Laboratory technicians


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and checks, and perform a variety of technical support functions requiring the application of established or prescribed procedures and techniques to assist scientists with their research, development, analysis and testing, and to verify the physical, chemical and other characteristics of materials and products.


Entry varies from employer to employer. Entrants usually possess GCSEs/S grades, an appropriate BTEC/SQA award or a GNVQ/GSVQ. Professional qualifications, NVQs/SVQs at various levels, and apprenticeships are available in some areas of work. Good eyesight, and in some cases, normal colour vision are also required.

Typical tasks

  • sets up and assists with the construction and the development of scientific apparatus for experimental, demonstration or other purposes;
  • prepares and analyses body fluids, secretions and/or tissue to detect infections or to examine the effects of different drugs;
  • grows cultures of bacteria and viruses, prepares tissue sections and other organic and inorganic material for examination and stains and fixes slides for microscope work;
  • operates and services specialised scientific equipment, undertakes prescribed measurements and analyses and ensures that sterile conditions necessary for some equipment are maintained;
  • records and collates data obtained from experimental work and documents all work carried out.

Common job titles

Operator, research (oil refining)
Technician, histological
Technician, laboratory
Officer, science, laboratory, medical, junior
Assistant, scientific
Worker, laboratory
Monitor, radiation
Technician, analytical
Technician, anatomy
Associate, trial, clinical
Tester, gas (gas works)
Officer, laboratory
Assistant, research
Inspector, laboratory (glass mfr)
Technician, food
Tester, chemical
Tester, water
Logger, well
Analyst, geophysical
Attendant, laboratory
Technician, hospital
Officer, scientific
Foreman, laboratory
Technologist, medical
Assistant, analyst's
Assistant, laboratory, medical
Technician, laboratory, medical
Monitor, physics, health
Tester, oil
Technician, botanical
Officer, experimental
Officer, research, medical
Aide, laboratory
Officer, scientific, laboratory
Analyst, material
Supervisor, laboratory
Foreman, physics, health
Technician, scientific
Monitor, industrial (atomic energy establishment)
Technician, microbiology
Officer, scientific, laboratory, medical, junior
Monitor (atomic energy establishment)
Technologist, laboratory, medical
Assistant, anatomical
Operator, spectroscope
Screener, cytology
Officer, scientific, assistant
Technician, rubber
Technologist, clinical
Man, bench, laboratory
Technician, cytological
Tester, seed
Analyst, pharmaceutical
Microscopist, electron
Assistant, control, quality (chemical mfr)
Tester, gas (chemical mfr)
Officer, technical (National Institute of Agricultural Botany)
Officer, science, laboratory
Tester, alkali
Technician, geological
Officer, technical, assistant (chemical mfr)
Technician, physics (hospital service)
Assistant, house, test (steelworks)
Worker, research
Analyst, materials
Analyst, laboratory
Technician, geology
Assistant, laboratory
Assistant, chemical
Aid, laboratory
Tester, acid
Man, laboratory
Analyst, seed
Steward, laboratory
Tester, carbon (steelworks)
Tester, head, section (oil refining)
Technician (hospital service)
Tester, soil
Technician, laboratory, teaching

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.