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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 460 $38,080
Birmingham 460 $38,080
Huntsville 150 $30,200
Mobile 80 $33,750
Opelika 60 $48,190
Auburn 60 $48,190
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 110 $36,390
Fairbanks N/A $38,770
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 570 $37,240
Mesa 570 $37,240
Phoenix 570 $37,240
Tucson 270 $28,440
Flagstaff 230 $35,150
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway N/A $40,860
North Little Rock N/A $40,860
Little Rock N/A $40,860
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oakland 3890 $64,850
San Francisco 3890 $64,850
Hayward 3890 $64,850
Carlsbad 2830 $46,820
San Diego 2830 $46,820
Los Angeles 2440 $47,140
Long Beach 2440 $47,140
Anaheim 2440 $47,140
Santa Clara 810 $49,170
Sunnyvale 810 $49,170
San Jose 810 $49,170
Oxnard 560 $45,910
Ventura 560 $45,910
Thousand Oaks 560 $45,910
Arcade 530 $38,010
Arden 530 $38,010
Sacramento 530 $38,010
Roseville 530 $38,010
Riverside 190 $47,010
Ontario 190 $47,010
San Bernardino 190 $47,010
Porterville 130 $31,940
Visalia 130 $31,940
Santa Cruz 120 $42,520
Watsonville 120 $42,520
Fresno 110 $32,460
Arroyo Grande 60 $30,660
San Luis Obispo 60 $30,660
Paso Robles 60 $30,660
Salinas 50 N/A
Santa Barbara 50 $45,940
Santa Maria 50 $45,940
Stockton 40 $41,620
Lodi 40 $41,620
Vallejo N/A $56,370
Fairfield N/A $56,370
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 2060 $44,340
Aurora 2060 $44,340
Denver 2060 $44,340
Fort Collins 240 $35,710
Boulder 130 $46,710
Colorado Springs 60 $51,740
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Haven 310 $53,840
Stamford 170 $49,150
Norwalk 170 $49,150
Bridgeport 170 $49,150
Hartford 70 $43,590
East Hartford 70 $43,590
West Hartford 70 $43,590
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sanford 660 $39,770
Kissimmee 660 $39,770
Orlando 660 $39,770
Fort Lauderdale 370 $49,690
Miami 370 $49,690
West Palm Beach 370 $49,690
Clearwater 320 $34,480
St. Petersburg 320 $34,480
Tampa 320 $34,480
Port St. Lucie 140 $40,890
Jacksonville 100 $30,560
Tallahassee 70 $27,940
Sarasota 60 $35,550
Bradenton 60 $35,550
North Port 60 $35,550
Winter Haven 50 $30,670
Lakeland 50 $30,670
Palm Bay 40 $32,020
Titusville 40 $32,020
Melbourne 40 $32,020
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Athens 400 $48,060
Clarke County 400 $48,060
Roswell 320 $53,650
Atlanta 320 $53,650
Sandy Springs 320 $53,650
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 290 $32,870
Lahaina 110 $25,960
Wailuku 110 $25,960
Kahului 110 $25,960
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 180 $31,940
Idaho Falls 140 $25,430
Coeur d'Alene 70 $31,700
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urbana 60 $46,650
Champaign 60 $46,650
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 1590 $43,960
Carmel 1590 $43,960
Indianapolis 1590 $43,960
West Lafayette 150 N/A
Lafayette 150 N/A
Bloomington N/A $44,250
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Ames 240 $46,750
Des Moines 140 $32,870
West Des Moines 140 $32,870
Iowa City N/A $40,190
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 400 $22,960
Lexington 400 $22,960
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 60 $33,250
New Orleans 60 $33,250
Baton Rouge 60 $42,740
Alexandria 40 $46,160
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Portland 140 $45,380
South Portland 140 $45,380
Bangor 30 $31,180
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 290 $34,380
Detroit 290 $34,380
Warren 290 $34,380
Ann Arbor 90 $34,140
East Lansing 90 $36,410
Lansing 90 $36,410
Portage 40 $33,110
Kalamazoo 40 $33,110
Grand Rapids N/A $30,170
Wyoming N/A $30,170
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 40 $30,710
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 50 $31,950
Billings 50 $35,260
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 180 $37,540
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 70 $41,190
Henderson 70 $41,190
Las Vegas 70 $41,190
Reno N/A $43,310
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlantic City 40 $26,360
Hammonton 40 $26,360
Trenton N/A $42,530
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 140 $42,190
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 340 $38,930
Troy 340 $38,930
Schenectady 340 $38,930
Ithaca 270 $42,600
Syracuse 230 $30,920
Rochester 130 $36,150
Buffalo N/A $37,160
Cheektowaga N/A $37,160
Niagara Falls N/A $37,160
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Durham 590 $37,680
Chapel Hill 590 $37,680
Raleigh 400 N/A
Greenville 70 $33,940
Rocky Mount 40 $43,700
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 40 $31,930
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 1090 $35,660
Elyria 250 $43,020
Cleveland 250 $43,020
Akron 160 $36,190
Dayton 100 $37,130
Toledo 50 $37,930
Canton N/A $43,480
Massillon N/A $43,480
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 1090 $40,390
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Corvallis 290 $35,610
Eugene 120 $37,610
Medford 60 $38,100
Redmond 40 $34,860
Bend 40 $34,860
Salem 30 $37,530
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 1080 $39,640
Carlisle 90 $34,770
Harrisburg 90 $34,770
State College 40 $45,180
Lancaster N/A $48,400
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 400 $36,910
Carolina 400 $36,910
San Juan 400 $36,910
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 190 $33,530
Charleston 190 $33,530
Mauldin 70 $41,640
Greenville 70 $41,640
Anderson 70 $41,640
Columbia 30 $28,200
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 30 $31,940
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Knoxville 110 $35,980
Franklin 90 $33,010
Murfreesboro 90 $33,010
Nashville 90 $33,010
Davidson 90 $33,010
Johnson City 80 $24,060
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 1520 $40,430
Houston 1520 $40,430
The Woodlands 1520 $40,430
Austin 500 $43,620
Round Rock 500 $43,620
Fort Worth 460 $38,940
Arlington 460 $38,940
Dallas 460 $38,940
New Braunfels 170 $44,200
San Antonio 170 $44,200
McAllen 140 $28,820
Edinburg 140 $28,820
Mission 140 $28,820
Lubbock 110 $28,550
College Station 110 $32,130
Bryan 110 $32,130
El Paso 90 $25,310
Corpus Christi 40 $28,550
Temple N/A $26,350
Killeen N/A $26,350
Port Arthur N/A $38,490
Beaumont N/A $38,490
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 360 $51,200
Orem 70 $35,600
Provo 70 $35,600
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington N/A $43,320
Burlington N/A $43,320
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 400 $36,610
Charlottesville 350 $38,600
Roanoke 40 $24,720
Harrisonburg N/A $37,600
Christiansburg N/A $40,760
Radford N/A $40,760
Blacksburg N/A $40,760
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 1890 $41,630
Bellevue 1890 $41,630
Tacoma 1890 $41,630
Spokane Valley 110 $38,050
Spokane 110 $38,050
Richland 90 $33,860
Kennewick 90 $33,860
Wenatchee 90 $35,600
Tumwater 80 $36,350
Olympia 80 $36,350
Yakima 70 $39,170
Bremerton 30 $44,070
Silverdale 30 $44,070
Anacortes N/A $37,180
Mount Vernon N/A $37,180
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 100 $32,180
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 420 $39,180
West Allis 220 $32,770
Milwaukee 220 $32,770
Waukesha 220 $32,770

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.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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
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.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

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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