Nature of the Work
BioScience technicians use the principles and theories of science and mathematics to assist in research and development and in the invention and improvement of products and processes. Technicians set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments; monitor experiments; make observations; calculate and record results; and often develop conclusions. They must keep detailed logs of all of their work. Those who perform production work monitor manufacturing processes and may ensure quality by testing products for proper proportions of ingredients, for purity, or for strength and durability.
As laboratory instrumentation and procedures have become more complex, the role of biotechnology technicians in research and development has expanded. In addition to performing routine tasks, many technicians, under the direction of scientists, now develop and adapt laboratory procedures to achieve the best results, interpret data, and devise solutions to problems. Technicians must develop expert knowledge of laboratory equipment so that they can adjust settings when necessary and recognize when equipment is malfunctioning.
Biological technicians work with biologists studying living organisms. Many assist scientists who conduct medical research such as helping to find a cure for cancer or AIDS. Those who work in pharmaceutical companies help develop and manufacture medicines. Those working in the field of microbiology generally work as laboratory assistants studying living organisms and infectious agents. Biological technicians also analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.