Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and checks, and perform a variety of technical support functions requiring the application of established or prescribed procedures and techniques to assist scientists with their research, development, analysis and testing, and to verify the physical, chemical and other characteristics of materials and products.
- Sets up and assists with the construction and the development of scientific apparatus for experimental, demonstration or other purposes
- Prepares and analyses body fluids, secretions and/or tissue to detect infections or to examine the effects of different drugs
- Grows cultures of bacteria and viruses, prepares tissue sections and other organic and inorganic material for examination and stains and fixes slides for microscope work
- Operates and services specialised scientific equipment, undertakes prescribed measurements and analyses and ensures that sterile conditions necessary for some equipment are maintained
- Records and collates data obtained from experimental work and documents all work carried out.
Entry varies from employer to employer. Entrants usually possess GCSEs/S grades, an appropriate BTEC/SQA award or a GNVQ/GSVQ. Professional qualifications, NVQs/SVQs at various levels, and apprenticeships are available in some areas of work. Good eyesight, and in some cases, normal colour vision are also required.