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Become A Senior Laboratory Technician

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Working As A Senior Laboratory Technician

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • $45,074

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Laboratory 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 Senior Laboratory 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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Senior Laboratory Technician Jobs

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Senior Laboratory Technician Career Paths

Senior Laboratory Technician
Research Associate Instructor Assistant Director
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Research Specialist Senior Scientist Senior Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Research Specialist Scientist Project Manager
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Analytical Chemist Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
10 Yearsyrs
Chemist Laboratory Supervisor
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Technologist Systems Engineer Engineering Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Associate Scientist Senior Scientist Group Leader
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Supervisor Laboratory Manager Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Supervisor Operations Manager Business Analyst
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Technologist Inspector Quality Assurance Manager
Regulatory Affairs Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Associate Scientist Scientist Senior Scientist
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Scientist Project Manager Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Chemist Analytical Chemist
Senior Chemist
7 Yearsyrs
Scientist Research Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Research Associate Research Scientist
Senior Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Manager Project Manager General Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Analytical Chemist Quality Control Forklift Operator
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Laboratory Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Employers Before
Internship 3.9%
Technician 3.3%
Chemist 2.5%
Researcher 1.7%
Top Employers After
Scientist 7.2%
Chemist 5.7%
Technician 4.1%
Supervisor 3.0%
Consultant 2.6%

Do you work as a Senior Laboratory Technician?

Senior Laboratory Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

56.3%

Female

40.2%

Unknown

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

60.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

11.1%

Unknown

4.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.6%

French

11.4%

Russian

4.8%

Hindi

3.8%

Chinese

3.8%

Mandarin

2.9%

Italian

2.9%

Portuguese

2.9%

German

2.9%

Polish

2.9%

Swedish

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Ukrainian

1.9%

Japanese

1.9%

Kannada

1.9%

Sami

1.0%

Lithuanian

1.0%

Telugu

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Gujarati

1.0%
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Senior Laboratory Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.2%

Johns Hopkins University

11.9%

University of Florida

6.6%

Pennsylvania State University

6.3%

Northeastern University

5.3%

University of Kentucky

5.0%

University of Memphis

5.0%

University of Delaware

4.3%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.0%

Boston University

4.0%

George Washington University

3.6%

Kean University

3.6%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.6%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

3.6%

Drexel University

3.6%

Middlesex County College

3.6%

Iowa State University

3.6%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.6%

Ohio State University

3.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.3%
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Majors

Biology

24.5%

Chemistry

16.0%

Business

9.4%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

6.4%

Electrical Engineering

4.4%

Biotechnology

3.8%

Microbiology

3.7%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

3.4%

Environmental Science

3.1%

Chemical Engineering

2.9%

Medical Technician

2.9%

Management

2.4%

Pharmacy

2.4%

Health Care Administration

2.3%

Computer Science

2.2%

Public Health

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering

2.1%

Psychology

2.0%

Chemical Technology

1.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.9%

Masters

22.4%

Other

18.6%

Associate

10.0%

Doctorate

5.2%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

0.9%

License

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

Real Senior Laboratory Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior IVF Laboratory Technician Integramed America San Ramon, CA Apr 22, 2016 $100,000
Senior IVF Laboratory Technician Integramed America, Inc. San Ramon, CA Nov 19, 2015 $100,000
Senior Research Technologist III Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN Jul 17, 2013 $76,336
Senior Research Technologist Fresh Express, Inc. Salinas, CA Sep 12, 2015 $69,638
Senior Research Technician New York University School of Medicine New York, NY Jan 07, 2016 $67,600
Senior Research Technologist Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN Sep 02, 2014 $66,560
SR. Lab Technician Sinclair Services Company Sinclair, WY Sep 08, 2015 $66,165
Senior Research Technologist General Hospital Corporation Cambridge, MA Dec 12, 2016 $66,000
Senior Research Technologist Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN Aug 01, 2014 $65,280
Senior Research Technician New York University School of Medicine New York, NY Mar 01, 2015 $65,000
Senior Research Technician New York University School of Medicine New York, NY Aug 03, 2015 $62,000
SR. Research Technologist Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN Sep 26, 2015 $61,609
Senior Laboratory Service Technician Texas State University San Marcos, TX Apr 30, 2016 $61,356
Senior Research Technician New York University School of Medicine New York, NY Nov 01, 2015 $60,000
Senior Research Technician New York University School of Medicine New York, NY Jul 25, 2016 $49,500
Senior Research Technician New York University School of Medicine New York, NY Feb 01, 2013 $49,440
Senior Research Technician Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY Dec 16, 2016 $49,440
Senior Research Technician Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY May 31, 2016 $49,440
Senior Research Technician Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY Aug 01, 2014 $49,373
Senior Research Technician Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY Mar 10, 2014 $49,023
Senior Research Technician Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY Sep 23, 2013 $49,000
Senior Research Technician Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY Jan 02, 2016 $48,955
Senior Research Technologist St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Memphis, TN Aug 01, 2015 $44,491 -
$68,963
Senior Research Technologist St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Memphis, TN Jan 29, 2016 $44,491 -
$68,963
SR. Research Technologist St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Memphis, TN Nov 30, 2015 $44,491 -
$68,963
SR. Research Technician Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Boston, MA Jan 10, 2013 $43,992
SR. Research Technologist St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Memphis, TN Oct 06, 2014 $43,619 -
$67,611
SR. Research Technologist St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Memphis, TN Mar 23, 2015 $43,619 -
$67,611
Senior Research Technician The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA Jul 08, 2013 $43,500

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Top Skills for A Senior Laboratory Technician

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  1. Lab
  2. Cell Culture
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide technical assistance to faculty and students for seminars and in laboratory situations using specialized knowledge of specific equipment.
  • Performed Cell culture: Mammalian cells (HepG2, Cos HEK293 & CHO), Bacterial culturing, Yeast culturing.
  • Ensured laboratory was in compliance with Environmental Health and Radiation Safety and Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine guidelines.
  • Prepare and multimedia environmental samples for inorganic metals concentrations using standards methods and laboratory instrumentation.
  • Performed wet chemical analysis on plating tanks ensuring chemical concentrations remained at ideal levels for production.

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