- Laboratory Technician
Who is a Laboratory Technician?
A lab technician is as important in a lab as a remote to a TV ~ Anonymous
A doctor may have the knowledge to carry out cardiac surgery but even they need assistance around several equipments. A medical or a scientific laboratory requires an expert who can navigate through all the complex equipment either used in conducting research or a surgery. If you wish to be a part of the process where you can contribute in your way becoming a laboratory technician is a possible career choice.
Laboratory technicians are the backbone of a scientific research lab. Their work is almost entirely laboratory-based and technicians may work alone or as part of a team of scientific staff. They can work in most areas of science including forensics, health, and manufacturing. The area a laboratory technician works in will largely dictate the work they do. If they’re in a medical environment, they might be analysing body fluids or tissues, conducting blood tests, and examining cells. If they work for a food and drink manufacturer, they might be testing food and drink samples to detect contamination or ensure quality.
Laboratory Technician in a Nutshell
A lab technician collects and processes specimens, including skin and bodily fluid samples, from patients in a hospital or private medical diagnostic laboratory. They work under a laboratory technologist's supervision using procedures that help medical professionals diagnose diseases, plan treatments, and ascertain their effectiveness. An alternative title for this career is medical laboratory technician.
Quick Facts for Laboratory Technician
Average Salary in India
Male, Female, Others
An individual from any section or gender can become a laboratory technician. It doesn’t matter which gender he/she belongs to when it comes to becoming a laboratory technician. Being a laboratory technician is one of the most desired professions where an individual’s gender is insignificant.
Any special needs
An operation theatre technician is required to be mentally and physically fit. They need to perform several tasks that should be carried out efficiently, which requires the individual to be fit so that they can be carried out.
Table of Contents for Laboratory Technician
What is the role of Laboratory Technician?
Lab technicians are skilled workers that work with complex systems or perform highly technical mechanical or diagnostic tests in medical or scientific laboratories. Depending on the field, technicians may work independently or under the direction of a professional. Lab technicians might collect samples, study and perform tests on body fluids, teeth, chemical compounds, biological specimens, or other fields of science. Lab techs use various types of machinery, lab equipment, and complex computer programs to perform their tests. Lab techs also record their data or findings for study and scrutiny by doctors and physicians. Labs need to be sterile environments, so lab techs must maintain a clean environment. Examples of lab technicians include dental lab technicians, medical and clinical lab technicians, ophthalmic lab technicians, and dental lab technicians.
Adjusting, calibrating, and ensuring that laboratory instruments and equipment are effectively functioning. Make sure that the laboratory is well-stocked and resources with sufficient supplies. After the work’s done, clean the equipment as well the area. Laboratory equipment is used for conducting scientific research. And experiments.
Experimenting and analyzing
Different people are assigned different work such as conducting experiments, gathering data, and carrying out the basic investigations assigned to the first group. Preparing and conducting chemical and biological analyses, among others, as directed by the laboratory supervisor assigned to the second group, using specialized laboratory equipment and machinery when conducting experiments, taking and examining samples, and running scientific procedures assigned to the third group.
Laboratory assistance ensures that all procedures are going well, from sample taking and testing to examining outcomes and experiments. They ensure that all equipment is maintained properly and perform sample receipt functions as per laboratory protocols.
Testing procedures and practices to ensure the veracity of resulting information. Maintaining detailed and accurate records of research findings; writing reports, reviews, and summaries: entering test results into a database, ensuring that all information is both current and accurate. They use microscopes, laboratory machines, and computers to conduct tests.
Ensuring health, safety, and security procedures are followed, as well as the company’s standards. Make sure that all the equipment is maintained and cleaned properly. Take all the safety precautions before going to the laboratory such as eye protection, masks, hand gloves, and lab coats.
Types of a Laboratory Technician
Medical Laboratory Technologist: Perform complex tests that help other healthcare professionals such as physicians detect, diagnose, and treat diseases
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians: Run tests on patient pulmonary and cardiovascular systems
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers: Create ultrasonic recordings of patient-internal organs
Respiratory Therapy Technicians: Provide patients with respiratory care (with direction from therapists and physicians)
Related article - Career as an operation theatre technician
What is the workplace/work environment of Laboratory Technician like?
A lab technician obviously has to work in the laboratory with his microscope and other instruments. He could be a general technician or a specialist in particular subjects like chemistry, microbiology and more. There is scope for both kinds because it's ultimately helping physicians and specialists treat their patients accurately. Most of the testing laboratories are located either in the hospitals or nearby. These days a lot diagnostic centres are cropping up across various parts of the city, creating umpteen job opportunities for lab technicians particularly in metros.
Does Laboratory Technician require travelling?
The job of a laboratory technician does not involve travelling since their work is generally lab based. But, it also depends on the organisation that they are working for. They may have to travel from one lab to another in order to fix equipment as and when required.
Laboratory technician jobs are full-time based. They may be called in order to work for extra hours depending on the requirement of the recruiter.
Most laboratory technicians work full time, though their shifts may extend past the usual eight hours. They may also have to be on call at night and during weekends and holidays depending on the requirement of the recruiter.
The nature of the employment of a laboratory technician is permanent. Lab technician jobs in government/government organisations or private institutions but the job is mainly permanent in nature.
Presence in Geographical Area
A laboratory technician mainly works in urban or semi-urban locations. It depends on where the lab is located. A laboratory technician rarely has to work in a rural set-up since they hardly have any labs in rural locations. Therefore, they work in urban or semi-urban locations.
The work pressure for Laboratory technicians is considered moderate. Laboratory technicians usually work indoors in labs conducting technical checks and preparing equipment for a particular project field. They are usually required to work at least 40 hours per week. They may sometimes work irregular hours to monitor experiments that can't be completed during regular working hours.
They are usually required to work at least 40 hours per week. Sometimes, when the work pressure is more and they are required to accomplish a project in less time, their working hours may extend to 45-50 hours per week. They may also be required to work in a day, evening, or night shifts if working in production.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 40 Hours
A laboratory technician works for a minimum of 8 hours every day. The work hours depend on which shift their duty falls in.
The working hours may be extended depending on the requirement and the length/duration of the tests or experiments. A laboratory technician can also be called to work on a holiday or a weekend if the need arises.
How to become a Laboratory Technician?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Laboratory Technician?
Self-reliant: It's important to have self-reliance for multiple purposes. The most noticeable is that relying on others for assistance, implies there will also be times when it's not convenient. Self-reliance is essential too, as it can effectively make judgments by itself. A laboratory assistant is expected to be independent. They should be able to carry the various tasks that they are responsible for independently.
Attention to detail: Attention to detail means having the ability to effectively allocate your behavioural resources needed to accomplish tasks in terms of comprehensiveness and precision. Attention to detail enables us to communicate efficiently to focus on improving productivity, effectiveness, and performance in the working environment. The job of a laboratory technician expects them to be able to give attention to even the minute details of work.
Communication skills: Communication in the workplace is essential to businesses because it helps businesses to be constructive and operate more efficiently. Workers could notice an increase in performance, efficiency, and engagement if they can interact within an organisation. Since a laboratory technician is supposed to carry out various tests/experiments as well as keep various records it is necessary that they have a good command over their oratory as well as their written skills.
Teamwork: A team-work creates an environment that encourages dedication and companionship. These close-knit social interactions provide organizational productivity and integrate them to work harder, cooperate, and encourage each other. Individuals who possess various skills, strengths, ability to communicate, attitudes and behaviours. A laboratory technician may work with a team of people. In that case, they need to have the spirit of a team player.
Analytical skills: Analytical skills depend on the ability to analyze and interpret relevant data, solve problems, and making choices. Workers that have these abilities could even fix complex issues of a company as well as improve performance and effectiveness. Analytical skills may exactly look like technical skills however in professional life people use those skills. A laboratory assistant is supposed to write the analysis of various tests he/she carries out.
Time management: Time management is essential to get higher productivity in the organization. Time management is key to reducing stress in the workplace. Developing a better and devoted work environment is very important. Time management is important for the effective and effective management of organizations, projects, and all business operations. They should be able to manage their time wisely.
Compassion: Compassion in action is compassion and understanding and caring. Humans can face tough times with ingenuity and perseverance by being accessible to others. Emotional intelligence helps everyone to respond to others. This helps others to get things accomplished and to live with the pressures and the challenges of management. Empathy is needed when working closely with patients who may be suffering from pain or emotional stress.
Dexterity: Dexterity is the willingness to comprehend and control things by trying to make organized hand gestures. Advanced manual dexterity includes the capacity to plan and perform specific tasks with cognitive skills. For an individual to experience and gain knowledge about his or her surroundings of the workplace, these skills are essential. Lab techs work with their hands and will need the dexterity to work with small vials, test tubes, and delicate lab equipment.
Physical strength: Physical strength is required to conduct excellently in several of jobs nowadays. Even then, there are always a lot of significant professions that involve a considerable level of strength to be eligible to perform at the highest level, in terms of cognitive abilities. Labour technicians work on their feet for long days, occasionally knocking things over a workstation for long periods of time.
Technical skills: There are numerous reasons why technical skills are particularly important. Individuals could really assist to work more effectively, increase confidence, and make one a more valuable candidate. Besides that, workers with technical knowledge often become more productive in a highly competitive and dynamic position. Labour technicians, therefore, need to understand the fundamental laboratory machinery and computer programmes which are used for experimentation.
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Laboratory Technician?
An internship always helps a student in his career in terms of gaining knowledge about the field, or making contacts or at times one can also be absorbed in an organisation to work on a full-time basis. When it comes to this field internships are very important since they give hands-on experience. When it comes to employers, they value pre-entry experience in a laboratory, as it not only demonstrates experience with lab procedures as well as shows commitment and interest in the field. Some of the degrees come with a placement year, which can be a good opportunity for the candidate to get familiar with the work field. If your degree doesn't include a year in industry, try to gain some part-time or voluntary work in a laboratory or scientific setting. You could approach employers to see if it would be possible to work-shadow someone in their organisation.
Career Path Progression for Laboratory Technician
Assistant technician: An assistant technician, is support professional in a professional facility for example, a healthcare facility. They work in both office administration and clinical services. In the office, medical assistants perform tasks like scheduling appointments and handling insurance forms.
Technician: A technician is someone who has knowledge and training in a technical process. Technicians are not always associated with technology. If a painter or a musician is trained in various artistic, or musical techniques, he or she can also be called a technician.
Senior/lead technician: A lead technician performs various tasks, depending on the company and industry. He sets up, tests and adjusts a company's production machinery and equipment. He also engages in maintenance work on such machinery.
Team leader technician: The technical team leader is responsible for developing and installing software for their organization's computer systems, as well as troubleshooting technical problems for the successful execution of projects.
Laboratory manager: A laboratory manager assists with and supervises the maintenance of the lab and equipment. Maintenance usually involves inspection, cleaning, calibration, testing and repair of lab equipment; and organization and cleaning of the lab, including preparation and storage rooms.
Related articles - Career as a medical lab technician
Laboratory Technician Jobs and Salaries
- Average Salary 40000
- Junior Level Salary 30000
- Senior Level Salary 90000
The laboratory managers group their organisational knowledge and expertise of safety and laboratory processes to ensure efficient process of laboratories. Administration responsibilities commonly involve staff work schedules, rearrangement of supplies, and maintaining safety requirements.
The salary of this industry depends on knowledge and experience. The entry-level salary could be up five lakhs per year and eventually, it could be above twelve lakhs per year depending on the skill of the Laboratory manager.
What is the job outlook for Laboratory Technician?
A lab technician or medical technologists as they are known certainly have a vital role to play because the treatment that the doctors do on the patients is based solely on the test results. Other than lab technicians, work areas also include conducting research but after adequate training by expert researchers. Lab technician jobs in the government sector are considered to be positive at the moment.
Between 2010 and 2020, a laboratory technician’s employment has increased at a rate of 11 per cent, leading to an estimated 19,200 new positions. The job market scenario for a laboratory technician is quite bright in the times to come. As more research labs are being conducted from the government sector as well as the private sector. People are investing in the creation of more hospitals in the country. Therefore, it will lead to an increase in demand for a laboratory technician as they are considered as the backbone of any hospital lab or a science lab. Not only that, according to a study several specialists are going to have their own clinics instead of working for a hospital, so this would further increase employment opportunities for an individual who wishes to be a laboratory technician.
Frequently Asked Questions for Laboratory Technician
Que. What is the difference between a Laboratory Technologist and a Laboratory Technician?Ans.
Medical laboratory technologist and laboratory technician are related occupations that are easily confused. However, educational preparation and duties differ considerably for these two jobs. Technologists must earn a bachelor's degree and therefore have a more extensive training and theoretical knowledge base than technicians, who need only an associate degree.
Technicians collect, process, and analyse specimens. They perform lab procedures and maintain instruments. In addition to these procedures, technologists execute sophisticated analyses—evaluating and interpreting results, conducting research, developing new methods, and supervising technicians.
Que. What are the Workplace Challenges of a laboratory technician?Ans.
Lab technicians come into contact with infectious specimens and toxic chemicals, so they must take the proper precautions, including wearing protective clothing and eyewear, to decrease their risk of exposure to these dangerous substances. They spend a lot of time on their feet. Accuracy and attention to detail are extremely important in this work, so those who lack these strengths should pursue a different career path.
Que. How do you keep up with training for safety in the laboratory setting?Ans.
This is important to ask because it demonstrates the lab assistant's commitment to maintaining a safe work environment. The ideal candidate keeps up to date on material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and best practices for safety. The candidate should know how to conduct safety drills and be able to explain the safety devices and procedures in place in their laboratory.
Que. What safety procedures does a laboratory technician use when working with hazardous samples such as bodily fluids?Ans.
This is an essential question to ask, especially if your laboratory uses samples collected from humans or if it uses any pathogenic material that could cause human illness. The ideal lab assistant knows how to safely handle the specimens and protect both the specimens and themselves from contamination, infection or other types of harm. Knowledge of proper safety procedures is essential to maintaining a safe environment.
Que. How do laboratory technicians make sure that all research notes are accurately recorded while you work on an experiment?Ans.
You should ask this question because every step of a scientific experiment in the lab must be repeatable in order to be published in a scholarly journal. The answer to this question tells you how organized the lab assistant is while doing their work. Their answer also demonstrates that they know the importance of accurate note taking while they conduct their research.
Que. Which types of laboratory tests do laboratory assistants perform on a routine basis, and are there any tests that one may find particularly challenging to do?Ans.
You should ask a lab assistant this question because their answer demonstrates their ability to do the tests that are routinely performed in your laboratory. You may prefer a candidate who is already familiar with how to do many of the procedures required for the job so that less training is required.
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