What Does a Molecular Technologist Do?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 14 April 2019
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A career as a molecular technologist revolves around analyzing a variety of samples in a laboratory setting. These individuals typically work at a university or privately owned laboratory, and have at least a bachelor's degree in biology. Some beneficial skills to have for this job are computer knowledge, organization skills and an eye for detail. While the specific types of samples that a molecular technologist deals with can vary, his main job duties are basically the same. These include collecting samples, performing testing on those samples, analyzing results, recording results, caring for lab equipment and maintaining cleanliness.

Collecting samples is usually the first thing a molecular technologist will do prior to conducting any tests. For example, if he is performing agricultural testing, he might need to obtain a food sample to inspect its chemical makeup. If he is working in the field of genetics, he might collect a human hair or blood sample.

After a sample has been collected, a molecular technologist will perform some testing on the item. In the case of genetic testing, an individual might conduct experiments to determine how people acquire a particular disease. Generally, this involves the use of high-tech instruments and computer programs, so a technologist must have extensive knowledge on how to properly use laboratory tools and software. He must also be sure to follow lab policy and maintain safety. Throughout each stage of testing, a molecular technologist will typically document all procedures for future reference.


Upon the completion of each test, an individual in this position must also analyze the results. This often involves compiling large quantities of data and looking for patterns. For some tests, it may be relatively simple to draw conclusions. Other tests may be extremely involved and require detailed analysis to obtain results.

Along with this, a molecular technologist must accurately record the results at the end of each experiment. In order to validate his findings and share them with others in the scientific community, an individual will usually document the results. Sometimes these findings will be published in scientific journals and could be used as a reference point for other scientists.

Additionally, an individual will usually be responsible for caring for lab equipment and maintaining cleanliness. This might include wiping off counters, disposing of waste, cleaning equipment and sterilizing beakers. Routine cleaning is essential for ensuring accuracy for future experiments and avoiding hazards. Consequently, a molecular technologist must be thorough and keep all tools and equipment in operable condition.



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