What does a biological technician do? As a biological technician, you’ll be assisting medical and biological scientists as they conduct their research and experiments. You may work in many different areas of research, and within the private or public sectors. You may also work in microbiology, researching microbes.
Many of your duties as a biological tech will include:
- Setting up, maintaining, and cleaning lab equipment and instruments
- Preparing samples you’ve gathered, such as bodily fluids, food, and bacterias
- Conducting tests and experiments on the samples
- Documenting all parts of your work
- Analyzing and interpreting your data
- Writing a report on your analysis
You can specialize as a: medical lab technician, lab assistant, dental assistant, vet assistant, or research lab assistant. Your options are wide and varied when you major as a biological technician.
How to Become a Biological Technician
Employers prefer biology technicians to have a bachelor’s degree. In some cases, an associate’s degree is fine for an entry-level position. To become a biological technician, you must:
- Get your high school diploma or GED.
- Enter a bachelor’s degree program majoring in biological science or a related field.
- Your college may offer a specialized program in microbiology, ecology, botany, wildlife biology, molecular biology, and aquatic biology.
- Take a computer science course.
- Get familiar with all the lab equipment by gaining lab experience from an internship or through your school labs.
- Get a job in your chosen field.
- Job experience will lead to a more advanced position such as a microbiologist, biochemist, or biophysicist.
- Consider advancing your degree which will allow you to become a biological scientist, or natural sciences manager.
Salary and Job Outlook
Once you step into your first job, you’re looking at a median salary of just over $29K. After you’ve gained more experience, the median annual salary goes up to $44K. When you’ve been working as a biological technician for a few years, your salary will raise to an average of over $70K. Pay across the nation varies depending on what industry and state you’re in, as well as your experience. The top paying industry is pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, with the average salary coming in at $44K. The lowest paying industry is the federal government, with salaries averaging around $38K.
There will be 8,400 new jobs becoming available through 2026. If you have lab experience, either through your coursework or previous work experience, then there should be plenty of job opportunities for you.