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Biological Technicians

Biological technicians typically assist biologists studying living organisms. They collect information, samples and materials. They sometimes use robotics, computers, computer-interfaced equipment and high technology industrial applications. They conduct experiments and tests. They provide the results from experiments and tests to scientists.

Some biological technologists are employed by pharmaceutical companies and assist in the development and the manufacture of medicines. Many biological techs assist scientists that perform medical research such as trying to find a cure for AIDS. Some biological techs work with insects and may assist scientists with developing new insecticides. They also analyze organic substances including food, drugs and blood.

Science technicians involved with biotechnology, utilize the techniques and knowledge gained from research and apply them to developing products. Biological aides that are involved with microbiology usually work as laboratory assistants and study living organisms and infectious agents.

Some common job titles include laboratory technician, biological science laboratory technician, research associate, research assistant, biological aide, research specialist, research technician and wildlife biology technician.

Responsibilities

  • Set up, operate and maintain laboratory equipment and instruments
  • Examine specimens and animals in order to detect diseases or other problems
  • Monitor experiments and make evaluations
  • Calculate and record results from experiments
  • Analyze organic substances
  • Evaluate data from experiments and interpret results
  • Prepare, clean and maintain work areas and supplies
  • Isolate, identify and prepare specimens for examination

Job Characteristics

Most scientific technicians work indoors, typically in laboratories and have standard work hours. Sometimes they may have to work irregular hours in order to observe experiments. Biological technicians sometimes work with radioactive agents or disease causing organisms. Proper safety procedures need to be followed.

Since they often report their information, having good oral and written communication skills is important for the occupation. They need strong computer, organizational and analytical skills. Biological technicians should also be detailed oriented.

Employment Outlook

From 2008 to 2018 the employment of biological technicians has been projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to increase by 18 percent which is faster than the average for all occupations. The growing amount of medicinal and agricultural products developed from biotechnology research will increase the demand for these technicians. In 2008 approximately 30 percent of biological technicians were employed by professional, scientific or technical firms.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Biological technicians often are required to have a bachelor's degree in biology or in a closely related subject. Some employers hire science technicians that have completed at least two years of specialized postsecondary training or hold an associate degree in applied science or science related technology.

Technical institutions provide technical training for scientific technicians, however they usually provide less theory and general education than community colleges. Some schools provide internship programs or cooperative-education programs which provide students the opportunity to work at a company or some other type of workplace while they attend classes during alternate terms.

Resources

Major Employers

The primary employers are colleges, universities, medical research centers, agricultural research centers; professional, scientific firms; technical firms, nonprofit research associations, chemical companies, the drug industry, the food processing industry and the government.

Schools for Biological Technicians are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Biological Technicians

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Biological Technicians jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Huntsville 90 $31,750
Opelika 50 $48,300
Auburn 50 $48,300
Hoover N/A $39,990
Birmingham N/A $39,990
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 110 $39,430
Fairbanks 70 $42,310
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 600 $36,660
Mesa 600 $36,660
Phoenix 600 $36,660
Tucson 270 $28,590
Flagstaff 240 $36,010
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 30 $36,690
North Little Rock 30 $36,690
Little Rock 30 $36,690
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hayward 3720 $57,360
Oakland 3720 $57,360
San Francisco 3720 $57,360
Long Beach 3190 $48,950
Anaheim 3190 $48,950
Los Angeles 3190 $48,950
Carlsbad 2500 $46,730
San Diego 2500 $46,730
San Jose 950 $51,660
Santa Clara 950 $51,660
Sunnyvale 950 $51,660
Sacramento 340 $38,220
Arden 340 $38,220
Roseville 340 $38,220
Arcade 340 $38,220
San Bernardino 290 $39,070
Ontario 290 $39,070
Riverside 290 $39,070
Fairfield 140 $42,780
Vallejo 140 $42,780
Visalia 130 $32,310
Porterville 130 $32,310
Santa Maria 90 $39,320
Santa Barbara 90 $39,320
Fresno 80 $32,320
Modesto 50 $37,170
San Luis Obispo 40 N/A
Arroyo Grande 40 N/A
Paso Robles 40 N/A
Lodi 40 $46,190
Stockton 40 $46,190
Santa Rosa 40 $50,190
Redding 30 $45,630
Santa Cruz N/A $39,000
Watsonville N/A $39,000
Ventura N/A $46,890
Thousand Oaks N/A $46,890
Oxnard N/A $46,890
Salinas N/A $52,740
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 2180 $45,750
Aurora 2180 $45,750
Denver 2180 $45,750
Fort Collins 220 $35,890
Boulder 160 $49,970
Colorado Springs 60 $56,230
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Haven 340 $53,980
Norwalk N/A $46,040
Stamford N/A $46,040
Bridgeport N/A $46,040
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sanford 680 $40,130
Kissimmee 680 $40,130
Orlando 680 $40,130
St. Petersburg 280 $36,150
Clearwater 280 $36,150
Tampa 280 $36,150
Miami 280 $42,390
Fort Lauderdale 280 $42,390
West Palm Beach 280 $42,390
Sarasota 80 $39,280
Bradenton 80 $39,280
North Port 80 $39,280
Tallahassee 70 $29,090
Jacksonville 60 $31,450
Lakeland 40 $32,570
Winter Haven 40 $32,570
Gainesville N/A $32,580
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Athens 450 $48,180
Clarke County 450 $48,180
Roswell 420 $50,560
Atlanta 420 $50,560
Sandy Springs 420 $50,560
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 290 $33,170
Lahaina 110 $26,290
Wailuku 110 $26,290
Kahului 110 $26,290
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 210 $33,540
Idaho Falls 120 $25,750
Coeur d'Alene 70 $31,530
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urbana 60 $48,790
Champaign 60 $48,790
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Lafayette 110 $54,530
Lafayette 110 $54,530
Anderson N/A $37,130
Carmel N/A $37,130
Indianapolis N/A $37,130
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Iowa City 400 $42,460
Ames 290 $46,700
West Des Moines 140 $32,210
Des Moines 140 $32,210
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 490 $24,410
Lexington 490 $24,410
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 50 $29,150
New Orleans 50 $29,150
Baton Rouge 50 $42,690
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 140 $48,510
Portland 140 $48,510
Bangor 30 $33,570
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson N/A $40,140
Columbia N/A $40,140
Baltimore N/A $40,140
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 90 $48,120
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 200 $35,840
Dearborn 200 $35,840
Detroit 200 $35,840
East Lansing 110 $36,660
Lansing 110 $36,660
Ann Arbor 80 $36,460
Portage 40 $34,890
Kalamazoo 40 $34,890
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 60 $40,020
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 30 $32,500
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 190 $36,600
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Reno 190 $43,330
Paradise 100 $40,110
Henderson 100 $40,110
Las Vegas 100 $40,110
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton N/A $43,990
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 190 $44,450
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 410 $39,950
Troy 410 $39,950
Schenectady 410 $39,950
Niagara Falls 260 $37,300
Cheektowaga 260 $37,300
Buffalo 260 $37,300
Ithaca 230 $43,430
Syracuse 220 $31,710
Rochester 110 $33,100
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Chapel Hill 640 $39,450
Durham 640 $39,450
Raleigh 610 $43,440
Wilmington 360 $39,160
Rocky Mount 30 $44,540
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 50 $32,310
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 1040 $35,420
Elyria 310 $44,300
Cleveland 310 $44,300
Dayton 150 $49,530
Akron 100 $36,260
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 820 $41,940
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Corvallis 250 $38,010
Eugene 110 $36,950
Medford 60 $36,020
Redmond 30 $35,890
Bend 30 $35,890
Salem N/A $38,060
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 1140 $40,000
Carlisle 90 $38,100
Harrisburg 90 $38,100
State College 40 $46,750
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Carolina 370 $37,280
Caguas 370 $37,280
San Juan 370 $37,280
Mayag�ez 70 $26,590
Isabela 30 $35,560
Aguadilla 30 $35,560
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 320 $39,280
Charleston 320 $39,280
Columbia 70 $36,900
Mauldin 60 $41,800
Anderson 60 $41,800
Greenville 60 $41,800
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 40 $33,410
Sioux Falls 30 $44,410
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 120 $41,550
Nashville 120 $41,550
Murfreesboro 120 $41,550
Davidson 120 $41,550
Knoxville 120 $41,600
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 1800 $42,260
The Woodlands 1800 $42,260
Houston 1800 $42,260
Fort Worth 460 $39,930
Arlington 460 $39,930
Dallas 460 $39,930
McAllen 160 $29,180
Mission 160 $29,180
Edinburg 160 $29,180
Round Rock 160 $38,810
Austin 160 $38,810
San Antonio 140 $48,580
New Braunfels 140 $48,580
College Station 110 $37,490
Bryan 110 $37,490
Lubbock 100 $31,930
El Paso 60 $39,890
Corpus Christi 40 $28,890
Tyler 30 $28,530
Killeen N/A $31,310
Temple N/A $31,310
Beaumont N/A $41,270
Port Arthur N/A $41,270
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Orem 60 $35,050
Provo 60 $35,050
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 60 $41,240
Burlington 60 $41,240
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charlottesville 330 $38,790
Roanoke 40 $25,760
Richmond N/A $37,020
Christiansburg N/A $40,300
Blacksburg N/A $40,300
Radford N/A $40,300
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 1810 $42,740
Seattle 1810 $42,740
Tacoma 1810 $42,740
Spokane 100 N/A
Spokane Valley 100 N/A
Wenatchee 90 $35,430
Olympia 70 $35,840
Tumwater 70 $35,840
Richland 60 $39,170
Kennewick 60 $39,170
Walla Walla 30 $32,320
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown N/A $32,280
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 370 $43,410
West Allis 160 $33,680
Waukesha 160 $33,680
Milwaukee 160 $33,680
Green Bay 30 $32,310

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Biological Technicians

To find out more about building a career as Biological Technicians, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Biological Technicians

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 23,900 33% $41,320
Education 20,220 28% $38,060
Government 14,950 20% $32,920
Chemicals 5,880 8% $40,970
Hospital 3,100 4% $38,580
Medical Office 2,140 2% $38,590
Office Services And Staffing 720 1% $36,540
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Biological Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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