Biotechnology Technician
 
I. Job Outlook:

II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

IV. Getting A Job:

V. Back To Career Guide Home Page

       

Skill Requirements

Intellectual - basic

  • Attention to detail and good organizational skills. This is a highly regulated industry and very detailed instructions must be carried out. Furthermore, a single mistake can cost a company tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Responsible completion of assigned tasks.
  • Good communication skills, enabling understanding of verbal and written assignments.
  • Good problem-solving skills.

Intellectual - specialized

  • Knowledge and experience in the sciences is critical. Preferably, high school level biology, chemistry, physics, and math.
  • Computer literacy.
  • Knowledge and experience in a government regulated industry. With some employers this can be learned on the job.

Social

  • Ability to work independently and with others, and to communicate with supervisors.

Physical

  • Good hand-eye coordination.

Skill Maintenance requirement
Medium-high. This industry is rapidly evolving, just as the computer industry was rapidly evolving in the 1970s and 1980s. As such, it is difficult to predict exactly what the future holds, but change will definitely be a part of it. Employees are expected to be life-long learners and to update and increase their knowledge in the classroom as well as on the job.

    
 

Experience Prerequisites

Previous experience is strongly preferred by employers, particularly the smaller companies that don't have the infrastructure to train new employees. This is a good reason to start working in a biotech company as soon as possible, in any position. It is also a good reason to consider working through a temporary agency, where one can build up varied experience in a relatively short amount of time. Larger companies are most likely to provide the best training for their employees, and can also be a good place to start your career.

    
 

Education/Training Required

Training in the biological sciences is required, at least in the form of a Certificate or AA Degree in Biotechnology. Internships during your training can provide you with an opportunity for a full-time job when your training ends.

While a BS Degree is often declared a pre-requisite for Biotechnology Technicians, some employers will pay for their employees to earn a 4-year degree while they work. Previous experience, coming from something as basic as being a Laboratory Support Worker, who is responsible for cleaning and distributing glassware throughout a laboratory, is a good way to move into this career. A background in math is also helpful.

The next section in this career guide ("Bay Area Education/Training Resources") provides detailed information on some of the training programs available for this occupation.

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