Lab Technician

When you hear the phrase 'lab technician', you probably picture the medical laboratory technicians you've seen gazing into microscopes and exchanging quips with the doctors on TV shows like House, Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy.

But lab technicians aren't exclusively found in hospitals - they work in all sorts of different industries, from energy to manufacturing. Indeed, 'laboratory technician' is a fairly broad term that can apply to just about anyone who works with scientific equipment in a lab environment.

Lab Technician Job Description

As you'd expect, lab technicians work almost entirely within laboratories, where they carry out a range of tasks, tests and experiments. This could mean:

  • Analysing DNA samples for the police
  • Diagnosing diseases in a hospital
  • Testing foodstuffs to make sure they're safe for consumption
  • Developing new technologies and solutions
In addition to performing tests/experiments and recording the results, laboratory technicians are often responsible for the running and maintenance of the lab itself, too. A lab technician's more humdrum tasks might include cleaning test tubes, taking inventory, and labelling key items for ease of identification.

Job Requirements

In order to land yourself a lab technician job, you will generally need a degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Molecular Biology if you will be working with DNA samples).

As ever, relevant experience will make you more attractive to potential employers, but you will also need to prove that you possess the skills/knowledge necessary to carry out the tasks that will be assigned to you.

Salary

The average lab technician in the UK makes around £21,000 per year, but as with most roles, salaries vary depending on experience and line of work. Some laboratory technicians make upwards of £30,000 per year.

If you'd like to see some more specific lab technician job descriptions, please use the link below to browse the latest lab tech vacancies from Hyper Recruitment Solutions.

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Microbiology

Microbiology is a burgeoning field, and microbiologists can earn upwards of £30,000 a year (depending on the nature of the role and the candidate's qualifications / experience level).

But what exactly does a microbiologist do? In order to answer that, let's start with a more basic question...

What is Microbiology?

Moicrobiology is the study of microscopic organisms (microorganisms) such as bacteria and viruses. There are many different branches of microbiology, including:

  • Bacteriology (the study of bacteria)
  • Virology (the study of viruses)
  • Mycology (the study of fungi)
  • Phycology (the study of algae)
Generally speaking, the term 'microbiology' can be applied to the study of any living organism that is too small to been with the naked eye.

So that's a rough overview of what microbiology is - now, let's return to our original question. What does a microbiologist do on an average working day?

Microbiologist Job Description

Microbiologists typically work within the medical and life science industries, but can be found in a variety of other sectors too. A degree in Microbiology or a closely-related discipline (e.g. Biomedical Science) tends to be the minimum requirement to enter this line of work, although this may not be mandatory for some junior positions.

As a microbiologist, you'll be spending most of your time in a laboratory, studying microorganisms with the aid of a microscope. If you find yourself working within the healthcare sector, you will most likely be working to understand and prevent different types of infection; elsewhere, you might be required to develop enzyme indicators or analyse biological samples.

Hyper Recruitment Solutions is a leading light in UK science recruitment. Use the link below to browse our latest microbiology vacancies, or create your candidate account here.

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Scientist Quiz

Nearly 7,000 people (and counting!) have taken Hyper Recruitment Solutions' What Type of Scientist Are You? quiz since we launched it earlier this year.

And who knows? Maybe we inspired some of those individuals to consider a career that had never even occurred to them before! For instance, have you ever thought about how your innate problem-solving skills might serve you well as a data scientist? Or how your love of animals might translate into a rewarding career in zoology?

If not, be sure to take the quiz yourself before you read on to find out what results everyone else has been getting!

The Most Popular Results

Science Quiz Results - Graph

As you can see, there's been a lot of variety in the results that people have been getting from our quiz - some people are clinical scientists, some are ecologists, and some are better suited to biochemistry.

The 3 most popular results are:

  1. Geologist (14.4% of people get this result)
  2. Astronomer (13.9% of people get this result)
  3. Physicist (13.4% of people get this result)

This suggests that there are a lot of people out there with analytical minds and a great love for going outdoors - these are qualities that mesh very well with a career in geology!

We've also seen a lot of people show an interest in unlocking the really big mysteries, like whether we're alone in the universe and indeed where the universe came from in the first place. These people would make great astronomers and physicians - the second and third most popular quiz results respectively.

The least popular result was Biologist - just 4.6% of our quiz-takers are best suited to a career in biology, but that's still more than 300 people!

Take the Quiz >   Browse Science Jobs >

Research Scientist

A research scientist is someone who plans and conducts experiments in almost any area of science, from pharmacology to meteorology. In this blog post, we will look at some of the main responsibilities of research scientists and the types of organisation they work for.

What does a working day in the life of a research scientist look like?

As a research scientist, you will spend most of your working life in a laboratory. Depending on your role and the industry you're in, you could be doing all kinds of different things, including:

  • Designing and carrying out experiments
  • Collecting samples
  • Recording, analysing and presenting data
  • Drafting research reports that discuss the methods and findings of your research
  • Supervising or training junior members of staff / technicians
  • Researching and staying up to date with scientific developments in your field

While this list is not exhaustive, it does give you a flavour of just how varied a research scientist's job can be. Having said that, research scientists generally spend several years on a single project - but while this may sound tedious, the quest for an answer can actually be very rewarding.

Who employs research scientists?

Research scientists are needed across virtually all scientific disciplines, and accordingly, it's possible to find work in all kinds of different sectors. Examples include:

  • Universities
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Environmental agencies
  • Food and drink manufacturers
  • Government bodies

Are you looking for a job as a research scientist? Use the link below to browse the latest vacancies from Hyper Recruitment Solutions!

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Outdoor Science Jobs

A degree in science doesn't mean that you have to spend your whole career in a laboratory.

If you love science but prefer working outdoors, there are still plenty of possibilities for you to explore! Here are some outdoor science jobs that could be perfect for a person like you:

  • Environmental Scientist – Environmental scientists study the effects of human activities on the world around us. They do this by conducting tests and analysing data as a means to both prevent and solve environmental problems. They gather samples and data in the field, then perform tests in a lab. As a result of increased pressure on governments and industries to minimise the harmful effects that their activities have on the world, the demand for environmental scientists is currently higher than ever.

  • Ecologist – An ecologist's job is to study ecosystems, the distribution of organisms, and the relationship between those organisms and their environment. They tend to focus on a particular subject area, such as marine, freshwater or terrestrial ecology.

  • Geologist – The role of a geologist is to study processes of the earth (such as floods, earthquakes and landslides) and to survey land and produce safe building plans. They also investigate precious materials - such as minerals, metals, oils, water and natural gas - and come up with ways to extract them. Geologists are concerned with changes that occur over time, such as land formation and climate change, and they tend to spend a lot of their working lives outdoors.

  • Biologist – The job of a biologist is to study organisms (such as bacteria, humans and animals) and their relationship with the surrounding environment. This helps us to better understand how the organism's body operates and how external factors impact each organism. Using basic research methods, a biologist will work to prove or disprove theories about how organisms work, as well as contributing to the discovery of medicinal advancements such as developing new fruits and vegetables that are less prone to pests and disease.

  • Patent Attorney – A patent attorney's job requires both scientific and legal knowledge, focusing on the protection of technology through the obtaining of patents. As a patent attorney, you will assess whether inventions are new and innovative, and this will mean spending a lot of time out and about; you'll also lead individual inventors or organisations through the process required to obtain a patent, and then act to impose inventors' rights if patents have been impeded.

This is just a sample of the many available outdoor science jobs that are (mostly) based outside of the traditional lab setting.

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we strive to help every individual find their perfect science role, whether that be in a lab or the great outdoors. For career advice, job-hunting guidance or further information on the scientific job market, please do not hesitate to contact us today - or use the link below to view our latest scientific vacancies.

Browse All Current Jobs >


Scientist Quiz

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