Biological Technicians

What they do:

Assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, make observations, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.

On the job, you would:

  • Keep detailed logs of all work-related activities.
  • Monitor laboratory work to ensure compliance with set standards.
  • Isolate, identify and prepare specimens for examination.
  • Use computers, computer-interfaced equipment, robotics or high-technology industrial applications to perform work duties.
  • Conduct research or assist in the conduct of research, including the collection of information and samples, such as blood, water, soil, plants and animals.
  • Set up, adjust, calibrate, clean, maintain, and troubleshoot laboratory and field equipment.
  • Provide technical support and services for scientists and engineers working in fields such as agriculture, environmental science, resource management, biology, and health sciences.
  • Clean, maintain and prepare supplies and work areas.
  • Participate in the research, development, or manufacturing of medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations.
  • Conduct standardized biological, microbiological or biochemical tests and laboratory analyses to evaluate the quantity or quality of physical or chemical substances in food or other products.

Knowledge

  • Biology
  • Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry
  • Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Clerical
  • Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Mechanical
  • Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Production and Processing
  • Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Science
  • Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Active Learning
  • Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Writing
  • Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities

  • Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering
  • The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Selective Attention
  • The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Written Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Category Flexibility
  • The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Recognition
  • The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Work Activities

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information
  • Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Interests

  • Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Independence
  • Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence
  • Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.