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Biological Technician: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a biological technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job description, duties and employment prospects to find out if this is the career for you.

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A biological technician mainly provides technical assistance to biologists. A biological technician should have a bachelor's degree in a biology-related field, and training is provided on the job.

Essential Information

Biological technicians help scientists in experiments dealing mainly with living organisms, including setting up and maintaining equipment. A bachelor's degree is often needed for entry into the field. Previous laboratory or work experience is beneficial as well.

Required Education A bachelor's degree in biology or a related discipline
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5%
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $41,650

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Biological Technician Job Description

Science technicians use ideologies related to both science and math to help in the research, development and improvement of various scientific processes. They use the knowledge from basic research and apply it, along with techniques, to their experiments. Many focus on the medical field helping to develop cures for diseases or study organic substances like food, blood, drugs.

Job Duties for Biological Technicians

In assisting biologists, biological technicians typically assemble, maintain and operate the lab equipment. Technicians may also assist other scientists in observing experiments and calculating and recording results from those experiments. Some technicians help scientists with researching cures for AIDS or cancer.

They may be asked to troubleshoot equipment problems, examine laboratory animals and clean laboratory supplies. Under general supervision, biological technicians may collect samples for research and prepare specimens. Depending on their employer, biological technicians may assist in developing and manufacturing medications.

Career Prospects and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that job openings for biological technicians should increase approximately 5% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This increase in employment is largely due to the new developments in biotechnology and the competition between pharmaceutical companies to develop new and improved medicines. Per the BLS, the median hourly wage for biological technicians was $20.02 in 2015.

Education Requirements for Technicians

The BLS states that future biological technicians should take many high school math and science courses, specifically in chemistry and biology. To secure employment, biological technicians should have a 4-year bachelor's degree in biology, science, life sciences, biological technology or a related major. In addition to a degree, technicians learn most of their functions on-the-job from biologists or other laboratory staff members. Computer coursework may be beneficial to biological technicians because their position uses computer and other high-tech equipment in science laboratories.

Biological technicians must earn an appropriate bachelor's degree and gain hands-on experience through lab work. In the laboratory, they help the biologists with their research, in addition to managing equipment. Job growth is about average, projected to move at a 5% increase through 2024.

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