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Career profile Biological Technician

Also known as Biological Science Laboratory Technician, Biological Science Technician, Biological Technician, Laboratory Technician, Marine Fisheries Technician, Research Assistant, Research Associate, Research Specialist, Research Technician, Wildlife Biology Technician

Biological Technician

Also known as Biological Science Laboratory Technician, Biological Science Technician, Biological Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$30,440 - $74,600 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Use computers, computer-interfaced equipment, robotics or high-technology industrial applications to perform work duties.
  • Conduct research, or assist in the conduct of research, including the collection of information and samples, such as blood, water, soil, plants and animals.
  • Participate in the research, development, or manufacturing of medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations.
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What does a Biological Technician do?

Biological Technicians assist biological and medical scientists.

In addition, Biological Technicians

  • set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, collect data and samples, make observations, and calculate and record results,
  • may analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.

What kind of tasks does a Biological Technician perform regularly?

Biological Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Use computers, computer-interfaced equipment, robotics or high-technology industrial applications to perform work duties.
  • Conduct research, or assist in the conduct of research, including the collection of information and samples, such as blood, water, soil, plants and animals.
  • Monitor and observe experiments, recording production and test data for evaluation by research personnel.
  • Provide technical support and services for scientists and engineers working in fields such as agriculture, environmental science, resource management, biology, and health sciences.
  • Analyze experimental data and interpret results to write reports and summaries of findings.
  • Keep detailed logs of all work-related activities.
  • Input data into databases.
  • Isolate, identify and prepare specimens for examination.
  • Set up, adjust, calibrate, clean, maintain, and troubleshoot laboratory and field equipment.
  • Clean, maintain and prepare supplies and work areas.
  • Monitor laboratory work to ensure compliance with set standards.
  • Place orders for laboratory equipment and supplies.

The above responsibilities are specific to Biological Technicians. More generally, Biological Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Biological Technician salary?

The median salary for a Biological Technician is $46,340, and the average salary is $49,490. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Biological Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Biological Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Biological Technicians earn less than $30,440 per year, 25% earn less than $36,280, 75% earn less than $60,130, and 90% earn less than $74,600.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Biological Technicians is expected to change by 6.7%, and there should be roughly 11,800 open positions for Biological Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$30,440 - $74,600
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Biological Technicians?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Biological Technician are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Conventional interests.

Biological Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Biological Technicians typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Biological Technicians typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Biological Technician tend to value Achievement, Support, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Biological Technicians moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Biological Technicians moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Biological Technicians moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Biological Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Biological Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Biological Technicians need?

Many Biological Technicians will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Biological Technicians usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Biological Technicians

  • 4.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 18.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 19.8% completed some college coursework
  • 17.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 27.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 8.6% earned a Master's degree
  • 4.4% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Biological Technicians

Biological Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as biology, mathematics, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Biological Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Biological Technicians

Biological Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Biological Technicians need abilities such as oral comprehension, inductive reasoning, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Biological Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Critical Skills needed by Biological Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Biological Technicians frequently use skills like reading comprehension, critical thinking, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Biological Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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