Laboratory Technicians and Technologists


Employment Prospects


Laboratory technicians and technologists work for biotechnology research and manufacturing companies, pharmaceutical companies, environmental services companies, agricultural and food production companies, biofuels producers, colleges and universities, hospitals, research organizations, and government agencies. Federal government agencies that employ lab professionals include the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, FBI, and the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.

Starting Out

Graduates of laboratory technology programs usually receive assistance from faculty and school career services offices to find their first jobs. Hospitals, laboratories, and other facilities employing laboratory technicians may notify local schools of job openings. Often the hospital or laboratory at which you receive your practical training will offer full-time employment after graduation. Positions may also be secured using the various registries of certified laboratory workers. Internet job sites and commercial placement agencies are other sources of help in locating employment.

Laboratory technicians and technologists often break into the field by working as laboratory assistants during their college education.

Advancement Prospects

Laboratory technicians often advance by returning to school to earn a bachelor’s degree and becoming laboratory technologists.

Technicians and technologists advance by gaining more responsibility while retaining their job title. For instance, with experience, these workers can be promoted to supervisory positions or other positions assigning work to be done by other laboratory workers. Laboratory technicians may also advance by training to do very specialized or complex laboratory or research work. With experience and additional education, they can become scientists or engineers. Others become clinical research associates, who oversee clinical trials of biopharmaceuticals. 

Tips for Entry

Talk to your career counselor about the academic requirements and job opportunities for laboratory technicians and technologists. Discuss ways to structure your academic course work that will help you gain needed knowledge and experience for this profession.

Consult with your college career counselor about employers who might be hiring laboratory technicians or technologists. Colleges and universities also hire laboratory technicians or technologists for research purposes.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:


Visit for a list of biotechnology employers by state.