Lab technicians analyze material samples and record data in medical facilities, research institutes, and crime labs. To conduct experiments and interpret results, they frequently collaborate with scientists and lab technologists. Clinical lab technicians collect and analyze blood and tissue samples from patients, whereas scientific research lab technicians conduct tests on a variety of chemical and biological substances. In forensic labs, lab techs analyze evidence from crime scenes to assist in the resolution of cases. Because most professionals specialize, there are a variety of lab technician jobs to choose from.
Clinical or medical lab technicians are in charge of detecting abnormalities in human tissue, blood, and bodily fluids samples. They report their findings to doctors, who can then prescribe the best treatment options. Specialized instruments, such as cell counters and electron microscopes, are frequently used lab technicians. Lab technicians also spend a lot of time working with computers, entering data, and analyzing statistical results from experiments.
There are a variety of clinical lab technician jobs available, all of which require specialized knowledge. Blood is collected and analyzed phlebotomists, for example. Histotechnicians look for bacteria and other abnormalities in body tissue samples, while cytotechnology technicians look for cancerous and diseased cells.
In scientific research institutions, aspiring scientists are frequently hired as lab technicians. Designing research projects, collecting field samples, conducting experiments, analyzing results, and writing scientific papers are all common tasks for science lab technicians. There are almost as many different types of scientific lab technician jobs as there are different types of scientific disciplines. Chemistry, biology, environmental science, geology, and nuclear research are just a few of the fields where technicians can specialize.
Physical evidence from crime scenes, such as weapons, clothing, and blood samples, is collected forensic lab technicians. They use various techniques to analyze evidence in a lab to uncover facts about a crime scene. Forensic lab technicians may conduct ballistics tests on firearms or extract DNA from hair or tissue samples. The work of skilled forensic specialists frequently leads to the identification of criminals. A forensic lab tech may be called upon to give expert testimony based on his or her findings if a criminal case goes to trial.
Other places to look for lab technician jobs include veterinary, dental, and ophthalmic clinics. Veterinary technicians perform the same tasks as clinical lab technicians when it comes to analyzing tissue and blood samples from pets and domesticated farm animals. Dental lab technicians make prosthetic teeth, crowns, and bridges for individual patients, following the dentist’s instructions. Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses are cut and shaped ophthalmic lab technicians.