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How do I Become a Research Technician?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2016
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In order to become a research technician, you must have successfully completed post secondary education in a science related field. There are two options available: a two-year specialized program or a four-year degree. The two-year programs are offered by community and career colleges. Although some programs are specifically focussed on research technician skills, most are actually applied science, laboratory technician or technologist associate degrees.

A research technician is someone who is responsible for completing the tasks required on a research project. This type of job is very task-oriented and the skills required are dependent upon the exact nature of the research and the proposed outcome. There are three steps required to become a research technician: complete post-secondary education, select a specialty, and obtain lab experience.

The four-year option is to complete a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biology, physics or another science subject. Many colleges offer program with job placement opportunity. These programs greatly increase your employment chances, as you have gained both theoretical and practical skills.

In order to qualify for these educational programs, applicants must have high marks in high school calculus, math, biology, chemistry or physics. These skills are necessary to become a research technician. The job requires a great deal of technical skills. Candidates who have advanced computer skills and are able to learn new technologies quickly have an advantage.

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When you become a research technician, you will be required to complete technical tasks and write reports to document your findings. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required in this position. Most research work is done by a team of professionals. The ability to work well with others and manage conflicting priorities is very important.

As a research technician, there are a wide range of specialties available. It is important to decide which type of research you want to work in. The options are based on the different science discipline and each has their own specific skill sets. Many people start their careers are general laboratory assistants and then decide on the area they want to specialize in.

Laboratory experience is required for any job as a research technician. This experience is often obtained through placement opportunities provided by your college or university. Another option is to get a part-time job as a laboratory assistant at your college or university. These technicians are integral to the completion of important scientific research.

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