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Career profile: Laboratory technician

lab technicianWant to help find a cure for dangerous diseases? Perhaps you're interested in monitoring our impact on the environment? Laboratory technicians are vital in every area of science. Read on to discover more about the job.

A what?

Laboratory technician are vital in helping scientists to do their research. The range of work available covers all scientific investigations and inventions from medicine to make-up.

On the job

Technicians tend to work a normal 37 hour week and, unsurprisingly, you can usually find them in a laboratory. And apart from that, they can work in any part of the country in virtually any sector. Some of the things a technician may do are:

  • help to diagnose diseases
  • analyse samples in criminal investigations
  • test materials and machinery for manufacturing
  • measure pollution levels
  • set up experiments
  • collect samples and specimens in the field

Future prospects

Laboratory technicians work for a range of employers from government departments, hospitals and universities to forensic labs and pharmaceutical companies. So, if you would like to get into this type of work, there are lots of opportunities for interesting work.

Starting salaries can range from £10,000 to £18.000 a year depending on your qualifications. Once you’ve gained more experience you can earn up to £30,000. If you take on management responsibilities, your salary can exceed £35,000.

How to get there?

In order to become a laboratory technician you will usually need at least four GCSE grades (A-C), or their equivalent. These should include science, maths and English. There is also a new laboratory technician apprenticeship, which gives you on-the-job training. You can find out if you could qualify for an apprenticeship by visiting www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

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