Laboratory Technician

We're looking for people who:

love science and exploring the environment.

What you will do:

You will perform tests in a laboratory or in the field to monitor area conditions.

Some specific tasks you will be asked to complete include:

  • Collect samples of materials
  • Make sure laboratory instruments are calibrated and function properly
  • Develop programs to monitor the chemical makeup of specific areas
  • Respond to environment-related accidents at the workplace, such as oil spills, and collect samples for testing
  • Keep detailed records of all tests

Knowledge required for this job:

  • Complete knowledge of regulations and laws governing testing procedures applying to environmental issues to protect people, data, property, and institutions
  • Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of environmental substances and the changes they undergo over an extended period of time
  • Thorough knowledge of mathematics in testing procedures

Skills required for this job:

  • Ability to read and comprehend scientific documents and technical materials regarding research trends
  • Able to use scientific methods to solve problems
  • Critical thinking skills that involve using inductive and deductive reasoning to find solutions
  • The ability to integrate new information in the decision-making process  
  • Good active listening and interpersonal skills

What education you need:

Most laboratory technicians' positions require at least some college experience.
Almost one-half (46.7%) of people ages 25-44 who currently hold this kind of job have a bachelor's degree or higher. An additional 32.9% have had some college experience. About one-fifth (20.3%) have a high school degree or lower.


Nationally, people working in this job earn between $11.35 and $29.18 an hour.
In Maryland, the pay scale ranges from $13.20 - $31.81 an hour.(Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) 2007)

Future job prospects

Nationally, laboratory technicians' jobs are expected to increase from 30,900 positions in 2004 to 36,000 in 2014. (+16%)
In Maryland, jobs numbers are expected to decrease as well, with 780 positions in 2004 and 910 in 2014. +16%)