Research Technician Jobs

Research Technician Job Description

In general terms, a research technician assists scientists with their experiments by recording and monitoring their findings. Typically, research technicians can work in a variety of laboratories and specialize in one particular field. For example, agricultural research techs work with agricultural scientists in animal and food research, while clinical research technicians work in pharmaceutical settings to test new drugs.

Despite the wide range of environments that a research technician can be employed in, all research technicians have generally the same responsibilities. Some of the tasks that a research tech is responsible for include:

  • Cleaning, maintaining, sanitizing, and operating lab equipment and tools
  • Aiding scientists in performing experiments
  • Performing experiments or parts of experiments solo
  • Assisting with analyzing research findings and data
  • Preparing samples for analysis
  • Sending samples to labs for analysis, if needed
  • Ensuring sample storage in accordance with standards and regulations
  • Using computerized equipment and computers for research purposes
  • Monitoring manufacturing processes
  • Ensuring quality by testing products for durability and purity
  • Adapting laboratory equipment and procedures in order to achieve the best, most accurate results
  • Recognizing when lab equipment is malfunctioning and adjusting settings as needed
  • Keeping accurate records of all experiments and procedures
  • Working in the field analyzing and collecting soil, air, water, and other materials
  • Participating in meetings to set up various standards and protocols
  • Continuously conforming to new techniques and standards

Many times, research technicians move on to become mentors for techs starting out or lab supervisors. Additionally, research technicians have the opportunity to go back to school to become scientists.

It’s important to note that some science research technicians might be exposed to hazards from chemicals, toxins, or equipment. For example, chemical research technicians might work with radioactive isotopes or toxic chemicals, and biological research techs may work with organisms that cause disease.

Research Tech Training Requirements

Most employers seeking research technicians for an available position prefer those candidates who have at least two years of formal training. Additionally, the typical research technician will receive on-the-job training.

However, certain fields will require their research technicians to have additional education. For example, candidates seeking employment in forensic science labs or biological research should have a bachelor’s degree.

Therefore, your education and training requirements very much depend upon the field that you’re interested in going into. Be sure to do the proper research on your preferred field to ensure that you get the necessary training so that you’ll have a better chance of landing a job..

Research Tech Salary Information

According to PayScale.com, in 2010, the average annual salary for research technicians ranged from $31,000 to $43,000. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job openings for research technicians will increase 12% between 2008 and 2018. However, true growth with vary depending upon the field that you’re involved in.

If you’re interested in working in a laboratory or other research setting, consider training to become a research technician!

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