Laboratory Technician Job Description
Laboratory Technicians deliver laboratory services by collecting samples, performing testing, documenting and communicating results, and operating and maintaining laboratory equipment.
A Laboratory Technician usually works in clinical or medical facilities. They’re most often employed by hospitals and laboratories, although they also work for physicians’ offices and universities. The job market for Clinical and Medical Laboratory Technicians is expected to grow by 16 percent over the next ten years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much faster than average.
Laboratory Technician Duties and Responsibilities
In order to maintain lab operations, a Laboratory Technician performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Laboratory Technician in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.
The Laboratory Technician is responsible for maintaining the laboratory equipment and hardware, making sure it is properly cared for, performing maintenance and repairs, and replacing equipment when necessary. They also set up equipment and tools for testing, which includes calibrating equipment and instruments and testing them to make sure they’re functioning properly. Laboratory Technicians maintain inventory levels and appropriately organize and label all supplies and equipment, as well.
A Laboratory Technician performs regular tests in accordance with scientific procedures and company policies. They often gather and test samples, generate data, identify and process specimens, and record all findings and results.
Laboratory Technicians prepare and organize all data and findings, inputting all data in necessary files and systems and creating documents and presentations to communicate results with other staff members.
Train and Supervise Laboratory Staff
When new employees are hired, a senior Laboratory Technician coordinates their training and ensures that they obtain adequate knowledge regarding testing procedures and laboratory protocol. They then continue to mentor these employees, helping them eventually become independent laboratory technicians themselves.
Laboratory Technician Skills
Laboratory Technicians are detail-oriented multitaskers who are able to work in a fast-paced environment. The must be skilled at communicating verbally and through writing, as well. In addition to these general traits, employers are looking for Laboratory Technicians with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Laboratory Technicians with these core skills. If you want to work as a Laboratory Technician, focus on the following. Go getter enthusiastic ambitious
- Having an Associate’s degree in a technical field
- Being able to operate laboratory equipment
- Industry-specific knowledge
- Being proficient in Microsoft Office
- Showing basic knowledge of laboratory procedures
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Laboratory Technician toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Bachelor’s degree in relevant field
- Previous experience testing specific substances
- Laboratory experience
Laboratory Technician Resources
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Laboratory Technician. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
Lab Medicine – A blog for medical laboratory professionals
World of Biochemistry – A blog about Biochemistry
The Bio Blog – A blog about medicine, molecular, and cell biology
ASBMB – American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Scientists – Association for lab scientists
American Institute of Biological Sciences – Organization for all biological sciences
Essentials of Clinical Laboratory Science – An introductory textbook to lab science
Principles of Biochemistry – An introductory textbook
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Genetics – An intermediate textbook
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