

Time-management skills. Chemical technicians often work on multiple tasks and projects at the same time and must be able to prioritize their assignments.

Training

Most chemical technicians receive on-the-job training. Typically, experienced technicians teach new employees proper methods and procedures for conducting experiments and operating equipment. The length of training varies with the new employee’s level of experience and education and the industry the worker is employed in.

Advancement

Technicians who have a bachelor’s degree may advance to positions as chemical engineers or chemists. For more information, see the profiles on chemical engineers and chemists and materials scientists.

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Lead Laboratory Technician Jobs

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Lead Laboratory Technician Career Paths

Lead Laboratory Technician
Technical Specialist Systems Administrator Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Supervisor Safety Manager Health And Safety Manager
Environmental Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operator Engineer Environmental Engineer
Environmental Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Supervisor Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
10 Yearsyrs
Chemist Laboratory Supervisor
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Optician Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Supervisor Quality Assurance Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Chemist Laboratory Manager
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Quality Control Supervisor
Quality Assurance Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Manager Project Manager Construction Manager
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Maintenance Supervisor Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Supervisor Manufacturing Supervisor Quality Engineer
Quality Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Manager Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Engineer Quality Engineer
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Business Analyst Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Systems Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Supervisor Quality Control Manager
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Supervisor Project Manager Project Director
Research Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Specialist Technical Support Specialist Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Optician Office Manager Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Lead Laboratory Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Laboratory Manager 3.8 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 6.4%
Cashier 4.0%
Supervisor 3.0%
Technician 3.0%
Assistant 3.0%
Manager 2.7%
Top Employers After
Technician 5.8%
Supervisor 4.1%
Manager 3.8%
Optician 3.6%
Internship 3.3%

Do you work as a Lead Laboratory Technician?

Lead Laboratory Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

54.4%

Female

43.5%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.6%

Hispanic or Latino

16.2%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

8.5%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.7%

German

6.6%

Portuguese

4.9%

Japanese

3.3%

French

3.3%

Polish

3.3%

Italian

3.3%

Chinese

1.6%

Czech

1.6%

Turkish

1.6%

Amharic

1.6%

Tigrinya

1.6%

Carrier

1.6%

Slovak

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Croatian

1.6%
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Lead Laboratory Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.0%

West Virginia University

6.3%

University of California - Irvine

5.5%

Northern Illinois University

5.5%

George Washington University

4.7%

Texas State University

4.7%

University of Southern Mississippi

4.7%

Community College of the Air Force

4.7%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

4.7%

Michigan State University

4.7%

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

3.9%

Columbia Southern University

3.9%

University of Cincinnati

3.9%

Kansas State University

3.9%

University of Texas at San Antonio

3.9%

University of Utah

3.9%

University of South Alabama

3.9%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3.9%

Walden University

3.9%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.9%
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Majors

Biology

20.0%

Business

14.2%

Chemistry

9.9%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

6.2%

Medical Technician

5.3%

Psychology

4.4%

Medical Assisting Services

3.7%

Electrical Engineering

3.5%

Management

3.4%

General Studies

3.2%

Nursing

3.2%

Computer Science

3.0%

Communication

2.8%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

2.7%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Mechanical Engineering

2.5%

Information Technology

2.5%

Education

2.3%

Environmental Science

2.3%

Physics

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.6%

Other

20.0%

Masters

15.2%

Associate

12.6%

Certificate

4.1%

Doctorate

3.0%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.4%
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Part Time
Internship
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Lead Laboratory Technician?

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Top Skills for A Lead Laboratory Technician

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  1. Lab
  2. Laboratory Procedures
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted internal laboratory drilling fluids customization and compatibility presentations in Calgary Canada and Brighton Colorado, training personnel within laboratory setting.
  • Trained new employees on laboratory procedures and processes, conducted end-of-day bookkeeping and loss prevention documentation.
  • Formulated daily samples to be tested for laboratory surveys in accordance with Operations Material Safety Manual.
  • Hired to be a computer lab technician in the Graphic Design computer lab in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
  • Work with customer service representatives to confirm shipment orders and order destination/shipment dates.

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Laboratory Technicians

  1. Alaska
  2. Louisiana
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Texas
  5. West Virginia
  6. Delaware
  7. Alabama
  8. Missouri
  9. Nebraska
  10. Massachusetts
  • (40 jobs)
  • (180 jobs)
  • (186 jobs)
  • (1,250 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (216 jobs)
  • (348 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)
  • (492 jobs)

Top Lead Laboratory Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Lead Laboratory Technician Employers

Lead Laboratory Technician Videos

Medical Laboratory Technician

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