Laboratory Technician

Job Description:

Laboratory technicians help scientists carry out research and tests in lab settings.

Job Category:
Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences

What you will do:

You could work in areas like forensic science, scientific analysis, health services and education.

You could help diagnose diseases, measure pollution, develop products or use specialised medical techniques.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • setting up experiments and investigations
  • carrying out risk assessments
  • collecting and analysing samples
  • preparing solutions, cultures or specimens
  • recording and presenting data
  • ordering and controlling stock
  • disposing of chemicals and waste products safely
  • cleaning and maintaining equipment


You’ll need:

  • science skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • thinking and reasoning skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Requirements vary from country to country. In the UK, you’ll usually need at least 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English, maths and science.

Employers may also expect you to have A levels or a degree in a subject like:

  • biology
  • biomedical science
  • chemistry
  • physics
  • pharmacy
  • forensic science
  • environmental science
  • materials science

Experience of working in a laboratory could help you get a job.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work 37 hours a week. You may work shifts on a rota.

Work usually takes place in sterile conditions. You’ll wear clothing to protect you from dangerous substances and to prevent contamination of samples.

In some industries, you may need to travel for field work.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress to team manager or lab supervisor, or specialise in complex analysis work.

With a degree and experience you could move into a research technician role.