Biological Technician

What Does a Biological Technician Do?
Biological technicians perform many duties that add to the understanding of living organisms. They assist biologists in studying organisms, conducting medical research and performing experiments. Some biological technicians specialize in certain areas of science, such as microbiology or biotechnology. Many times, a biological technician will serve as a lab assistant, analyzing organisms and applying his or her knowledge of science toward research and product development. Technicians do a great deal of behind-the-scenes work for scientists, mixing chemicals, preparing equipment for experiments, making observations and recording data. Technicians often keep detailed logs of their observations and any work-related information, which is commonly used in lab write-ups and published works. Biological technicians use computers and high-tech equipment, such as robotics and industrial machines, to perform the many steps of their experiment. Once they are finished using equipment and lab supplies, they are in charge of cleaning up their work areas and properly disposing of any hazardous materials.

What Is the Employment and Salary Outlook for a Biological Technician?
The employment outlook for biological technicians is expected to be favorable between 2008 and 2018, with a job rate increase of 18 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thanks to the growing number of agricultural and medical products from biotechnology research, technicians should see a higher demand for their services in the biotechnology field. In addition, population and life-expectancy rates have caused a greater need for advanced and improved drugs, therefore requiring more biological technicians. The largest growth in employment of technicians will take place in professional, scientific and educational settings. The salary outlook for biological technicians depends on many factors, such as employer, industry and science field. Depending on the service or employer, biological technicians’ salaries may be determined by funding or grants for experiments. According to the Bureau, biological technicians made an average salary of $38,400 in 2008. The highest levels of employment were in scientific research and development services, as well as in colleges, universities and professional schools. For a more complete breakdown of biological technicians’ wage estimates and industry profiles, check out the Bureau’s Occupational Employment Statistics.

How Can I Become a Biological Technician?
In order to become a biological technician, you will need to complete the necessary steps to enter this highly-technical field. First, you must obtain an associate degree or other postsecondary training in applied or biological science. This educational track will provide basic teachings of science, math and laboratory techniques that are used in today’s science fields. In addition, you will gain hands-on experience working with lab equipment and performing complex experiments that can be applied to professional work. Much of the technical training and learned skills will prepare you to work in biotechnology, where your technology and science knowledge are combined. For a thorough list of biotechnology and biological technician careers, visit Bio-Link.