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Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.

Salary Range
€25k - €50k
Job Zone

In Brief...

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

Knowledge

  • Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 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.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

In Summary - Laboratory Technician

Career Sectors

Laboratory Technicians typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Biopharma
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Chemical Science
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Drug Discovery and Development
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Clinical Trials
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Medical Devices
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Research and Development
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Manufacturing
Engineering & Manufacturing

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Further Information

The Work - Laboratory Technician

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.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • 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.
  • Conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts.
  • Examine cells stained with dye to locate abnormalities.
  • Set up, maintain, calibrate, clean, and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment.
  • Analyze the results of tests or experiments to ensure conformity to specifications, using special mechanical or electrical devices.
  • Analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs, or narratives.
  • Consult with a pathologist to determine a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found.
  • Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures.
  • Inoculate fertilized eggs, broths, or other bacteriological media with organisms.
  • Collect blood or tissue samples from patients, observing principles of asepsis to obtain blood sample.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • 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.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Interests - Laboratory Technician

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Investigative

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Administrative

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Qualities

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.

Entry Requirements - Laboratory Technician

Apprenticeship Route

The official entry route for a Laboratory Technician is through undertaking an apprenticeship.

Click here to find information on the Laboratory Technician apprenticeship

Pay & Salary - Laboratory Technician

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €25k - €50k

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.

Labour Market Updates - Laboratory Technician

Useful Contacts - Laboratory Technician

  • Institute of Biology of Ireland

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