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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
  • $49,260

    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 Career Paths

Science Technician
Instructor Program Manager Business Developer
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Scientist Senior Scientist Program Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Science Teacher Special Education Teacher Program Manager
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Research Scientist Data Analyst Clinical Data Manager
Clinical Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Professor Research Associate Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Research Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Scientist Research Scientist Project Manager
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Research Technician Research Scientist Assistant Professor
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Research Associate Instructor Program Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Instructor Assistant Director Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Science Teacher Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Research Technician Laboratory Manager Project Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Researcher Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Researcher Instructor Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Chemist Laboratory Manager
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Chemist Quality Control Quality Assurance
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Senior Software Engineer Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Research Associate Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Assistant Professor Program Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Science Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

57.7%

Female

39.3%

Unknown

3.0%
Ethnicity

White

74.0%

Asian

11.4%

Hispanic or Latino

10.7%

Unknown

3.1%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.4%

French

11.7%

Chinese

10.9%

German

4.7%

Mandarin

3.9%

Portuguese

3.9%

Arabic

3.9%

Italian

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%

Russian

2.3%

Korean

1.6%

Cantonese

1.6%

Greek

1.6%

Persian

1.6%

Dutch

0.8%

Indonesian

0.8%

Hawaiian

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Carrier

0.8%

Javanese

0.8%
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Science Technician Education

Schools

Old Dominion University

8.2%

Columbia Southern University

6.0%

University of Washington

6.0%

University of Phoenix

6.0%

Northeastern University

6.0%

University of New Mexico

6.0%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

5.4%

Pennsylvania State University

4.9%

Metropolitan State University of Denver

4.9%

Boston University

4.9%

Colorado State University

4.9%

George Washington University

4.3%

University of Southern California

4.3%

West Virginia University

4.3%

University of Utah

4.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.3%

North Carolina State University

3.8%

Ohio State University

3.8%

Humboldt State University

3.8%

Texas A&M University

3.8%
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Majors

Biology

11.8%

Chemistry

11.8%

Business

10.4%

Environmental Science

8.7%

Geology

8.3%

Computer Science

5.0%

Chemical Engineering

4.7%

Electrical Engineering

3.8%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

3.8%

Physics

3.8%

Geography

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.5%

Education

3.2%

Management

3.0%

Information Technology

2.7%

Nursing

2.6%

Finance

2.6%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

2.4%

Educational Leadership

2.3%

Psychology

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.5%

Masters

28.8%

Doctorate

13.2%

Other

12.4%

Associate

4.9%

Certificate

3.5%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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 May 06, 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 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
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
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
Life Science Technician III The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. Stanford, CA Dec 01, 2009 $58,282
Geological Data Science Technician Wave Imaging Technology, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $52,520
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Jul 09, 2008 $52,000
Forensic Science Technician Sensei Enterprises, Inc. Fairfax, VA Oct 01, 2011 $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

LaboratoryEquipmentSafetyProceduresFacilityInspectionsEnsureComplianceHazardousMaterialsCoastGuardDataEntryForeignVesselsPolicyAnalyticalChemistryEmergencyMathematicsClearanceDataCollectionSectorFinancialFederalRegulationsResearchProjects

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Top Science Technician Skills

  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.
  • Worked closely with industry to ensure improvements in regulatory compliance regarding safety, environmental, and security standards.
  • Developed, authored and published laboratory operations manuals to include the laboratory procedures, practices, and quality improvement program.
  • Conduct commercial waterfront facility inspections to ensure compliance of federal safety and security regulations.
  • Conducted waterfront facility inspections to ensure compliance with federal regulations.

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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