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Biological Technician Career

Career Description

Biological Technicians assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, make observations, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood,  food, and drugs.

Common Work Tasks

  • Work with biologists studying living organisms
  • Assist scientists who conduct medical research
  • Help develop and manufacture medicine
  • Work as laboratory assistants, studying living organisms and infectious agents
  • Analyze organic substances, such as blood, food,  and drugs
  • Apply knowledge and techniques gained from basic research, including gene splicing and recombinant DNA, and apply them to product development
  • Analyze, record, and compile test results and order supplies to maintain laboratory inventory
  • Keep detailed logs of all work-related activities

Other Job Titles

Biological Technicians are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Science Technicians
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Food Scientists
  • Animal Scientists

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
 
There are several ways to qualify for a job as a science technician.  Many employers prefer applicants who have at least 2 years of specialized training or an associate degree in applied science or science-related technology. Because employers’ preferences vary, however, some science technicians have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or forensic science or have completed several science and math courses at a 4-year college.

Experience
     
Good communications skills are important for prospective biological technicians in industry, who often need to explain technical matters to persons without statistical expertise. An understanding of business and the economy also is valuable for those who plan to work in private industry.

Salary

The median annual salary of a Biological Technician is $37,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $60,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $24,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of biological technicians are:

  • Scientific Research and Development Services - $43,900
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $39,430
  • Federal Executive Branch - $35,640
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing- $42,530
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services - $37,710

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  16%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 13,000
  • Employment 2006 : 79,000
  • Employment 2016:  91,000
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