Laboratory Technician

Occupation overview

Laboratory technicians work in a wide range of organisations, including but not exclusively, chemical, primary and secondary pharmaceutical, biotechnology, formulated products, nuclear companies; and analytical science services.A laboratory technician may carry out both routine and one-off laboratory testing and perform a variety of technical support functions across the organisation. In any context working safety and ethically is paramount and many companies operate under highly regulated conditions because of the need to control the quality and safety of products, for example medicines. Laboratory technicians are expected to work both individually and as part of a laboratory team. They are able to work with minimum supervision, taking responsibility for the quality and accuracy of the work that is undertaken. They are proactive in finding solutions to problems and identifying areas for improving the business.

Skills & Knowledge

A laboratory technician can:

1. Work safely in a laboratory, maintaining excellent housekeeping whilst following appropriate safety, environment and risk management systems.

2. Understand and follow quality procedures to meet the requirements of quality standards relevant to the workplace.

3. Understand the internal and external regulatory environment pertinent to the sector and the employer and comply with regulations proficiently.

4. Prepare for laboratory tasks using the appropriate scientific techniques, procedures and methods.

5. Perform laboratory tasks following specified methodologies, such as Standard Operating Procedures.

6. Demonstrate technical competence in the use of specified instrumentation and laboratory equipment, including calibration where required.

7. Produce reliable, accurate data and keep accurate records of laboratory work undertaken and results.

8. Analyse, interpret and evaluate data and identify results requiring further investigation seeking advice of senior colleagues as appropriate.

9. Understand and apply statistical techniques for data presentation.

10. Communicate scientific information appropriately, including the use of Laboratory Information Management systems, either digital or paper based.

11. Recognise problems and apply appropriate scientific methods to identify causes and achieve solutions.

12. Participate in continuous performance improvement.

13. Develop and apply theoretical knowledge of relevant science and technology required for the sector & job role. 14. Understand the business environment in which the company operates including personal role within the organisation, ethical practice and codes of conduct.


A laboratory technician also demonstrates the required attitudes, behaviours and interpersonal skills associated with the professional workplace including:  

Communicate effectively using a full range of skills: speaking; listening; writing; body language; presentation  

Work and interact effectively within a team  work independently and take responsibility for initiating and completing tasks  

Understand impact of work on others, especially where related to diversity and equality  

Time management and ability to complete work to schedule  

Ability to handle change and respond to change management processes


Minimum of 18 months, typically 24 months duration.

Professional Qualifications / Recognition

The apprenticeship is recognised by the relevant professional bodies at Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) level, for which there is a requirement that the technician will participate in subsequent continuing professional development on completion of the apprenticeship. .


Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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