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Occupation Details

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Laboratory Technician

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€25k > 50
Laboratory Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 50
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CPL / Hudson

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
-2.2%
Occupational Category

Laboratory Technicians

Also included in this category:

Laboratory analysts; medical laboratory technicians.

Number Employed:

6,300

Part time workers: 14%
Aged over 55: 4%
Male / Female: 38 / 62%
Non-Nationals: 24%
With Third Level: 73%
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At a Glance... header image

Works in a laboratory assisting scientific and technical staff with day to day duties.


Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Dental Laboratory Technician - from: YouTube Video
Go..Laboratory Technician - from: icould [UK] Video
Go..Laboratory Technician - from: icould [UK] Video
Go..Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician - from: YouTube Video
Go..Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician - from: YouTube Video
Go..Senior Laboratory Technician - from: icould [UK] Video

Go..Search YouTube for Laboratory Technician videos

The Work header image

Laboratory technicians do routine tasks to help scientists. They often work in research and development, helping to create or improve processes, techniques, equipment, products or materials. Technicians may do tests and experiments, and report their findings to the scientist. They work in a wide range of manufacturing industries, doing quality assurance tests to make sure products are safe and meet required standards.   
  
Technicians are responsible for the day-to-day running of the laboratory. They clean, sterilise and repair equipment like test tubes, and dispose of laboratory waste. Technicians monitor stock and order replacements when necessary. Some technicians work in education laboratories, helping teachers by setting up and demonstrating experiments, assisting students and maintaining equipment.   
  
Quality assurance technicians are very important to manufacturing industries, especially food and drink, pharmaceutical, colour technology and agrochemical companies. Technicians test a product at key stages in its development. Guided by scientists, technologists and production managers, they anticipate where problems or defects may occur. In the food industry, they test products to detect micro-organisms that can cause food poisoning; or they may measure the level of pesticides in fruit. In industries that use colour technology, they test dyes and pigments, making sure that they are colour fast.   
  
In pharmaceutical companies, technicians help scientists to test the effectiveness and possible side effects of a new drug. Biological laboratory technicians often manage samples from plants and animals, including bacteria and tissue cultures. They may be responsible for the care and welfare of animals used in laboratories, or help to breed animals especially for research.   
  
Lab technicians usually need to wear protective clothing, like goggles, gloves, masks and overalls.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood or urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to detect abnormalities or diseases and enter findings into computer.

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Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.

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Examine cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.

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Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.

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Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.

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Analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs, or narratives.

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Consult with a pathologist to determine a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found.

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Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.

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Inoculate fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.

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Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Controlling Machines and Processes: Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material: Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Chemistry: Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

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Biology: Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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Medicine and Dentistry: Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Mechanical: Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a laboratory technician, you must be thorough and methodical in setting up equipment, and able to record test results accurately. Good teamwork skills are very important, because technicians work closely with scientists or teachers, for example.   
  
Technicians often get on-the-job training, so you must be willing to learn and develop new knowledge and skills. You must be able to use sophisticated equipment and adapt to developments in laboratory technology.   
  
Because technicians often handle dangerous substances, you must follow safety procedures closely.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Laboratory Technician - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Institute of Biology of Ireland
Address: School of Biology and Environmental Service,University College Dublin,Belfield,Dublin 4
Tel:
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

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