Biological technicians (such as microbiologists) or medical scientists usually direct and evaluate the work of biological technicians, also known as laboratory assistants, who are in charge of carrying out scientific tests, studies, and analyses. Experimental procedures are carried out by biological technicians using automated machinery, cutting-edge robotics, and conventional laboratory tools. To gather, process, and model experimental data, they employ specialized computer software. Some biological technicians, like those who support zoologists and wildlife biologists in their work, might gather samples outside, therefore they might need to be able to climb through difficult terrain or find other ways to move through wilderness areas.
Biotechnologists are employed in a variety of scientific fields. By giving experimental animals brand-new medications and treatments, they might help medical researchers. They might isolate proteins from other cell components and examine experimental data. When doing tasks unique to microbiology, such as staining samples to aid in identification, biological technicians working in a microbiological setting often examine living bacteria.
Additionally, biological technicians may work in the commercial sector and contribute to the investigation of numerous issues relating to industrial production. To help guarantee that items are not polluted, they could test samples for environmental impact studies or keep an eye on the production process.
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Biological Technicians: Job duties, Salary and How to become one
What is a biological technician?
A biological technician, also known as a laboratory assistant, is a specialist in the biology field who gathers samples for examination and performs experiments using various pieces of laboratory apparatus. Additionally, these experts maintain and clean the tools used by scientists working in the fields of medicine and biology. After receiving a master’s or doctoral degree, or after working as a technician in the biology industry for a few years, the majority of biological technicians can progress to senior scientist positions, such as biochemist, microbiologist, zoologist, or biophysicist.
Important Qualities for Biological Technicians
- Analytical skills: Biological technicians need to conduct scientific experiments and analyses with accuracy and precision.
- Communication skills: Biological technicians must understand and follow the instructions of their managing scientists. They also need to communicate their processes and findings clearly in written reports.
- Critical-thinking skills: Biological technicians draw conclusions from experimental results through sound reasoning and judgment.
- Observational skills: Biological technicians must constantly monitor their experiments. They need to keep a complete, accurate record of their work, including the conditions under which the experiment was carried out, the procedures they followed, and the results they obtained.
- Technical skills: Biological technicians need to set up and operate sophisticated equipment and instruments. They also may need to adjust equipment to ensure that experiments are conducted properly.
How to Become a Biology Technician
1. Earn a degree
A four-year bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field is typically required for biological technicians. Individuals with an associate degree and prior laboratory experience, as well as those without degrees, may be eligible for some biological tech positions.
Programs in biological science typically offer courses in biology as well as related disciplines like microbiology, ecology, and physiology. You should study physics, math, and chemistry in addition to biology programs to develop the technical skills required for success in this field. You might learn how to simulate and model biological processes as well as use lab equipment by taking computer science courses.
2. Gain laboratory experience
Employers seeking for biological technologists may be drawn to your experience working in a lab setting. The majority of biological science bachelor’s degree programs include chances to get laboratory experience. You can enroll in classes with a lab component or work in university research labs. Take advantage of the chance to communicate with academics and other faculty members while gaining practical research experience.
In order to receive course credit and have your work published in scholarly journals, you could take part in research projects. You can gain useful laboratory experience by applying for internships away from the campus environment.
3. Earn a master’s degree in biology science
Many biological technicians pursue a master’s degree after receiving a bachelor’s degree and accumulating relevant professional experience. Although having a master’s degree can help you expand your professional network, enhance your resume, and show that you are an expert in a particular area of the biology field, not all jobs require biological technicians to have advanced degrees.
Depending on the institution you choose, there may be additional requirements for a master’s degree in biology science, but they typically combine an undergraduate GPA (3.5 or higher), work experience, a GRE score, and an essay. The program can take you one to two years to finish.
4. Join a professional association
Getting involved in a professional organization can be a terrific way to network and advance your career. Within the field of biological science, professional societies welcome individuals with comparable qualifications and experience. To interact, connect, and share ideas, technicians with an interest in biopharmaceuticals could join a professional organization like Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Biological technicians are not required to be members of a professional group, but it is a good method to enhance your career. The majority of professional organizations hold conferences, offer chances for continuing education, support their members, promote professional networking, and share updates on the state of the sector.
5. Get an entry-level job
The majority of biological sciences technicians are able to find employment in industries like manufacturing for the medical industry, government, academia, and research. In this field, many people work in teams and take part in various types of research. Biological technicians with prior work experience are typically preferred by employers, though some accept education and experience combinations to fill open positions. You can advance into positions such as postsecondary teacher or manager of natural sciences by acquiring more education and experience.
Skills for a biological technician
Consider honing your abilities in the following areas if you’re thinking about working as a biological technician:
When doing laboratory research, technical duties like cleaning, maintaining, and operating equipment can be performed with the aid of lab equipment expertise. You might control the delivery of lab supplies and move delicate goods. When assisting biological scientists with electronic lab equipment, you need also be aware of environmental safety compliance.
Global positioning system (GPS)
For land, air, and sea transport, global positioning is a satellite-based navigation system that aids in location determination, synchronization of time data, and velocity. You can mark and trace locations using GPS if you know how to do so in order to receive pertinent results. Additionally, you might need to use GPS to locate locations on land and in the sea as well as to gather field data using GPS coordinates. To find populations of invasive plant species, biological technicians, for instance, utilize GPS, maps, and visual identification.
Your capacity to work with plants and animals when conducting biological research falls under the category of wildlife skills. By identifying and recording plants and animals, you can create and arrange extensive photo databases. This ability may also be used to estimate the size of the animal population using direct census, recapture, and mark methods.
Researchers in biology and other disciplines can study the cells of microorganisms with the aid of cell culture. If you are proficient in cell culture, you can assist principal investigators and lab staff with technical support in disciplines including molecular biology and Non survival animal surgery. You might also oversee and support lab workers who are conducting cell culture research. Professionals working in cell culture facilities can carry out routine tasks and operations thanks to this important biological competency.
The process of acquiring and evaluating data include gathering all the information required to perform research. You should be able to gather comprehensive and accurate data, perform and finish data collection, and use laboratory tools and equipment. When gathering, examining, and creating weather information, you might take into account aerial photography interpretation, for instance.
Salary and job outlook
A full-time schedule for biological technologists may include night and evening shifts. The pay of a biological technician varies according on his or her experience, education, and location. In the United States, the yearly average wage is $60,570.
The employment of biological technicians is predicted to increase by 7% more than the average growth rate for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Due to the high demand for biophysicists, biochemists, and microbiologists, biological technicians have the chance to move to scientific positions. The employment opportunities for biological technologists are expanding along with the biological industry and the demand for biological science research.
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Careers Related to Biological Technicians
Technicians in Agricultural and Food Science
Performing tasks like measuring and analyzing the quality of food and agricultural products is one of the many ways agricultural and food science technicians support agricultural and food scientists.
Biophysicists and biologists
The chemical and physical underpinnings of living things and biological processes, such as cell growth, development, inheritance, and disease, are studied by biochemists and biophysicists.
Chemists and chemical engineers can develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes with the assistance of chemical technicians who use specialized equipment and methods.
Technicians in environmental science and protection
Technicians in environmental science and protection keep an eye on the environment and look into sources of contamination and pollution, particularly those that have an impact on public health.
Epidemiologists are specialists in public health who look into the trends and causes of illness and damage in people. Through research, community outreach, and public health initiatives, they aim to lower the risk and occurrence of adverse health consequences.
Technicians in forensic science
Technicians in forensic science assist criminal investigations by gathering and evaluating evidence. Various sorts of laboratory analysis are the focus of many technicians’ specializations.
Geoscientists research the Earth’s physical features.
Technicians and Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
Medical laboratory technicians and medical laboratory technologists, also referred to as “medical laboratory scientists,” gather samples and carry out tests to examine bodily fluids, tissue, and other substances.
Researchers in the field of medicine work to enhance general human health. To arrive at their conclusions, they frequently use clinical trials and other research techniques.
Microbiologists research different kinds of parasites, bacteria, viruses, algae, and fungi. They make an effort to comprehend how these organisms’ function, develop, and engage with their surroundings.
Wildlife biologists and zoologists
Animals, other wildlife, and their interactions with their environments are all topics of study for zoologists and wildlife biologists. They look at how animals behave and how humans affect wildlife and its natural habitats. They also research how animals look and behave.
As a biology technician, you will support biologists in doing crucial research. You’ll be hanging around and working wherever there is a research lab, including colleges and universities, governmental institutions, and other places. You will be providing any necessary assistance to scientists, most likely biologists. Because you’ll be performing research and tests on various kinds of living things, some of them might be harmful or even dangerous. To protect yourself, your teammates, and the rest of humanity, you’ll adhere to tight protocol. What? Have you seen every zombie apocalypse film there is?
Be ready to serve as a second set of eyes, ears, and hands in a variety of settings, from inside an office to next to the Amazon River. You work with a group of other scientists and professionals to identify various ways to raise the standard of living on Earth.
FAQS on Biological Technicians
Where does this information come from?
The Occupational Outlook Handbook of the Bureau of Labor Statistics served as the source for the aforementioned career data. The U.S. Department of Labor releases this fantastic source of occupational data every two years. Occasionally, Truity updates our website with statistics from the BLS database.
What do biological technicians do?
Set up, care for, and clean lab apparatus, including microscopes, scales, pipettes, and test tubes
Collect and prepare biological samples for laboratory analysis, such as blood, food, and bacteria cultures.
Run biological experiments and tests.
Keep track of all the steps they take, as well as any observations and outcomes.
Examine experimental data, then analyze the findings.
Prepare summaries of your findings in reports.
What is the pay of a biological technician?
In May 2021, the median yearly pay for biological technologists was $48,140. The wage at which half of the employees in a profession made more money than that amount and half made less is known as the median wage. The bottom 10% earned less than $31,170, while the top 10% made more than $78,090.
What are the top biological technician jobs?
Senior Biological Technician
Seasonal Senior Biological Technician
Biological Science Technician
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