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Working As a Microbiological Laboratory Technician

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • $38,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Microbiological Laboratory Technician 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 Microbiological Laboratory Technician

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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Microbiological Laboratory Technician Career Paths

Microbiological Laboratory Technician
Laboratory Technician Chemist
Senior Chemist
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Chemist Scientist
Senior Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Supervisor
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Microbiologist Research Associate Senior Scientist
Principal Scientist
12 Yearsyrs
Microbiologist Research Associate Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Microbiologist Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Supervisor Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Assurance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Supervisor Quality Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Analyst Chemist Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Analyst Quality Control Analyst Quality Control Chemist
Quality Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Analyst Analytical Chemist Senior Scientist
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Microbiologist Quality Control Analyst Team Leader
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Microbiologist Quality Control Analyst Quality Assurance Specialist
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Microbiologist Quality Assurance Specialist Quality Assurance Manager
Regulatory Affairs Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Scientist Laboratory Manager
Clinical Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Microbiologist Microbiology Supervisor
Microbiology Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Technician Analytical Chemist Staff Scientist
Senior Associate Scientist
7 Yearsyrs
Research Laboratory Technician Clinical Laboratory Technician Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Microbiology Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Microbiologist
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Microbiologist 3.0 years
Laboratory Analyst 2.9 years
Top Careers Before Microbiological Laboratory Technician
Internship 9.5%
Cashier 4.1%
Volunteer 3.9%
Top Careers After Microbiological Laboratory Technician
Scientist 3.6%
Associate 2.8%
Technician 2.4%

Do you work as a Microbiological Laboratory Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$38,000
Show Salaries
$30,000
Min 10%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Abbott
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.1 years
How much does a Microbiological Laboratory Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Microbiological Laboratory Technician in the United States is $38,239 per year or $18 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $30,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $48,000.

Real Microbiological Laboratory Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Microbiology Lab Technologist Histogenetics, LLC Ossining, NY Apr 26, 2016 $68,619
Microbiology Laboratory Technician Medical Science & Computing, Inc. Hamilton, MT May 31, 2010 $58,905
Microbiology Laboratory Technician Thor Specialties, Inc. Trumbull, CT Aug 20, 2011 $51,180
Senior Microbiology Laboratory Technician Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY Nov 12, 2012 $38,605 -
$43,605
Microbiology Lab Technician Certified Laboratories Inc. Plainview, NY Sep 12, 2012 $37,608
Microbiology Lab Technician Aerotek, Inc. Saint Paul, MN Sep 13, 2010 $33,392
Microbiological Laboratory Technician Emlab P&K, LLC Cherry Hill, NJ Sep 24, 2012 $32,641
Microbiology Lab Technician Certified Laboratories, Inc. Bolingbrook, IL Sep 15, 2016 $31,305
Microbiology Lab Technician Certified Laboratories, Inc. Bolingbrook, IL Sep 21, 2016 $31,305
Microbiology Laboratory Technician Certified Laboratories Inc. Plainview, NY Aug 10, 2014 $31,305
Microbiology Laboratory Technician Certified Laboratories Inc. Plainview, NY Aug 25, 2014 $31,305
Microbiology Laboratory Technician Certified Laboratories, Inc. Bolingbrook, IL Sep 06, 2013 $31,305

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Top Skills for A Microbiological Laboratory Technician

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Microbiology
  3. Aseptic Technique
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained detailed records including lab equipment calibrations and certifications.
  • Committed to providing excellent Microbiology results for patients and the reputation of the Microbiology Department, Laboratory and Doctors North Hospital.
  • Completed microbiological tests, shelf studies and activity tests utilizing aseptic technique and maintained documentation to support General Mills business.
  • Report to management any conditions or practices that may adversely affect food safety, food quality and personnel safety
  • Operated and maintain laboratory equipment including, incubators, air samplers, temperature recorders, conductivity, pH meter, balance.

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Top 10 Best States for Microbiological Laboratory Technicians

  1. Alaska
  2. Iowa
  3. New Jersey
  4. Wyoming
  5. Minnesota
  6. Maine
  7. Kansas
  8. North Dakota
  9. Utah
  10. Texas
  • (20 jobs)
  • (134 jobs)
  • (240 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (231 jobs)
  • (51 jobs)
  • (59 jobs)
  • (60 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (450 jobs)

Microbiological Laboratory Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

57.8%

Male

32.0%

Unknown

10.2%
Ethnicity

White

56.2%

Hispanic or Latino

18.0%

Asian

12.1%

Black or African American

9.7%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.4%

French

11.7%

Vietnamese

4.9%

Chinese

3.9%

Hindi

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%

Russian

1.9%

Thai

1.9%

Cantonese

1.9%

Hebrew

1.9%

Polish

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Khmer

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Yoruba

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Filipino

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Portuguese

1.0%
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Microbiological Laboratory Technician Education

Schools

Ohio State University

9.2%

University of Florida

7.8%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

5.9%

Purdue University

5.9%

University of Puerto Rico - Humacao

5.2%

University of Phoenix

5.2%

California State University - Stanislaus

5.2%

University of South Florida

4.6%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

4.6%

Minnesota State University - Mankato

4.6%

Kean University

4.6%

University of New Haven

4.6%

Northeastern University

4.6%

Colorado State University

4.6%

University of the Sciences

3.9%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.9%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

Temple University

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%
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Majors

Biology

42.4%

Microbiology

11.0%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

5.5%

Biotechnology

4.3%

Chemistry

4.2%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

4.1%

Business

3.8%

Environmental Science

3.1%

Public Health

2.9%

Pharmacy

2.7%

Nursing

2.5%

Food Science

2.2%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

1.6%

Biomedical Sciences

1.5%

Health Care Administration

1.5%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

1.3%

Criminal Justice

1.3%

Management

1.0%

Health Sciences And Services

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

59.4%

Masters

17.7%

Other

10.6%

Associate

6.4%

Certificate

2.8%

Doctorate

2.6%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.2%
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Top Microbiological Laboratory Technician Employers

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Microbiological Laboratory Technician Videos

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