Science, Technology & Environment

Laboratory Technician

Laboratory technicians carry out a variety of laboratory tests and investigations in chemical, physical, materials and biological sciences.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Laboratory Technician do?

Laboratory technicians carry out a variety of laboratory tests and investigations in chemical, physical, materials and biological sciences.

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Work activities

As a laboratory technician, you might:

  • set up and performing laboratory tests or experiments
  • prepare specimens and samples
  • follow strict methodologies when carrying out tests or experiments
  • produce reliable and precise data to support scientific investigations
  • record, analyse and present data
  • operate, clean and maintain a range of laboratory equipment
  • order and control laboratory supplies and stock
  • keep up to date with technical developments in your area of work
  • adhere to correct procedures and health and safety guidelines.
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Key skills and interests

To become a laboratory technician, you would need:

  • to enjoy practical scientific activities
  • good technical skills
  • an awareness of health and safety issues
  • an enquiring and analytical mind
  • attention to detail, even when repeating the same work tasks
  • patience and accuracy.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

In a full-time role, you would normally work standard hours, Monday to Friday. You may need to work out-of-hours if you are doing experiments which need to be monitored regularly.

Conditions

You might work in the field, in a laboratory, or in a production or factory environment. You would be handling chemicals and materials which may be dangerous or hazardous. You would wear protective clothing. You might need to travel to carry out field work or collect samples for analysis.

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How to become an Laboratory Technician?

Entry Level Education

To become a laboratory technician you usually have to complete a VET qualification in laboratory skills, laboratory techniques or laboratory technology.

You could also complete a degree in science, biomedical science, or biotechnology. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, maths, physics and chemistry would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of laboratory technicians is projected to grow much slower than the average for all occupations.

Many laboratory technicians are employed in manufacturing industries that are projected to decline, especially as manufacturing of all types, including textiles, food, chemicals and petrochemicals, is moved offshore.

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