Lab Technician Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Lab Technician, or Laboratory Technician, performs routine technical tasks and experiments in laboratories to support scientific investigations. Their duties include setting up laboratories for scientific research, conducting lab-based experiments and recording and analysing results.

 

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Lab Technician duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of Lab Technicians include:

  • Performing routine laboratory functions to support scientific experiments and investigations
  • Setting up, testing, adjusting, calibrating and maintaining laboratory equipment and apparatus such as titrators, pH meters and centrifuges
  • Recording, analysing and writing reports, reviews and summaries on the findings of experiments and trials
  • Collecting and preparing samples, solutions, cultures and specimens and ensuring safe disposals of waste
  • Enforcing strict health and safety regulations
  • Staying up to date with relevant scientific developments that can improve the efficiency of lab operations

 

What does a Lab Technician do?

Lab Technicians collect samples, study and conduct tests on biological specimens, chemical compounds or other specimens for scientific study. They use a range of machinery, complex computer programs and laboratory equipment to perform their tests. They also record their findings for study or scrutiny by Physicians and Doctors. 

Lab Technicians work in a range of settings, such as laboratories, offices, construction sites and industrial plants. Depending on the setting, they can work a variety of hours. Most Lab Technicians work full-time during regular business hours. Some Lab Technicians may need to work occasional nights and weekends when performing a timed experiment.

 

Lab Technician skills and qualifications

A successful Lab Technician candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform job duties effectively. Some of these skills include:

  • Proficiency in calibrating and maintaining technical laboratory equipment
  • The ability to learn and follow specific scientific techniques
  • Ability to use technical equipment with maximum accuracy and efficiency
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Outstanding attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently 
  • Strong time management skills
  • Interpersonal skills

 

Lab Technician experience requirements

Lab Technicians must have a solid foundation in science subjects such as biology, physics and chemistry. Previous experience as a Lab Assistant can be beneficial for a Junior Lab Tech position. Many employers require candidates to have a category 2 lab experience and up to two years of experience in a laboratory environment. 

Other requirements depend on the role. Medical Lab Technician roles typically require a Degree in Microbiology, Biochemistry or other relevant fields. They must also have a deep understanding of molecular biology, including experience in a technical role. Senior Lab Technicians require over five years of experience, with knowledge of complex technical analysis and biological sequencing library and other role-relevant skills.

 

Lab Technician education and training requirements

Lab Technicians must have a university degree, apprenticeship or school leaving certificates. Employers who are looking to fill research roles require candidates to have a degree or higher national diploma. 

Research roles often require candidates to have a degree or Higher National Diploma in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Forensic Science or any relevant science discipline. Candidates who have completed an advanced apprenticeship in a Lab Technician role can also qualify for positions, although they need to get a degree to apply for more senior roles. 

Employers can hire school leavers applying to an entry role or apprenticeship if they have credentials like a Certificate in Laboratory Skills, Registered Science Technician Award or Chartered Scientist designation. 

 

Lab Technician salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Lab Technician is £20,831 per year. However, actual pay depends on factors such as industry, experience, location and the employer.

 

Job description samples for similar positions

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Lab Technician job description FAQs

 

What should you look for in a Lab Technician CV?

One of the most important things to look for in a Lab Technician’s CV is the ability to work independently and as part of a team. The ideal candidate must have a good understanding of health and safety regulations.  They must also be able to follow standard laboratory operating procedures to prevent hazards. The CV should also reflect their commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

 

How can you make your Lab Technician job description stand out?

To make your Lab Technician job description captivating, start with a powerful summary. Outline the day-to -day activities of the role and mention the exact job title. It’s important to use clear language to avoid confusing applicants. Include a list of hard and soft skills required and state specific start and end dates for applications to create a sense of urgency.

 

Who reports to a Lab Technician?

A Lab Assistant reports to a Lab Technician. This is because Lab Technicians have more educational training and responsibilities than Lab Assistants.

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