Is becoming a biotechnician right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do biotechnicians do?
Career Satisfaction
Are biotechnicians happy with their careers?
What are biotechnicians like?

Still unsure if becoming a biotechnician is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a biotechnician or another similar career!

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How to become a Biotechnician

Becoming a biotechnician involves a combination of education and practical experience. Here's a guide on how to pursue a career as a biotechnician specifically:

  • Educational Background: Start with a high school diploma or equivalent with a strong focus on science courses, particularly biology and chemistry.
  • Earn an Associate Degree: Consider pursuing an Associate Degree in Biotechnology, Laboratory Technology, or a related field. These programs typically provide hands-on training in laboratory techniques and equipment.
  • Gain Laboratory Experience: Seek internships or entry-level positions in laboratories during or after your associate's degree program. Practical experience is vital for developing technical skills. Acquire proficiency in key laboratory techniques commonly used in biotechnology, such as DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and cell culture.
  • Certifications (Optional): While not always required, consider obtaining relevant certifications to enhance your credentials. Certifications may be available for specific laboratory techniques or technologies (see below).
  • Apply for Entry-Level Positions: Look for entry-level positions such as laboratory technician or research assistant roles. These roles will allow you to apply your knowledge and gain practical experience in a professional laboratory setting.
  • Consider Advancing Your Education (Optional): If you aspire to take on more specialized roles or advance your career, you may choose to pursue additional education, such as a Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology or a related field.
  • Apply for Biotechnician Positions: Once you have acquired the necessary education and experience, start applying for biotechnician positions in research institutions, healthcare organizations, biotechnology companies, or other relevant settings.

There are certifications related to laboratory techniques and skills that can enhance the credentials of individuals working in biotechnology. These certifications can be valuable for biotechnicians who want to demonstrate their proficiency in specific areas.

  • Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD): Offered by National Instruments, this certification is suitable for biotechnicians who work with LabVIEW, a system design and development platform often used in laboratory automation and data acquisition.
  • Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Certification: For biotechnicians working in clinical laboratories, CLIA certification ensures compliance with regulatory standards for clinical testing. The certification may vary based on the complexity of tests performed.
  • Certification in Biotechnology Processes (CBP): Offered by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), CBP is a certification program covering foundational biotechnology processes. It is designed for individuals working in the biotech industry, including those with a more technical focus.
  • Certified Research Specialist in Biotechnology (CRSB): This certification, offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), is designed for laboratory professionals, including biotechnicians, who work in research settings. It covers various aspects of laboratory research.
  • Certified Biotechnology Technician (CBT): The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) offers the CBT certification, focusing on core skills in biotechnology, including laboratory techniques, safety, and quality control.
  • Certified Laboratory Professional (CLP): Offered by the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB), the CLP certification is designed for laboratory professionals, including biotechnicians, working in various laboratory settings.
  • Certified Professional in IVD (In Vitro Diagnostics): Offered by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), this certification is relevant for biotechnicians involved in the development and validation of diagnostic tests.
  • Molecular Biology Technologist (MBT) Certification: Offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the MBT certification is suitable for biotechnicians specializing in molecular biology techniques.