Lab assistants work alongside doctors and nurses to help diagnose and treat illness and disease. Learn more about how to become a lab assistant in the UK and what salary you should expect once you have completed your laboratory job training.
What does a lab assistant do?
Lab assistants typically support biomedical scientists in carrying out their duties within the lab.
Their work is highly varied and often very practical. Duties
Lab assistant duties may include
-Preparing chemical solutions
- Using computers to input and analyse data
-Labeling and sorting clinical samples
-Disposing chemical waste
-Maintaining and storing chemical stocks
-Obtaining clinical samples
Lab assistants work in a range of clinical settings.
They may work in small health-care clinics, large hospital laboratories or specialist hospital wards.
Lab assistants may specialise in a single area of work.
They may work as biochemistry lab assistants, pathology assistants, histology laboratory technicians, immunology lab technicians, transfusion science assistants or cytology screening assistants.
What qualifications are needed to become a lab assistant?
No formal qualifications are required to enter into lab assistant jobs.
However, GCSE qualifications will prove beneficial.
The majority of clinical support worker employers provide on-the-job training to their staff.
Introductory training is typically general in its nature.
Specialised training is available following initial training.
Employers may aid individuals in medical technician jobs in gaining NVQ qualifications.
It is possible for medical technicians to be promoted to biomedical scientists. However, an individual must be committed to studying for a degree in order to hold this position.
What skills does a lab assistant need?
Lab assistants must possess the following qualities in order to successfully carry out their role in the workplace:
-An interest in sophisticated equipment and the latest medical techniques
-An interest in lifelong learning
-An interest in learning about science and technology
- Excellent communication
-Attention to detail
-An ability to concentrate for long periods of time
-Excellent interpersonal skills
-An ability to work as part of a larger multidisciplinary team.
How much does a lab assistant earn?
Lab assistant salaries vary, depending on experience and training.
An entry level health-care science support worker can expect to earn between £13,903 and £14,614 per year, while a more qualified health-care science support worker can expect to earn between £13,903 and £17,003.
Higher level lab assistants may earn between £15,860 and £21,798 per year, depending on their qualifications.
Lab assistants who go on to earn a biomedical science degree and to work in a biomedical scientist role may earn between £21,176 and £27,625 per year.