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Biology technicians are essential members of scientific research teams. They assist biologists by setting up laboratory equipment, collecting and organizing samples, entering data, and editing research reports. The requirements to become a biology technician vary depending on the employment setting and the type of work being performed, but most technicians hold bachelor's degrees in their chosen specialty. An individual who wants to become a biology technician can look into possible openings at universities, private research institutions, biotechnology firms, and pharmaceutical companies.
A person who is interested in biology can apply for admissions at four-year, accredited colleges and universities. It is important to choose a school with a strong science department and updated laboratory facilities to ensure a quality education. A prospective student can usually find out information about different schools by reviewing college Web sites, touring campuses, and meeting with admissions advisers. After enrolling in a school, a student who wants to become a biology technician can begin planning which courses he or she should take to prepare for a career in the field.
A biology major typically has the opportunity to take a range of science classes that cover topics such as molecular biology, environmental science, biochemistry, and physics. In addition to attending lectures, a student gets to participate in laboratory studies to gain a fundamental understanding of the tools, techniques, and methods used by scientists and technicians. He or she learns about the importance of objectivity and rigor in scientific studies, and the specific procedures that professionals go through when carrying out experiments. Classes in mathematics, communications, and computer science are also important to prepare a student for day-to-day activities as a biology technician.
After earning a degree, a person can look for opportunities to become a biology technician by browsing online job search sites and directly contacting potential employers. A job hunter may find Web sites specifically dedicated to professionals who are searching for science-related jobs, which may provide more information and listings than general search sites. Universities and large companies generally offer the most opportunities for entry-level workers. A person who is able to become a biology technician can expect to spend several weeks in training to learn about specific duties, equipment, and techniques. In time, the technician is allowed to work without supervision in field and laboratory research efforts.
Exceptional technicians who gain many years of experience are often able to advance within their careers. Some professionals become lead technicians or technologists, overseeing the work of other technicians and ensuring studies are carried out efficiently and accurately. A biology technician who wants to design his or her own projects and conduct independent research can return to school and pursue an advanced degree in a particular branch of biology.