What does a Laboratory 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

Laboratory Technician Salaries

Average Base Pay

$47,085 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$32K
Median: $47K
$69K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Laboratory Technician Career Path

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

L2
Lab Technician
$44,593/yr
L3
L4
See Career Path

Laboratory Technician Insights

Read what Laboratory Technician professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
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.”

SMRTLSMRTL
Lab Technician
Feb. 24, 2020

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

Oilfield 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.”

Georgia TechGeorgia Tech
Laboratory Technician
Oct. 31, 2020

“I work with good people and there is a great work culture in my department and I feel my compensation is fair.”

Food Safety Net ServicesFood Safety Net Services
Lab Technician
Jul. 18, 2019

“If you're looking for real growth and opportunity this is not the job for you.”

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.”

See More

Laboratory Technician Interviews

Related Careers

Lab Manager
$57,804
No skills overlap
Research Assistant
$35,852
No skills overlap
Data Analyst
$62,306
No skills overlap
Research Scientist
$76,959
13% skills overlap

Laboratory Technician jobs