1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Laboratory technician

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

to

£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

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree course in:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • physics
  • forensic science

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

College

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

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • Level 3 Laboratory technician
  • Level 5 Technician scientist

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 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 get this by:

  • doing a year in industry as part of your degree
  • applying for part-time work in a laboratory whilst studying

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 the Science Council and Health Careers.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • administration skills
  • maths knowledge
  • 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

Development Technician Apprentice (Technician Scientist)

  • Wage: £18,000.00 - £22,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Stafford

Apprentice Science Technician

  • Wage: £176.00 Weekly
  • Location: Wolverhampton

Courses In England

Applied Science

  • Provider: MARIA FIDELIS CATHOLIC SCHOOL FCJ
  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: London

Applied Science

  • Provider: HARTISMERE SCHOOL
  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: Eye

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.