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Laboratory technician

Alternative titles for this job include Lab technician

Laboratory technicians support scientists and help carry out tests, research and investigations.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

weekends on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a laboratory technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship


Some employers may expect you to have a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a scientific subject like:

  • biology
  • biomedical science
  • chemistry
  • environmental science
  • forensic science
  • materials science
  • pharmacy
  • physics

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels or equivalent

More Information


You could take a college course to help improve your chances of finding work.

Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science
  • Chemistry, Physics or Biology A levels
  • T Level in Science

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information


Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • Laboratory technician advanced apprenticeship
  • Technician scientist higher apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information

More Information

Career tips

Experience in a lab can help when looking for work. You can look for opportunities at:

  • a research lab in a university
  • clinical laboratories in hospitals
  • a production or research lab in an industrial setting
  • school and college science departments

Professional and industry bodies

You can join a professional body relevant to your area of work for career development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a laboratory technician from:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • science skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You will work safely, following strict guidelines. You could do routine or one off tests and will:

  • set up experiments and investigations
  • carry out risk assessments
  • collect and analyse samples
  • prepare solutions, cultures or specimens
  • record and present data
  • order and control stock
  • dispose of chemicals and waste products safely
  • clean and maintain equipment

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to team manager or lab supervisor, or specialise in complex analysis work.

With a degree and experience you could move into a research technician role.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Laboratory Technician Apprentice (Level 3), Structural Soils, Bristol

  • Wage: £20,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Bristol

Denbigh Alliance Trust - Lab Technician Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £8,580.00 Annually
  • Location: Shenley Church End, Milton Keynes

Courses In England

Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Laboratory Skills

  • Start date: 01 September 2023
  • Location: Woodford Green


  • Start date: 11 September 2023
  • Location: Leeds

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