What does a Lab Technician do?

A lab technician performs tests and analyses in a laboratory. Lab technicians work in a variety of different organizations, including healthcare institutions, manufacturing companies, and educational institutions. They work in different fields such as medicine, biology, environment, and electronics.

A lab technician's tasks differ greatly depending on the setting and the industry. For example, a medical lab technician collects samples and performs tests on body fluids and tissue to assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Other lab technicians may perform chemical, physical, or biological tests on products. The education needed for lab technicians depends on the role and industry. In some cases a high school degree or GED is sufficient, whereas for other roles an associate's degree, a certificate, or a Bachelor's degree are required.

  • Perform routine and non-routine tests and analyses using the appropriate technical equipment and instruments
  • Receive or collect, as well as process, samples
  • Calculate test results, and log and report results using a computer
  • Prepare and supervise experiments
  • Perform quality control and calibrate equipment if necessary
  • Maintain equipment in proper working order and maintain a clean work area
  • Practice safe work habits, including complying with all safety, health, and environmental rules and regulations
  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED) required, associate's or Bachelor's degree in a scientific field preferred
  • 1-2 years of experience working in a lab
  • Computer skills: knowledge of Microsoft Office and other relevant computer programs
  • Analytical and numerical skills: ability to perform mathematical calculations (add, subtract, multiply, divide) in different units of measurement; ability to use concepts such as fractions, percentages, and ratios
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to write correspondence and reports
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to perform physically demanding work such as moving and lifting equipment, standing for long periods of time, etc.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.3 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.0 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Lab Technician Salaries

Average Base Pay

$44,593 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $45K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Lab Technician Career Path

Learn how to become a Lab Technician, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Lab Technician
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Lab Technician Insights

Read what Lab Technician professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Procter & GambleProcter & Gamble
QA/QC Lab Technician
May 18, 2021

“I really liked alot of my coworkers and for the most part everyone was supportive and helpful.”

University of MichiganUniversity of Michigan
Research Lab Technician Intermediate
Apr. 17, 2021

“Very flexible work schedule which is great if you have a family or taking college classes.”

Lab Technician
Feb. 24, 2020

“If you have a good work ethic and a positive attitude you will do just fine.”

Oilfield Environmental and ComplianceOilfield Environmental and Compliance
Laboratory Analyst
Oct. 9, 2020

“There is minimal career advancement unless you kiss backside and don't speak up about issues within the company.”

QualTex LaboratoriesQualTex Laboratories
Lab Technician
Aug. 26, 2021

“Worst place to work and they laid off so many people because they went downhill.”

JQ Staffing Services
Laboratory Technician
Jan. 5, 2021

“All in all a terrible experience and I am happy that the experience was so brief.”

Southwest Research InstituteSouthwest Research Institute
Lab Technician
Aug. 30, 2021

“Pretty sure my last supervisor had no idea who I am or what I do.”

The Metis FoundationThe Metis Foundation
Laboratory Technician
May 10, 2021

“GREAT pay! $40K for a lab tech was well above the average for San Antonio at the time.”

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Lab Technician Interviews

Related Careers

Lab Manager
No skills overlap
Research Assistant
No skills overlap
Data Analyst
No skills overlap
Research Scientist
13% skills overlap

Lab Technician jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a lab technician

When working as a lab technician, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are ASCP, Interpersonal and Communication, Calculations, Laboratory Information Systems and Critical Thinking.

The most similar professions to lab technician are:
  • Lab Manager
  • Research Assistant
  • Data Analyst
  • Research Scientist

The most common qualifications to become a lab technician is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.