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Working As a Pilot Plant Technician

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • $71,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Pilot Plant 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 Pilot Plant 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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Pilot Plant Technician Career Paths

Pilot Plant Technician
Technician Team Leader Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Chemist Scientist
Senior Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Quality Assurance Technician Quality Assurance Supervisor
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Analyst Assistant Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Pilot Instructor Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Pilot Instructor Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Pilot Driver Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Production Supervisor
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Superintendent
Quality Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Process Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Assurance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Project Engineer Program Manager
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Process Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor Director Of Facilities
Director, Facilities & Operations
6 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Quality Assurance Technician Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Research And Development Technician Research And Development Manager
Research And Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Research Associate Staff Scientist
Senior Associate Scientist
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Pilot Plant Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$71,000
Show Salaries
$44,000
Min 10%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$71,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Genentech
Highest Paying City
South San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Illinois
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Pilot Plant Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Pilot Plant Technician in the United States is $71,362 per year or $34 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $44,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $114,000.

Top Skills for A Pilot Plant Technician

  1. Pilot Plant
  2. ROV
  3. Safety Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Fabricated and built a distillation and absorption/adsorption pilot plant for the purification of gases used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices.
  • Implemented specific cost-out projects to reduce waste and improve cycle-times; enhanced process control with implementation of Lean manufacturing initiatives.
  • Load and remove Rx's according to safety procedures.
  • Maintained and repaired lab equipment including HPLC.
  • Prepared raw materials for compounding, operated spray dry machine, and packed off finished 1-10 kilogram batches.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Pilot Plant Technicians

  1. Iowa
  2. Kansas
  3. Arkansas
  4. Illinois
  5. Ohio
  6. Texas
  7. Wyoming
  8. New Mexico
  9. Minnesota
  10. Oklahoma
  • (578 jobs)
  • (272 jobs)
  • (199 jobs)
  • (1,031 jobs)
  • (1,205 jobs)
  • (2,161 jobs)
  • (47 jobs)
  • (154 jobs)
  • (695 jobs)
  • (290 jobs)

Pilot Plant Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

80.2%

Female

10.8%

Unknown

9.0%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

7.9%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.9%

Japanese

11.8%

Korean

11.8%

Chinese

5.9%

German

5.9%

Mandarin

5.9%

Thai

5.9%
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Pilot Plant Technician Education

Schools

Temple College

11.8%

University of Phoenix

9.4%

Purdue University

8.2%

Divers Institute of Technology

7.1%

University of Kentucky

5.9%

San Jose State University

5.9%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

4.7%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.7%

Inver Hills Community College

4.7%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.7%

Universal Technical Institute

4.7%

A-Technical College

3.5%

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach

3.5%

Saint Cloud State University

3.5%

Northern Illinois University

3.5%

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

3.5%

Century College

3.5%

Dakota County Technical College

2.4%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

2.4%

Michigan Technological University

2.4%
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Majors

Business

14.5%

Chemistry

13.0%

Electrical Engineering

10.5%

Biology

8.7%

Chemical Engineering

8.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.7%

General Studies

4.7%

Mechanical Engineering

4.3%

Food Science

3.6%

Automotive Technology

3.3%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

Engineering

2.9%

Aviation

2.5%

Environmental Science

2.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.5%

Physics

2.5%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

2.2%

Project Management

2.2%

Communication

2.2%

Civil Engineering

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.1%

Other

30.4%

Associate

12.6%

Masters

9.3%

Certificate

6.3%

Diploma

1.6%

Doctorate

1.6%

License

0.2%
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