Laboratory technician

What they do

Laboratory technicians assist chemists, scientists and other laboratory staff by collecting samples and conducting laboratory tests on a broad range of chemicals, and recording the results for further analysis. They perform regular calibration tests on instruments and maintain specialised scientific testing equipment. They keep detailed records of all tests and experiments. Laboratory technicians may work for laboratories, organisations or educational institutions in major metropolitan areas in Western Australia.

Working conditions

Laboratory technicians work in laboratories assisting chemists and scientists. They perform chemical testing to analyse products such as chemicals, cosmetics, plastics, pharmaceuticals and paints. 

Laboratory technicians may work with potentially hazardous materials. Following proper workplace safety standards such as wearing protective clothing greatly minimises any associated risks.

Tools and technologies

Laboratory technicians use a wide range of general scientific equipment such as test tubes, volumetric flasks and pipettes, alongside specialised testing and measuring equipment, and computer-controlled machinery. They often need to wear special protective clothing such as safety glasses and laboratory coats.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a laboratory technician you usually need to gain a qualification in laboratory technology or laboratory techniques.

The Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques and Diploma of Laboratory Technology is offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

 You can also undertake a traineeship in laboratory techniques (level 4) or laboratory technology (level 5). The traineeships usually take 24 to 36 months to complete


Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.