Lab technicians do exciting work. They run tests, investigate anomalies, examine specimens, operate million-dollar equipment and machines.
It’s a fun job, but how do you become one?
Becoming a lab technician is not easy. It requires effort.
If you want to become a lab technician, here are some important tips that can help you in your endeavor.
Who Can Become A Lab Technician?
Well, not everyone can become a lab tech. No one is going to hand just anyone, very expensive machinery and access to revolutionary research.
No, you need some qualifications beforehand.
First thing, you need to have science in 10+2. As you’d expect, a lab technician is going to be doing a lot of science related activities and having a background in science is compulsory.
Then you must pursue formal education in a professional scientific course. Having a diploma is fine, but a bachelor’s degree is beneficial.
If you want to specialize in some specific field, a postdoctoral degree may also be necessary.
What Does A Lab Technician Do?
Part of a lab technician’s responsibilities are:
- Using lab equipment
- Maintaining lab equipment
- Using computers and digital tools to carry out tasks
- Devising experiments
- Analyzing data and samples
- Creating lab reports
- Connecting with professionals in the industry
Doing Internships Early On
When you are in college, or even in high school, you can approach nearby laboratories for internships.
Doing an internship will give you a feel of what the real deal is like and also give you valuable experience you future employers are looking for.
Whether you like it or not, computers have become an integral part of experiments and lab procedures.
Computers can ensure speed and accuracy and record huge volumes of data. But the experiments have to be programmed into them.
Learning programming languages used in machine learning like Python or other powerful languages like Java or C++ can be very beneficial.
Eager to Learn
“Knowledge Is Wealth.”
As a lab technician, you’ll need to continue pursuing education in the field. You will have to get certified in new emerging technologies and take short or long professional courses that can help you be up to date with new advances in your field.
Organization and Communication
In the lab, being organized is very important. Lab procedures are lengthy procedures. You will have to set up the apparatus, take down readings, prepare samples, etc. Having a disorganized workspace can lead to confusion and errors.
You will need to work with professionals in different fields. Communication with them in a timely fashion is very important.
As an aspiring lab technician, you must try and practice incorporating these two skills in your life as that can go a long way in helping you become a good lab technician.
Safety Is the Number One Priority
Did you know, a chemistry lab is informally called a ticking bomb because of all the hazardous chemicals it houses?
Lab safety in such environments is of utmost importance. As a lab technician, you will use various hazardous and dangerous substances and equipment. You are responsible for not just your safety but also the safety of your coworkers.
You must show extreme care and safety while handling them.
Teamwork and Time Management
Being a lab technician does not mean working alone in one corner with vials and machines.
No, you will have to frequently interact with your colleagues and team up with them to do experiments.
Teamwork can prevent errors in the lab and hence is generally encouraged. Your teammates can crosscheck your calculations and readings or ensure you are following the correct procedure.
As a lab technician, you will be working on multiple projects all at once. Managing time, thus, becomes very important.
Once you are ready to become a lab technician, you must advertise yourself to employers.
Mention and outline essential lab skills in your resume, maybe attach a lab report sample as well and mention any lab internships you may have done in the past.
In the interview, they may check soft skills such as how well you pay attention to detail or how good of a listener and communicator you are. Try to be confident and enthusiastic.
Jobs in the lab are very exciting but difficult to get. Studying well, and incorporating little things in your daily lifestyle such as staying organized, paying attention to detail, managing your time well, etc. are some things you can do to become a better lab technician.