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Working As a Science Technician

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • $37,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Science 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 Science 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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Science Technician Career Paths

Science Technician
Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Manager
Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Research Technician Research Associate Consultant
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Research Technician Research Associate Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Research Technician Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Consultant Assistant Manager
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Consultant Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Administrator Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Biological Science Technician Biologist Environmental Scientist
Senior Environmental Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Biological Science Technician Biologist
Senior Biologist
8 Yearsyrs
Biological Science Technician Biologist Scientist
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Geologist Project Geologist
Senior Geologist
10 Yearsyrs
Geologist Environmental Scientist Environmental Engineer
Environmental Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Geologist Project Manager Quality Manager
Compliance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Chemist Laboratory Manager Office Manager
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Chemist Quality Assurance Manager Safety Manager
HSE Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Chemist Scientist Senior Scientist
Study Director
7 Yearsyrs
Researcher Laboratory Technician Field Technician
Lead Field Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Researcher Research Fellow Clinical Research Coordinator
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Science Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$37,000
Show Salaries
$30,000
Min 10%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
iGATE Technologies
Highest Paying City
Bridgewater, NJ
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Science Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Science Technician in the United States is $37,342 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 $45,000.

Real Science Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Prin. Tech. Professional-Geo-Science Applications Landmark Graphics Corporation Houston, TX Oct 01, 2010 $98,325
Forensic Science Technician Forensic Analytical Sciences, Inc. Hayward, CA Mar 08, 2011 $87,000 -
$90,000
Forensic Science Technician Forensic Analytical Sciences, Inc. Hayward, CA Mar 01, 2011 $87,000 -
$90,000
Forensic Science Technician Forensic Analytical Sciences, Inc. Hayward, CA May 06, 2011 $87,000 -
$90,000
Forensic Science Technician Protiviti, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Apr 02, 2009 $85,000
Forensic Science Technicians Washington State Patrol Cheney, WA Feb 10, 2014 $74,688 -
$83,000
Life, Physical, & Social Science Techs Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Inc. Boston, MA Sep 19, 2008 $70,000
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other Jadeline Inc. Norwalk, CA Sep 18, 2014 $68,536
Forensic Science Technicians Washington State Patrol Seattle, WA Mar 26, 2009 $66,684
Life Science Technician III The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. Palo Alto, CA Nov 01, 2012 $65,894
Nuclear Materials Science and Technology Post DOC Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN Sep 22, 2014 $65,040
Forensic Science Technicians Washington State Patrol Tacoma, WA Mar 10, 2009 $61,956
Forensic Science Technician Georgia Bureau of Investigation Decatur, GA May 09, 2008 $61,090 -
$79,761
Forensic Science Technicians City of High Point High Point, NC Jun 11, 2010 $60,696
Technician-Life Sciences Compliance Practice Igate Technologies Inc. Bridgewater, NJ Jun 21, 2013 $60,000
Technician-Life Sciences Compliance Practice Igate Technologies Inc. Bridgewater, NJ Jun 26, 2013 $60,000
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other Arizant Healthcare Inc. Eden Prairie, MN May 27, 2010 $59,904 -
$64,300
Life Science Technician III The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. Palo Alto, CA Nov 01, 2009 $58,282
Geological Data Science Technician Wave Imaging Technology, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $52,520
Forensic Science Technician Sensei Enterprises, Inc. Fairfax, VA Oct 01, 2011 $52,000
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Jul 09, 2008 $52,000
Life Science Technician II The Leland Stanford Junior University Stanford, CA Oct 01, 2009 $48,193
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other South Florida Va Foundation for Research and Educa Miami, FL Feb 06, 2013 $45,053
Forensic Science Technicians Claflin University Orangeburg, SC May 07, 2014 $45,000
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other University of Miami Miami, FL Jul 13, 2010 $44,631
Science Technician Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 27, 2010 $43,000
Life Science Technician Molecular Cloning Laboratories South San Francisco, CA Aug 18, 2013 $42,500

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Top Skills for A Science Technician

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Ensure Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Experience in basic maintenance/calibrating environmental Lab equipment.
  • Trained staff on boating operations, field sampling, laboratory techniques and safety procedures.
  • Conducted vessel inspections to ensure compliance with applicable domestic laws and international treaties by checking structural and stability conditions.
  • Conducted harbor patrol, investigated, identified and handled hazardous materials and pollution sources.
  • Reconciled contradictions, conflicts and inconsistencies in documentation submitted in supporting an application for a Coast Guard issued credential.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Science Technicians

  1. Iowa
  2. Kansas
  3. Wyoming
  4. New Jersey
  5. Arkansas
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Minnesota
  8. New Mexico
  9. Texas
  10. Utah
  • (201 jobs)
  • (99 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (292 jobs)
  • (77 jobs)
  • (403 jobs)
  • (240 jobs)
  • (88 jobs)
  • (768 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)

Science Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

55.5%

Female

36.4%

Unknown

8.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

9.3%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.4%

French

10.4%

Chinese

7.8%

Mandarin

6.5%

German

5.2%

Portuguese

3.9%

Cantonese

3.9%

Swedish

1.3%

Indonesian

1.3%

Dutch

1.3%

Javanese

1.3%

Persian

1.3%

Hebrew

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Carrier

1.3%

Hausa

1.3%
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Science Technician Education

Schools

Old Dominion University

8.0%

University of Phoenix

7.4%

Northeastern University

6.9%

University of New Mexico

6.9%

University of Washington

6.3%

Columbia Southern University

5.7%

Pennsylvania State University

5.7%

Metropolitan State University of Denver

5.7%

Colorado State University

5.1%

Ohio State University

4.6%

Western Washington University

4.0%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Humboldt State University

4.0%

Texas A&M University

4.0%

University of Connecticut

4.0%

American University

4.0%

University of South Florida

3.4%

University of California - Riverside

3.4%

George Washington University

3.4%

Kansas State University

3.4%
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Majors

Biology

14.7%

Environmental Science

12.2%

Geology

10.9%

Business

9.1%

Chemistry

8.7%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

5.1%

Computer Science

4.2%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Geography

3.7%

Psychology

3.0%

Physics

3.0%

Mechanical Engineering

2.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.9%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Education

2.4%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

2.2%

Nursing

2.1%

Management

2.1%

Chemical Engineering

2.1%

Information Technology

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.2%

Masters

24.2%

Other

13.7%

Associate

7.2%

Doctorate

4.8%

Certificate

3.4%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.2%
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Expected Rewards for a Forensic science technician career

Forensic Science Technicians Job Description

CAREERS IN BIOLOGY SCIENCE – B.Sc,M.Sc,Science technician, Research,Job Opportunities,Salary Package

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Updated May 19, 2020