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Laboratory Technician: Career Information

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Lab technician using micro-pipette
Noel Hendrickson / Taxi / Getty Images

Job Description - Laboratory Technician:

A laboratory technician performs laboratory tests and procedures, usually under the supervision of a laboratory technologist or a laboratory manager. These tests and procedures help medical professionals diagnose diseases, plan treatments and ascertain the effectiveness of treatments.

Employment Facts - Laboratory Technician:

There were 156,000 laboratory technicians employed in 2008.

Educational Requirements - Laboratory Technician:

To work as a laboratory technician one must earn an associate degree, generally at a community college. Alternatively one can earn a certificate from a hospital, a vocational or technical school, or the Armed Forces.

Other Requirements - Laboratory Technician:

Some states require laboratory technicians to be licensed.

Advancement Opportunities - Laboratory Technician:

Laboratory technicians, with additional education and experience, can become laboratory technologists.

Job Outlook - Laboratory Technician:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth in this field will be greater than the average for all occupations through 2018

Earnings - Laboratory Technician:

Laboratory technicians earned a median annual salary of $36,030 in 2009.

Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much a Laboratory Technician currently earns in your city.

A Day in a Laboratory Technician's Life:

On a typical day a laboratory technician's tasks might include:

  • examining and analyzing body fluids and cells
  • preparing specimans for examination
  • counting cells and looking for abnormalities
  • using automated equipment and computerized instruments
  • using microscopes, cell counters, and other sophisticated laboratory equipment.

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Clinical Laboratory Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos096.htm (visited January 25, 2010).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/29-2012.00 (visited November 29, 2010).

Should You Become a Laboratory Technician? Take a Quiz to Find Out.

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