Research Technician

Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Research Technician in the science industry is responsible for assisting laboratory scientists in conducting experiments and studies. The main role of a Research Technician is to ensure that research is carried out smoothly and efficiently. This involves preparing laboratory equipment, setting up experiments and analyzing data. A good Research Technician has exceptional organizational skills, attention to detail and the ability to work independently. They should be able to perform tasks such as recording observations, keeping detailed records, and helping to prepare reports. A Research Technician job description may also include maintaining laboratory equipment, ordering supplies, and ensuring that safety protocols are adhered to. Some Research Technicians may work in clinical research, which involves testing new drugs and treatments. A bachelor's degree in a science-related field is typically required for this position.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conduct scientific experiments under the guidance of a research scientist or lab supervisor.
  • Assist in maintaining laboratory equipment and ensuring their proper functioning by performing routine maintenance and troubleshooting.
  • Prepare and mix reagents and other materials used in experiments, following established protocols and safety guidelines.
  • Collect and analyze data generated during experiments, meticulously documenting all observations and results.
  • Organize and maintain accurate records of laboratory procedures, data, and results in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Communicate regularly with research team members, sharing progress updates and discussing experimental designs and results.
  • Develop and maintain proficiency in laboratory techniques and procedures, seeking out additional training as needed.
  • Adhere to all laboratory safety protocols and regulations to ensure a safe working environment for all members of the team.

Experience and Education Requirements

If you want to be a research technician in science, you'll need a few things. Firstly, you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent education. Secondly, most employers will prefer you to have an associate's degree in a science-related field, like biology or chemistry. Some will want a bachelor's degree, which takes longer but can give you a broader understanding of science.

Experience is also valuable, so internships or volunteer work in a science lab can give you a head start. You'll need to have good communication skills, attention to detail, and be able to work in a team. Lastly, most employers will require you to have a basic knowledge of laboratory equipment, as well as computer programs like Microsoft Office.

Salary Range

Based on the data, a Research Technician's expected salary range varies depending on the industry, location, and experience. In the United States, the average salary for a Research Technician is approximately $44,000 to $62,000 per year, with the top 10% earning over $80,000 annually. However, several factors such as industry, education, and location may heavily influence the salary range. For instance, Research Technicians working in the pharmaceutical industry in New Jersey have an average annual salary of $55,000 to $70,000.

Internationally, the average annual salary range for a Research Technician in the United Kingdom is between £18,000 and £35,000, while in Canada, the range is between CAD$35,000 to CAD$58,000.



Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Research Technician in the Science industry is promising over the next 5 years. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 7% growth in employment for life, physical, and social science technicians, which includes Research Technicians, from 2019 to 2029. This growth is due to the increasing demand for new and improved scientific products and advancements in technology. Additionally, as the world continues to face new challenges and issues, Research Technicians play a vital role in finding solutions through research and experimentation. Therefore, the job prospects for aspiring Research Technicians are looking up, and there are bound to be plenty of opportunities in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Research Technician do?

A: A Research Technician helps scientists conduct experiments by preparing equipment, collecting and analyzing data, and maintaining laboratory safety.

Q: What qualifications do I need to become a Research Technician?

A: Usually, a technician has a Bachelor's degree in a science field. Additionally, experience in a laboratory setting or internships can be beneficial.

Q: What skills does a Research Technician need to have?

A: A technician should be detail-oriented, able to follow protocols, have good time management and organizational skills, and be comfortable with technology.

Q: What equipment does a Research Technician use?

A: Technicians use a variety of equipment, including microscopes, centrifuges, pipettes, and pH meters, depending on the needs of the experiment.

Q: What is the career path for a Research Technician?

A: Some technicians will stay in that role, while others may progress to supervisory roles or pursue advanced degrees to work as scientists. It depends on the individual's career goals and opportunities.

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