What Does a Lab Tech Do?

A lab tech is responsible for a variety of tasks in a laboratory setting. They may set up and maintain equipment, prepare samples, and run tests.

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Job Description

A lab tech is responsible for setting up and performing a variety of experiments in a laboratory setting. They must be able to follow instructions and take precise measurements. They may also be responsible for maintaining lab equipment and keeping accurate records.


The duties of a laboratory technician depend on the particular field or lab in which they are working. However, there are some common duties that are shared by most technicians. These include preparing samples, conducting experiments, recording and analyzing data, and maintaining lab equipment.

In some cases, laboratory technicians may also be responsible for training new employees or students on how to use lab equipment and properly conduct experiments. They may also be required to write reports or give presentations on their findings.


In order to become a lab technician, one must complete a certified medical laboratory program and earn a medical lab technician degree. There are many skills necessary to be a successful lab tech. These skills include excellent attention to detail, the ability to work well under pressure, good organizational skills, and the ability to use complex scientific equipment. In addition, lab technicians must have a strong understanding of various medical procedures and be able to effectively communicate with doctors and other medical staff.


Most lab techs earn an hourly wage. The median hourly wage for a lab tech was $17.06 in May 2019, meaning that half of lab techs earned more than this amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.73, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $26.19.

Job outlook

The job outlook for laboratory technicians is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the occupation to grow by 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for medical laboratory technicians will be driven by the increasing number of older Americans, who have a greater need for medical tests. New technologies and the development of new diagnostic procedures will also require more lab techs.

Education and Training

The job of a lab tech requires at least an associates degree in medical laboratory technology. Many techs choose to further their education by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field.


In order to become a lab tech, you will need to obtain at least an associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology from an accredited school. You may also be able to find jobs with just a high school diploma but your job options will be more limited. Once you have completed your degree, you will need to pass a certification exam in order to work as a lab tech.


Lab techs must have at least a high school diploma although many institutions prefer that applicants have some college experience, and certification is available. The American medical technologists (AMT) offers the Registered Medical Laboratory Technician (RMLT) credential, and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) credential. Each organization has different requirements for certification, but both generally require candidates to have completed an accredited lab tech program and to have passing scores on a comprehensive exam. Some states also regulate lab techs and may have additional requirements for certification or licensure.

Career Path

A laboratory technician is an important role in many research and development labs. They are responsible for setting up experiments, running tests, and cleaning up afterwards. They may also be responsible for keeping the lab organized and tidy. Laboratory technicians usually have an Associate’s degree in science or a related field.

Job Titles

Laboratory technicians usually specialize in one of three areas:

* Chemistry technicians test the composition of substances.
* Biological technicians work with living tissue, plants, and animals.
* Physics technicians conduct experiments on the physical properties of matter.

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