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What Does a Laboratory Technician Do?

If you're curious by nature and like science, here’s a job to think about. Laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue and other substances. They use various types of machinery, lab equipment and complex computer programs to perform their tests. Lab technicians record their data to help doctors solve medical problems.

Laboratory technicians work in hospitals, diagnostic centers and doctors’ offices.

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$ 28,000 - $ 82,000
$ 53,000
23,580+
A lab technician works with samples and records the information
Attention to detail is a must-have skill for laboratory technologists and technicians. (Credit: Michal Kowalski/Shutterstock)
A Day In the Life
Image
Kavita Cain, a lab tech in Ohio, says that much of her time nowadays is spent performing COVID, flu and other respiratory tests.
A Day In the Life

Kavita Cain, a self-described “lab nerd,” says her job is perfect for an introvert who wants to work in healthcare.

"I like that I do not have any patient contact but still play a huge part in diagnosis and analysis of patient samples," says Kavita.

In fact, she says the best personality trait might be the desire to play a critical role and yet remain behind the scenes.

Job Responsibilities
  • Analyze samples 
  • Design and execute laboratory testing according to standard procedures
  • Make observations and record findings
  • Conduct experiments under defined conditions to verify/reject various types of hypotheses using refined scientific method
  • Organize and store all chemicals substances, fluids and compressed gases according to safety instructions
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment including automated equipment and computerized instruments
  • Record all data and results with accuracy
  • Maintain equipment and assist in ordering laboratory supplies
  • Follow all safety guidelines
  • Maintain a clean and orderly environment
  • Discuss results of laboratory tests with physicians
Education + Training

Laboratory technicians often complete an associate degree program in clinical laboratory science. The Armed Forces and technical schools also offer certificate programs for medical laboratory technicians. Technician coursework addresses the theoretical and practical aspects of each of the major laboratory disciplines. Some states require technicians to be licensed.

A related role is laboratory technologist, which may provide an opportunity for advancement for a technician. A technologist has typically completed a bachelor's degree and may serve in a supervisory role.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Can operate computerized lab equipment
  • Are good at following precise instructions
  • Have the dexterity to work with needles and precision laboratory instruments
  • You have the ability to work independently 
  • Work well under pressure
  • Are detail-oriented

Laboratory Technician Training in Your Area

Coordinates

Medical Laboratory Technician, A.A.S.

Tulsa Community College
Tulsa (68.8 Miles)

Medical Laboratory Technician, A.A.S.

Ozarks Technical Community College
Springfield (134.2 Miles)

Medical Laboratory Technology, A.A.S.

Manhattan Area Technical College
Manhattan (153.6 Miles)
Oklahoma City Community College logo

Anesthesia Technology, A.A.S.

Oklahoma City Community College
Oklahoma City (156.7 Miles)
North Arkansas College logo

Medical Laboratory Technology, A.A.S.

North Arkansas College
Harrison (157.4 Miles)

Medical Laboratory Technician, A.A.S.

State Fair Community College
Sedalia (173.4 Miles)
Grayson College logo

Medical Laboratory Technology, A.A.S.

Grayson College
Denison (239.5 Miles)

Medical Laboratory Technician, A.A.S.

Seward County Community College
Liberal (286.9 Miles)
Mineral Area College logo

Medical Laboratory Technician, A.A.S.

Mineral Area College
Park Hills (291.6 Miles)
Three Rivers College logo

Medical Laboratory Technician, A.A.S.

Three Rivers College
Poplar Bluff (292.5 Miles)
Central Community College logo

Medical Laboratory Technician, A.A.S.

Central Community College
Grand Island (300.3 Miles)
Dallas College logo

Medical Laboratory Technology, A.A.S.

Dallas College
Dallas (304.2 Miles)

Find Laboratory Technician Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Clinical Laboratory Assistant, Part Time, Variable Shift, Hanford Hospital

Adventist Health NW
Hanford ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 9 months ago

Specimen Processing Technician

AMITA Health
Wichita ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 7 months 1 week ago

Specimen Processing Technician

Ascension Health
Wichita ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 7 months 1 week ago

Medical Lab Technician, Full-Time, Days

Northwestern Medicine
Mchenry ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 7 months 1 week ago

Medical Laboratory Technician/Medical Technician- Laboratory

Coffeyville Regional Medical Center
Coffeyville ( 6.2 ) Miles
Posted 7 months 1 week ago

Medical Laboratory Technician/Medical Technician - Laboratory

Coffeyville Regional Medical Center
Coffeyville ( 6.2 ) Miles
Posted 4 months ago

Specimen Accessioner-NC323

LabCorp
New Brighton ( 23.6 ) Miles
Posted 21 hours 5 minutes ago

Hospital Reference Test Clerk

LabCorp
New Brighton ( 23.6 ) Miles
Posted 21 hours 5 minutes ago