Biological technicians perform scientific experiments and analyze scientific data under the supervision of biologists or other scientists. They utilize traditional laboratory instruments and advanced robotic equipment in their work. Biological technicians are employed by scientific research, medical care, and pharmaceutical industries, colleges and universities, and the federal executive branch of government. Some general job responsibilities of biological technicians include:
- Maintaining, setting up, and operating laboratory equipment
- Performing tests and experiments under the supervision of a biologist or scientist
- Preparing organic samples for testing and analysis
- Documenting the results of scientific tests and experiments
- gathering and analyzing scientific data
The BLS reports that employment of biological technicians is expected to increase 14% from 2010 to 2020. Biological technicians are needed to help research and develop alternative sources of energy and new methods to clean and preserve the environment. Scientists will continue to utilze biological technicians to assist in the development of new medicines and treatment for cancer and Alzheimer's disease.Read More
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Becoming a Biological Technician
Biological technicians typically hold a bachelor's degree in biology, biological sciences, or a closely related field. Some schools offer online biology degree programs in that include home laboratory kits so students can conduct the required experiments at home. Potential employers will favor candidates with laboratory experience, be it through a degree program or previous employment.
Biological science degree programs typically include classes in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computer sciences. Many schools offer either a bachelor's of arts or bachelor's of science in biological sciences with a selection of concentrations to choose from, such as ecology and evolution, zoology, or microbiology. A sampling of courses in a bachelor's of science biological sciences program may include:
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Developmental and Cell Biology
After completing a bachelor's program, many students go on to earn a graduate degree in a specialized area of biology. After a few years of work experience as a technician or after earning a graduate degree, biological technicians may advance to a position as a scientist.