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Become A Science Technician

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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
  • $70,160

    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 Jobs

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Science Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

59.4%

Female

38.8%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

8.9%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.1%

French

12.7%

Chinese

7.3%

German

7.3%

Portuguese

3.6%

Mandarin

3.6%

Indonesian

1.8%

Dutch

1.8%

Hebrew

1.8%

Javanese

1.8%

Persian

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Cantonese

1.8%

Carrier

1.8%

Hausa

1.8%
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Science Technician Education

Schools

Old Dominion University

9.4%

Columbia Southern University

7.2%

Northeastern University

6.5%

University of New Mexico

6.5%

Pennsylvania State University

5.8%

University of Washington

5.8%

Metropolitan State University of Denver

5.8%

University of Phoenix

5.8%

Humboldt State University

5.0%

Colorado State University

5.0%

Thomas Edison State University

4.3%

Western Washington University

4.3%

Kansas State University

3.6%

Texas State University

3.6%

Texas A&M University

3.6%

University of Utah

3.6%

George Mason University

3.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.6%

Boston University

3.6%

American University

3.6%
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Majors

Biology

13.4%

Environmental Science

12.0%

Geology

11.5%

Chemistry

9.2%

Business

8.7%

Geography

4.9%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

4.7%

Criminal Justice

4.7%

Computer Science

3.5%

Electrical Engineering

2.8%

Management

2.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.8%

Physics

2.8%

Education

2.6%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

2.6%

Psychology

2.6%

Nursing

2.4%

Public Health

2.1%

General Studies

1.9%

Zoology

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.2%

Masters

25.9%

Other

14.7%

Associate

6.4%

Doctorate

4.5%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.2%
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Internship
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Real Science Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Advisor-Bioscience Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Austin, TX Aug 08, 2011 $135,655
Technical Advisor-Bioscience Fulbright & Jaworski LLP Austin, TX Jun 01, 2014 $105,853
Technical Advisor-Bioscience Fulbright & Jaworski LLP Austin, TX Jun 06, 2014 $105,853
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 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 Forensic Analytical Sciences, Inc. Hayward, CA Mar 08, 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
Technical Advisor-Bioscience Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Austin, TX May 10, 2013 $73,045
Technical Advisor-Bioscience Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Austin, TX Sep 02, 2010 $70,000
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 26, 2013 $60,000
Life Science Technician III The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. Stanford, CA Dec 01, 2009 $58,282
Life Science Technician III The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. Palo Alto, CA Nov 01, 2009 $58,282
Forensic Science Technician Forensic Analytical Sciences, Inc. Hayward, CA Sep 19, 2014 $53,156
Criminalist-Forensic Science Technicians State of South Dakota Pierre, SD Aug 26, 2011 $52,721
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

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Top Skills for A Science Technician

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  1. Laboratory Equipment
  2. Safety
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained, calibrated and performed minor repairs of all general laboratory equipment throughout department.
  • Provided radiation safety support for Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Oncology and other areas that use radioactive materials and/or radiation-producing devices.
  • Developed, authored and published laboratory operations manuals to include the laboratory procedures, practices, and quality improvement program.
  • Supervised 10 Petty Officers in the techniques of conducting pollution response investigations, facility inspections and freight container inspections.
  • Reconciled contradictions, conflicts and inconsistencies in documentation submitted in supporting an application for a Coast Guard issued credential.

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Top 10 Best States for Science Technicians

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Connecticut
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Minnesota
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Illinois
  7. Iowa
  8. Georgia
  9. New Hampshire
  10. New Jersey
  • (403 jobs)
  • (130 jobs)
  • (498 jobs)
  • (240 jobs)
  • (220 jobs)
  • (388 jobs)
  • (201 jobs)
  • (338 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (292 jobs)

Top Science Technician Employers

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Jobs From Top Science Technician Employers

Science Technician Videos

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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