Job Title: Herpetology Lab Technician
Type of Company: I work for a natural sciences museum in Raleigh, NC.
Education: BA, Cultural Anthropology
Previous Experience: None
Job Tasks: I work in the research laboratory at a natural sciences museum. The museum is a public institution, funded by the state, which promotes education, conservation, and research. Within the research and collections department, there are scientists who study fossils, living vertebrates and invertebrates. Most of their research is centered on wildlife in North Carolina, where the museum is located. My primary responsibility as a herpetology lab technician is to enter data from a specimen ledger into a computerized database. For each amphibian and reptile specimen in the lab, there is a record of what it is, where it was found, etc. This information is transferred into the database and the locality information is mapped and given geographic coordinates. Then, the database can be searched by various criteria (i.e. county or state, species, date) to allow scientists and researchers from all over the world to know what specimens we have and to be able to use the information for their work and studies.
Scientists may also request to borrow a specimen for their research. These specimens are used to describe species, define their geographic ranges, and provide information for conservation efforts. Because exploiting these animals as resources is a lively international trade, this is sensitive information and is not available to the general public.
The purpose of the database is to help further research to aid in the conservation and understanding of these animals and to leave a record of the area's natural history.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is being surrounded by people whose primary interest is learning new things and bettering the natural world through understanding and conservation. I have the opportunity to learn a lot from my co-workers and surroundings.
However, sometimes entering data into a computer all day can become very monotonous and there are always mistakes no matter how careful I am. Luckily, I am able to take a break sometimes to assist in other tasks around the lab: caring for the live turtle or rearranging the specimen range.
Job Tips: Most people who want to be scientists and wildlife biologists will work as lab technicians first. Although it is sometimes boring, there is a lot to learn from it and it is the first step toward achieving the greater goal as a researcher. Here, you will learn necessary skills and understand the importance of keeping accurate and precise data in the field.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.
Try Your Introductory Course Risk Free
San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.
Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.
Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career.
At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.
Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College offers a complete learning experience for busy adults looking to advance their education around their schedule. With Penn Foster College, you can earn your degree or undergraduate certificate online and at a pace that’s right for you.
Get the hands-on training you need to succeed at Blake Austin College.
Interested in a career as a professional dog trainer? Animal Behavior College is the place to start.
American Career College (ACC) offers hands-on training that will prepare students for careers in the healthcare industry at three campuses in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County, California.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Zoologists And Wildlife Biologists, including: