Laboratory technician

Laboratory technicians support scientists and help carry out tests, research and investigations.

Annual Salary

£15,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

Future employment

There will be 1% more Laboratory technician jobs in 2023.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You could work in areas like forensic science, scientific analysis, the health service and education.

You could help diagnose diseases, measure pollution, develop products or use specialised medical techniques.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • setting up experiments and investigations
  • carrying out risk assessments
  • collecting and analysing samples
  • preparing solutions, cultures or specimens
  • recording and presenting data
  • ordering and controlling stock
  • disposing of chemicals and waste products safely
  • cleaning and maintaining equipment

You'll usually need at least 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English, maths and science.

Employers may also expect you to have A levels or a degree in a subject like:

  • biology
  • biomedical science
  • chemistry
  • physics
  • pharmacy
  • forensic science
  • environmental science
  • materials science

Experience of working in a laboratory could help you get a job.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

£15,000 to £30,000

Starter salary: £15,000

Experienced salary: £20,000 to £25,000

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

You'll usually work 37 hours a week. You may work shifts on a rota.

Work usually takes place in sterile conditions. You'll wear clothing to protect you from dangerous substances and to prevent contamination of samples.

In some industries, you may need to travel for field work.

With experience, you could progress to team manager or lab supervisor, or specialise in complex analysis work.

With a degree and experience you could move into a research technician role.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • the ability to understand, follow and convey technical instructions
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • organisational skills
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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