How to Be Laboratory Support Technician - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

Laboratory Support Technicians play an essential role in the healthcare system, as they provide essential support to laboratory operations. By performing routine maintenance and calibrations of lab equipment, they ensure that lab tests are accurate and reliable. In doing so, they are able to ensure that patients receive the most accurate diagnosis, which in turn allows for the most effective treatments. Additionally, their work enables healthcare providers to maintain compliance with regulatory standards, which helps protect the safety of both patients and staff.

Steps How to Become

  1. Obtain a high school diploma or GED. Many employers prefer to hire those who have completed high school, so obtaining this credential is essential.
  2. Consider obtaining a postsecondary certificate in laboratory technology. Many community colleges and technical schools offer certificate programs in this field. These programs typically require 1-2 years of study, and may include courses in medical terminology, chemistry, biology and lab procedures.
  3. Seek an entry-level job as a lab technician or assistant. This type of position typically does not require a degree, but may involve on-the-job training.
  4. Gain experience in the laboratory setting. As you learn the ropes, ask questions, take notes, and observe how experienced technicians work.
  5. Become certified as a laboratory assistant. This certification is offered through national organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). You must typically take and pass an exam in order to become certified.
  6. Consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science or a related field. This may open up more opportunities for advancement in the field.
  7. Develop your skills and knowledge by attending continuing education courses and seminars related to laboratory science.

Being a reliable and capable Laboratory Support Technician requires a strong set of skills and knowledge. To be successful in this role, one must have a thorough understanding of laboratory safety protocols and procedures, as well as the ability to use laboratory equipment and instruments accurately and efficiently. the technician should have excellent problem-solving skills, be able to troubleshoot and diagnose any issues with the equipment or experiments, and be able to communicate effectively with colleagues.

The technician must also be detail-oriented and organized, with the ability to handle multiple tasks at once and prioritize them according to importance. All of these skills combined will ensure that the technician is a reliable and capable Laboratory Support Technician.

You may want to check Medical Laboratory Technician, Laboratory Analyst, and Clinical Laboratory Scientist for alternative.

Job Description

  1. Set up and maintain laboratory equipment and supplies, including ordering, stocking, and organizing materials.
  2. Assist in the preparation of samples for experiments and analysis.
  3. Troubleshoot laboratory equipment and make necessary repairs.
  4. Maintain accurate records of all experiments, analyses, results, and related information.
  5. Monitor laboratory safety standards and ensure compliance with applicable regulations.
  6. Provide technical assistance to laboratory personnel as needed.
  7. Monitor laboratory environment to ensure proper operation of equipment.
  8. Process, analyze, and interpret data from experiments and tests.
  9. Collaborate with scientists and technicians to develop new methods and procedures.
  10. Prepare and write reports on laboratory activities.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of laboratory safety protocols and procedures
  2. Ability to troubleshoot and maintain laboratory equipment
  3. Knowledge of scientific methods and techniques
  4. Ability to follow detailed instructions and procedures
  5. Knowledge of standard laboratory tools and equipment
  6. Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  7. Good organizational skills and attention to detail
  8. Computer literacy and proficiency in laboratory software
  9. Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  10. Knowledge of data entry and data analysis
  11. Ability to prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently
  12. Knowledge of quality control systems
  13. Knowledge of relevant industry regulations and standards

Laboratory Support Technicians are integral to the success of any scientific research institution. In order to provide the best service possible, these technicians must have a wide range of skills and knowledge. One of the most important skills for a Laboratory Support Technician is the ability to troubleshoot and problem solve.

This includes being able to identify and diagnose any technical issues, determine the cause of a problem, and find effective solutions that are both timely and cost-effective. the Technician must have excellent communication skills to be able to explain complex technical concepts to non-technical staff and discuss issues with colleagues. Having a thorough understanding of laboratory equipment and procedures is also essential, as it allows the Technician to quickly recognize any potential safety or operational issues.

Finally, being organized and detail-oriented is key to ensuring that all experiments are conducted accurately and efficiently. With these skills, Laboratory Support Technicians are able to provide an invaluable service in any research setting.

Laboratory Assistant, Laboratory Manager, and Veterinary Laboratory Technician are related jobs you may like.

Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have with laboratory equipment maintenance?
  • Describe a time when you have had to troubleshoot a laboratory instrument.
  • How do you prioritize tasks and manage time effectively in a laboratory setting?
  • What have you done to ensure accuracy and precision in laboratory results?
  • What safety protocols have you implemented in the laboratory?
  • Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision in the laboratory.
  • How do you stay informed of new developments in laboratory techniques?
  • What experience do you have with data analysis and statistical software?
  • What techniques do you use to organize and store laboratory data?
  • Describe your experience with sample preparation and analysis techniques.

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Microscopes. Used to view small objects and specimens at a magnified level (eg: electron microscope).
  2. Balances. Used to accurately measure mass of samples (eg: analytical balance).
  3. Spectrophotometers. Used to measure light intensity and analyze chemical components of samples (eg: UV-Vis spectrophotometer).
  4. pH Meters. Used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of solutions (eg: digital pH meter).
  5. Centrifuges. Used to separate mixtures by spinning them at high speed (eg: microcentrifuge).
  6. Autoclaves. Used to sterilize equipment and instruments using high pressure and temperature (eg: steam autoclave).
  7. Incubators. Used to maintain a stable environment for the growth of microorganisms and cell cultures (eg: refrigerated incubator).
  8. Chromatography Systems. Used to separate and identify components in complex mixtures (eg: liquid chromatography system).

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. International Society for Clinical Laboratory Technology (ISCLT)
  2. National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
  3. American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)
  4. Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)
  5. American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB)
  6. American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA)
  7. Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA)
  8. Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS)
  9. American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science–Texas (ASCLS-TX)
  10. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)

We also have Forensic Laboratory Technician, Laboratory Instructor, and Clinical Laboratory Technician jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. Microbiology. The study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, algae, and fungi.
  2. Cell culture. The process of growing and maintaining cells in an artificial environment.
  3. Biochemistry. The study of the chemical processes that occur within living organisms.
  4. Molecular biology. The study of the structure and function of molecules that make up living cells.
  5. Immunology. The study of the body's immune system and how it works to protect against disease.
  6. Biosafety. Procedures and practices used to protect humans, animals, and the environment from potential biological hazards.
  7. Data management. The process of collecting, organizing, and storing data for analysis and reporting.
  8. Equipment maintenance. The practice of ensuring that laboratory equipment is properly calibrated and in good working order.
  9. Quality control. The practice of ensuring that products meet certain standards of quality before they are released for sale or use.
  10. Calibration. The process of adjusting machines or instruments to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average annual salary of a Laboratory Support Technician?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of a Laboratory Support Technician is $48,100.

What are the educational requirements for becoming a Laboratory Support Technician?

The educational requirements for becoming a Laboratory Support Technician vary depending on the employer, but typically include a high school diploma or equivalent and specialized training in laboratory equipment and techniques.

What are the duties of a Laboratory Support Technician?

The duties of a Laboratory Support Technician include providing technical assistance to laboratory personnel, setting up and maintaining laboratory equipment, organizing laboratory materials, conducting laboratory tests, and recording and analyzing test data.

What skills are required to be a successful Laboratory Support Technician?

To be successful as a Laboratory Support Technician, one must possess strong technical skills, attention to detail, excellent problem-solving abilities, and good communication and organizational skills.

What types of laboratories may employ a Laboratory Support Technician?

Laboratory Support Technicians may be employed in a variety of laboratories, including medical and scientific research laboratories, hospitals, universities, and pharmaceutical companies.

Web Resources

Author Photo
Reviewed & Published by Albert
Submitted by our contributor
Laboratory Category