How to Hire a Lab Technician

Does your growing business need a lab technician? A lab technician performs different laboratory procedures by collecting, maintaining and analyzing samples in a medical or research office.

Here are tips to help you find great lab technician candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Lab technicians searching for jobs on Indeed*

517,808

Job seekers that clicked on lab technician jobs

70,357

Resumes for job seekers with lab technician experience on Indeed

19,382

Lab technician jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring lab technician?

  • Common salary in US: $19.18 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$42.00 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, lab technician jobs in the U.S. are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 27 job seekers per lab technician job.

Why hire a lab technician?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great lab technician hire can help your business:

• Receive laboratory samples and label them accurately to perform analysis
• Perform critical lab experiments by applying different analogies and hypotheses using advanced scientific procedures
• Ensure strict adherence to all key safety guidelines while dealing with hazardous substances in the laboratory

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance lab technician

Although lab technicians are typically hired in a full-time capacity by laboratories and health care facilities, there are some freelance lab technicians available. Employers who are facing a sudden upsurge in lab requests and can’t find full-time employees may hire freelancers to pick up the slack until they can make a full-time hire. Freelancers are also already trained in the field, making them convenient in a pinch.

Freelancers are generally more expensive per hour than full-time workers, however. So while they can be a temporary solution to increased workloads, full-time employees should be hired if the workload stays consistent. 

What are the types of lab technicians?

There are many types of lab technicians who focus on different aspects of the job. These positions include:

  • Medical technologistsMedical technologists are responsible for performing tests on samples and specimens for patients. They then deliver these results to the patients’ doctors to help them make a diagnosis. 
  • Medical laboratory technician: A medical lab tech works under the supervision of a medical technologist. The technician helps the technologist complete testing for patient specimens.
  • Histotechnician: Histotechnicians specialize in detecting cancer in patients. They also prepare thin slices of human tissue to be examined by a pathologist.
  • Cytotechnologist: Cytotechnologists examine human cells underneath microscopes to locate signs of illness. If abnormal cells are located, the cytotechnologist works directly with a pathologist to reach a diagnosis. 
  • Phlebotomy technician: Phlebotomy technicians often work directly with patients. They’re responsible for drawing blood samples for lab technicians to test. 

Where to find lab technicians

To find the right lab technician for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting techniques:

  • Post help wanted notices. Posting help wanted signs about the position around the community can generate interest in the job and lead to interviews with quality candidates. 
  • Maintain relationships with other health care facilities. Building avenues of communication with other hospitals or clinics can help find potential applicants for the open laboratory technician position.
  • Promote from within. There may be quality candidates on your staff who already have the necessary requirements to be a laboratory technician. Conduct interviews with these applicants to see if any work well in the environment. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your lab technician job on Indeed to find and attract quality lab technician candidates.

What are the types of lab technicians?

There are many types of lab technicians who focus on different aspects of the job. These positions include:

  • Medical technologistsMedical technologists are responsible for performing tests on samples and specimens for patients. They then deliver these results to the patients’ doctors to help them make a diagnosis. 
  • Medical laboratory technician: A medical lab tech works under the supervision of a medical technologist. The technician helps the technologist complete testing for patient specimens.
  • Histotechnician: Histotechnicians specialize in detecting cancer in patients. They also prepare thin slices of human tissue to be examined by a pathologist.
  • Cytotechnologist: Cytotechnologists examine human cells underneath microscopes to locate signs of illness. If abnormal cells are located, the cytotechnologist works directly with a pathologist to reach a diagnosis. 
  • Phlebotomy technician: Phlebotomy technicians often work directly with patients. They’re responsible for drawing blood samples for lab technicians to test. 

Writing a lab technician job description

A lab technician job description should consist of defined job duties with clear role summaries as well as the required experience and skills.

When writing your lab technician job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on lab technician jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Lab technician
  • Laboratory
  • Laboratory technician
  • Lab assistant
  • Lab
  • Research assistant
  • Science
  • Phlebotomist
  • Medical laboratory technician
  • Biology

Interviewing lab technician candidates

To hire a skilled lab technician, it’s important to test a candidate’s experience and knowledge by asking relevant questions regarding:

• Experience in handling complex lab equipment
• Different ways to handle hazardous substances
• How they ensured smooth functioning of the lab in which they performed job duties and adhered to legal regulations

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of lab technician interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a lab technician

What is an alternative to hiring a lab technician?

If you have a lab technologist and a small workload, the lab technologist may be able to handle most of the work independently. However, in larger facilities, it’s recommended to have enough employees to keep up with the work in an organized manner. 

What does a lab technician wear?

Lab technicians typically wear professional clothing underneath a lab coat or a pair of scrubs. They also wear all the required safety equipment for whatever tasks they’re performing, such as gloves and safety goggles. 

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