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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

Agricultural and food science technicians assist agricultural and food scientists by performing duties such as measuring and analyzing the quality of food and agricultural products. Duties range from typical agricultural labor with added recordkeeping duties to laboratory testing with significant amounts of office work, depending on the particular field the technician works in.

Duties

Specific duties of these technicians vary with their specialty.

Agricultural science technicians typically do the following:

  • Follow protocols to collect, prepare, analyze, and properly store crop or animal samples
  • Operate farm equipment and maintain agricultural production areas to conform to scientific testing parameters
  • Examine animal and crop specimens to determine the presence of diseases or other problems
  • Measure ingredients used in animal feed and other inputs
  • Prepare and operate laboratory testing equipment
  • Compile and analyze test results
  • Prepare charts, presentations, and reports describing test results

Food science technicians typically do the following:

  • Collect and prepare samples in accordance with established procedures
  • Test food, food additives, and food containers to ensure that they comply with established safety standards
  • Help food scientists with food research, development, and quality control
  • Analyze chemical properties of food to determine ingredients and formulas
  • Compile and analyze test results
  • Prepare charts, presentations, and reports describing test results
  • Prepare and maintain quantities of chemicals needed to perform laboratory tests
  • Maintain a safe, sterile laboratory environment

Agricultural and food science technicians often specialize by subject area. Some popular subjects are animal health, farm machinery, fertilizers, agricultural chemicals, and processing technology. Duties can vary considerably with the specialization, because work settings may vary.

Agricultural science technicians who work in private industry typically focus on increasing the productivity of crops and animals. These workers may keep detailed records, collect samples for analyses, ensure that samples meet proper safety and quality standards, and test crops and animals for disease or to otherwise confirm the results of scientific experiments.

Food science technicians who work in private industry typically evaluate food and crops while investigating new production or processing techniques. They also ensure that products will be fit for distribution or are produced as efficiently as expected. Many food science technicians spend time inspecting foodstuffs, chemicals, and additives to determine whether they are safe and have the proper combination of ingredients.

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How To Become A Science Technician

Agricultural and food science technicians typically need an associate’s degree in biology, chemistry, crop or animal science, or a related field. Many positions require a bachelor’s degree. For those positions requiring only a high school diploma, technicians typically need to have previous work experience. Technicians often receive on-the-job training that may cover topics such as production techniques, personal hygiene, and sanitation procedures.

Education

Students interested in this occupation should take as many high school science and math classes as possible. A solid background in applied chemistry, biology, physics, math, and statistics is important. Knowledge of how to use spreadsheets and databases also may be necessary.

Agricultural and food science technicians typically need an associate’s degree in biology, chemistry, crop or animal science, or a related field from an accredited college or university. Many agricultural and food science technician positions require a bachelor’s degree. While in college, prospective technicians learn through a combination of technical instruction and hands-on experiences, such as internships.

Some agricultural and food science technicians successfully enter the occupation with a high school diploma but typically need related work experience and on-the-job training that may last a year or more. 

A background in the biological or chemical sciences is important for most agricultural and food science technicians. Students may find it helpful to take courses in biology, chemistry, plant or animal science, and agricultural engineering as part of their programs. Many schools offer internships, cooperative-education, and other programs designed to provide hands-on experience and enhance employment prospects.

Training

Agricultural and food science technicians typically undergo on-the-job training. Various federal government regulations outline the types of training needed for technicians, which varies according to the work environment and specific job requirements. Training may cover topics such as production techniques, personal hygiene, and sanitation procedures.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Agricultural and food science technicians must conduct a variety of observations and on-site measurements, all of which require precision and accuracy.

Communication skills. Agricultural and food science technicians must be able to understand and give clear instructions, keep detailed records, and, occasionally, write reports.

Critical-thinking skills. Agricultural and food science technicians reach conclusions through sound reasoning and judgment. They determine how to improve food quality and must test products for a variety of safety standards.

Interpersonal skills. Agricultural and food science technicians need to work well with others. They may supervise agricultural and food science workers and receive instruction from scientists or specialists, so effective communication is critical.

Physical stamina. Agricultural and food science technicians who work in manufacturing or agricultural settings may need to stand for long periods, lift objects, and generally perform physical labor.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Workers who enter the occupation with only a high school diploma often must have years of experience in a related occupation during which they develop their knowledge of agriculture or manufacturing processes. For more information, see the profiles on food and tobacco processing workers and agricultural workers.

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Science Technician jobs

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Real Science Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Global Director Science &Technology Brown-Forman Corporation Louisville, KY Sep 01, 2013 $185,000
Science and Technology Administrator University of Notre Dame Du Lac Notre Dame, IN May 15, 2013 $100,000
Prin. Tech. Professional-Geo-Science Applications Landmark Graphics Corporation Houston, TX Oct 01, 2010 $98,325
Director of Science and Technology Global Adaptation Institute Washington, DC Jun 27, 2011 $88,500
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 Forensic Analytical Sciences, Inc. Hayward, CA Mar 01, 2011 $87,000 -
$90,000
Materials Sciences Technical Staff Member Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN Sep 14, 2015 $86,400
CII Manager, Global Science and Technology Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Chicago, IL Dec 16, 2013 $85,842 -
$103,000
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 Researcher Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN Sep 22, 2014 $65,040
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
Program Officer, Global Innovation In Science and Technology Venturewell Hadley, MA Aug 02, 2016 $55,806 -
$70,000
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
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

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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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