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Shane Callanan
Being an Engineer is a great career choice. It offers so many opportunities both in Ireland and world-wide. Most positions will have terrific travel opportunities after a few years experience under your belt, and if you choose you course carefully your qualification will be recognised by employers all over the globe. Also an engineering qualification will open doors into management roles if that is your preferred career choice, but the reverse is not the case (if you do a course outside of engineering, you will probably not be able to branch off into engineering a few years after graduating).
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Occupation Details

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Biology 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.

€20k > 34
Biology Laboratory Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 34
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

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.
5%
Occupational Category

Health Associate Professionals

Also included in this category:

Paramedics; pharmaceutical technicians; dispensing technicians; pharmacy technicians; medical and dental technicians; dental hygienists; acupuncturists; homeopaths; massage therapists; sports therapists

Number Employed:

12,400

Part time workers: 27%
Aged over 55: 16%
Male / Female: 29 / 71%
Non-Nationals: 8%
With Third Level: 71%
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At a Glance... header image

Works under supervision of a lead scientist, and specialises in routine practical tasks essential to research and development in areas such as genetics, microbiology and chemistry.


Videos & Interviews header image

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Go..Search YouTube for Biology Laboratory Technician videos

The Work header image

Biology laboratory (lab) technicians help scientists to develop new processes and products, do experiments, or analyse and test biological samples by preparing specimens and manual tests in accordance with detailed instructions.

Biology lab technicians look after the day-to-day running of the laboratory. They clean, sterilise and repair equipment such as test tubes. They monitor stock, sometimes using computers, and order replacements when necessary.  

Technicians are involved in a wide variety of biological tasks and investigations. In pharmaceutical companies, they may examine how a disease develops and spreads, and help scientists to test the strength and possible side effects of a new drug. 
Some technicians work in education laboratories, helping teachers and students by maintaining equipment, and setting up and clearing away experiments.  

In the food industry technicians may test food safety, check for harmful micro-organisms, or control the helpful micro-organisms used to make products like bread, yogurt, cheese and wine.  
In forensic science technicians prepare samples from body fluids like blood and saliva.  

Biological lab technicians monitor samples from plants and animals, including bacterial and tissue cultures. They may look after laboratory animals, or help to breed animals especially for research.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

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

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Conduct research or assist in the conduct of research, including the collection of information and samples, such as blood, water, soil, plants and animals.

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Analyze experimental data and interpret results to write reports and summaries of findings.

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Keep detailed logs of all work-related activities.

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Use computers, computer-interfaced equipment, robotics or high-technology industrial applications to perform work duties.

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Clean, maintain and prepare supplies and work areas.

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Set up, adjust, calibrate, clean, maintain, and troubleshoot laboratory and field equipment.

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Measure or weigh compounds and solutions for use in testing or animal feed.

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Isolate, identify and prepare specimens for examination.

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Conduct standardized biological, microbiological or biochemical tests and laboratory analyses to evaluate the quantity or quality of physical or chemical substances in food or other products.

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Examine animals and specimens to detect the presence of disease or other problems.

Work Activities header image

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

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

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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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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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Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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

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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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Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


Skillsheader image

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

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

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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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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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Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

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

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Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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

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Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a biology laboratory technician, you must be thorough, methodical and accurate in setting up and carrying out experiments. You must be able to record test results, and write technical reports. Good teamwork skills are very important, because technicians work closely with researchers, scientists, or teachers. You must be prepared to learn to use complicated equipment and computers.  

Technicians are often trained in the workplace, so you must be willing to learn and develop new knowledge and skills. Health and safety is a high priority, and you must keep to procedures, accept health checks and use protective clothing and equipment when needed.


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association
Address: Franklin House, 140 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 660 3350
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Institute of Biomedical Science
Address: 12 Coldbath Square London EC1R 5HL UK
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7713 0214
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


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

Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences

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