Biological Technicians

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About the Job

Assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, make observations, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.

It is also Called

  • Wildlife Technician
  • Wildlife Biology Technician
  • Upstream Biomanufacturing Technician
  • Staff Research Associate
  • Specimen Technician
  • Seed Analyst
  • Research Technician
  • Research Specialist
  • Research Associate
  • Research Assistant
View All

What They Do

  • Conduct or supervise operational programs such as fish hatcheries, greenhouses and livestock production programs.
  • Measure or weigh compounds and solutions for use in testing or animal feed.
  • Examine animals and specimens to detect the presence of disease or other problems.
  • Conduct standardized biological, microbiological or biochemical tests and laboratory analyses to evaluate the quantity or quality of physical or chemical substances in food or other products.
  • Feed livestock or laboratory animals.
  • Participate in the research, development, or manufacturing of medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations.
  • Place orders for laboratory equipment and supplies.
  • Monitor laboratory work to ensure compliance with set standards.
  • Clean, maintain and prepare supplies and work areas.
  • Set up, adjust, calibrate, clean, maintain, and troubleshoot laboratory and field equipment.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Support and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $46,440 with most people making between $28,750 and $68,300

Outlook

0.76%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,460 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 4,800 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 34 openings due to growth and about 126 replacement openings for approximately 160 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education