What are the Different Laboratory Jobs?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
A medical laboratory assistant may test urine and other samples.
A medical laboratory assistant may test urine and other samples.

A laboratory is a workplace in which scientific investigation and research is conducted. The work of a particular laboratory may focus on tests, identification, experiments, analysis, or development of new products, techniques, or processes. Laboratory jobs are diverse to meet the needs of the large variety of laboratory activities. Some are to be found in government laboratories, others in colleges and universities, still others in health care facilities, and some in private companies.

There are various areas of specialization for individuals working in laboratories.
There are various areas of specialization for individuals working in laboratories.

Forensic science technicians work with crime scene evidence. They may be involved in collecting it, which is a job that is usually outside the laboratory. The laboratory jobs they do include identifying, classifying, and analyzing physical evidence from crime scenes. Forensic science technicians may have a particular area of expertise, such as documents, ballistics, fingerprints, DNA, or handwriting, or they may work in multiple areas.

Crime scene evidence is analyzed by forensic science technicians.
Crime scene evidence is analyzed by forensic science technicians.

Scientists and engineers involved in research and development also hold laboratory jobs. These laboratory workers are involved in diverse fields including aerospace, automotive, biotechnology, chemistry and materials science, electronics, nanotechnology, and pharmaceuticals. They may either work at developing new processes, techniques, and products or work to find practical applications of processes, techniques, and products.

Some lab technicians are charged with taking care of laboratory animals.
Some lab technicians are charged with taking care of laboratory animals.

Medical laboratory technicians may work in hospitals, medical practices, dental and ophthalmic laboratories, or veterinary laboratories. Those in hospitals and medical practices have laboratory jobs involved with performing standard and specialized medical testing, such as running blood work and urinalysis tests. Specialized medical appliance technicians create appliances that range from corrective shoes to orthotics to prosthetics. Dental laboratory technicians create dental prosthetics including bridges and dentures. Meanwhile, ophthalmic laboratory technicians create prescriptions for vision corrections.

Environmental scientists and ecologists may work in laboratories.
Environmental scientists and ecologists may work in laboratories.

Other laboratory technicians have laboratory jobs that require setting up, operating, and maintaining laboratory instruments, setting up and monitoring experiments, recording and interpreting data, and calculating and analyzing results. Laboratory technicians may be part of a research team, receiving direction from other scientists. They make work in agricultural science working, for example, on questions of health or yield; food science, contributing to quality control and developing new products; pharmaceutical, ensuring FDA compliance; chemistry, synthesizing compounds; and environmental science, monitoring pollution.

Lab jobs can involve testing, identification and analysis, and employ scientists, engineers and other technicians.
Lab jobs can involve testing, identification and analysis, and employ scientists, engineers and other technicians.

Some laboratory jobs are specifically for animal caretakers. These laboratory technicians specialize in caring for lab animals and make sure they are healthy and fed, that their cages are cleaned and disinfected. They are also responsible for ensuring that animals receive medical attention when necessary.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to PracticalAdultInsights about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to PracticalAdultInsights about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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    • A medical laboratory assistant may test urine and other samples.
      By: Photoroller
      A medical laboratory assistant may test urine and other samples.
    • There are various areas of specialization for individuals working in laboratories.
      By: WavebreakMediaMicro
      There are various areas of specialization for individuals working in laboratories.
    • Crime scene evidence is analyzed by forensic science technicians.
      By: ferrerilavarialiotti
      Crime scene evidence is analyzed by forensic science technicians.
    • Some lab technicians are charged with taking care of laboratory animals.
      By: Jose Gil
      Some lab technicians are charged with taking care of laboratory animals.
    • Environmental scientists and ecologists may work in laboratories.
      By: eliaskordelakos
      Environmental scientists and ecologists may work in laboratories.
    • Lab jobs can involve testing, identification and analysis, and employ scientists, engineers and other technicians.
      By: kasto
      Lab jobs can involve testing, identification and analysis, and employ scientists, engineers and other technicians.
    • A university lab supervisor may oversee classes of students as well as researchers.
      By: markos86
      A university lab supervisor may oversee classes of students as well as researchers.
    • Lab assistants and technicians are often tasked with keeping inventory and ordering supplies.
      By: .shock
      Lab assistants and technicians are often tasked with keeping inventory and ordering supplies.