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Laboratory Technician

Keep labs organized and ready for experiments.

What does a Laboratory Technician do?

A Laboratory Technician keeps labs running smoothly so Scientists and Doctors can do their jobs quickly, correctly, and efficiently. You see, all that science stuff makes a big mess. To keep things clean, organized, and orderly, therefore, laboratories employ Laboratory Technicians.

After all, a laboratory isn’t your average office. Instead of cubicles, conference tables, and copy machines, it’s packed with Bunsen burners, beakers, flasks, test tubes, and microscopes, not to mention an army of machines that store, heat, chill, incubate, vibrate, and pressurize scientific samples like blood, drugs, body fluids, and chemicals. If all these things sound exciting to you, then a career as a Laboratory Technician might be a good choice.

Although labs are typically located in hospitals and clinics, where Medical Laboratory Technicians perform and process medical tests, they might also be located at pharmaceutical companies, research universities, and government facilities, or even at private companies’ corporate headquarters, where they’re part of the research and development (R&D) department. Wherever your lab’s located, though, you usually have a few key responsibilities.

The first is lab maintenance. You set up and clean laboratory equipment, and monitor, order, and stock laboratory supplies. You also prepare specimens and chemicals for testing, then dispose of them afterwards.

Speaking of testing, that’s your second responsibility. Although Scientists and Doctors are responsible for advanced testing, analysis, and research, you conduct many routine tests on samples and specimens.

Your third and final responsibility is recordkeeping. You number and label specimens, and keep track of all lab activities with written records.

Basically, you’re the lifeblood of the laboratory. You help its heart beat so the rest of its organs stay vital.