Biological technicians may be involved in projects from groundbreaking research to cure a devastating disease to sequencing DNA evidence that can help solve a criminal case. These technicians assist biological and medical scientists. They're found in biotechnology companies and at medical and research facilities. They may work for the government or for private firms that make food products or pharmaceuticals. They set up, operate, and maintain laboratory equipment used in experiments and production. This increasingly includes working with robots, computer-interfaced tools, and electronic devices. The work usually involves living organisms or organic matter such as food, blood, or infectious substances. Biological technicians often need to wear protective gear while handling and analyzing specimens. They monitor experiments and keep careful records that they later use to write detailed reports. Technicians often work in teams or under the close supervision of a more experienced scientist. Most technicians have a bachelor’s degree, although some entry level positions require only an associate’s degree, often in a biology-related program. Excellent math and communication skills and higher-level coursework can help a technician advance to the position of technologist. This is a career where your efforts could be part of a scientific breakthrough that improves lives all over the world.
What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
Conduct research or assist in the conduct of research, including the collection of information and samples, such as blood, water, soil, plants and animals.
Use computers, computer-interfaced equipment, robotics or high-technology industrial applications to perform work duties.
Monitor and observe experiments, recording production and test data for evaluation by research personnel.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
reading work related information
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
order or arrange things
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
BD Biosciences CellQuest
Gene Codes Sequencher
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Data base user interface and query software
bachelor's degree or master's degree usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include:
Bio-Manufacturing Technician (Downstream)
Bio-Manufacturing Technician (Upstream)
Microbiology Quality Control Technician
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.