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Career and Education Opportunities for Biological Sciences Technicians in Tucson, Arizona

Biological sciences technicians can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Tucson, Arizona area. About 300 people are currently employed as biological sciences technicians in Arizona. By 2016, this is expected to grow 23% to 360 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for biological sciences technicians are expected to grow by about 17.6%. In general, biological sciences technicians assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories.

Biological sciences technicians earn about $14 per hour or $29,790 per year on average in Arizona and about $18 per hour or $38,400 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical, people working as biological sciences technicians in Arizona earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical nationally. People working as biological sciences technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: research associate, laboratory worker, and culture media laboratory assistant.

The Tucson area is home to twenty-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Tucson where you can get a degree as a biological sciences technician. Given that the most common education level for biological sciences technicians is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a biological sciences technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Biological Sciences Technician

Biological Sciences Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, biological sciences technicians assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. They also set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, and calculate and record results.

Biological sciences technicians clean, maintain and ready supplies and work areas. They also assemble and troubleshoot laboratory and field equipment. Equally important, biological sciences technicians have to keep detailed logs of all work-related efforts. Finally, biological sciences technicians use computers, computer-interfaced equipment, robotics or high-technology industrial applications to perform work duties.

Every day, biological sciences technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for biological sciences technicians to feed livestock or laboratory animals. They are often called upon to analyze experimental data and interpret results to write reports and summaries of findings. They also conduct research or help in the conduct of research, including the collection of data and samples. They are sometimes expected to measure or weigh compounds and solutions for use in testing or animal feed. Somewhat less frequently, biological sciences technicians are also expected to monitor laboratory work to insure adherence to set standards.

Biological sciences technicians sometimes are asked to use computers, computer-interfaced equipment, robotics or high-technology industrial applications to perform work duties. They also have to be able to examine animals and specimens to uncover the presence of disease or other problems and participate in the research or manufacturing of medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations. And finally, they sometimes have to conduct research or help in the conduct of research, including the collection of data and samples.

Like many other jobs, biological sciences technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tucson include:

  • Agricultural Technician. Set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens and record data to assist scientist in biology or related science experiments.
  • Environmental Technician. Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health. Under direction of an environmental scientist or specialist, may collect samples of gases, soil, and other materials for testing and take corrective actions as assigned.
  • Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
  • Forensic Investigator. Collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, or biochemistry.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • Forestry and Wildlife Manager. Compile data pertaining to size, content, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under direction of foresters; train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats, and help provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Biological Sciences Technician Training

Pima Community College - Tucson, AZ

Pima Community College, 401 North Bonita Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85709-5000. Pima Community College is a large college located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,529 students. Pima Community College has a less than one year program in Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician: The technician certification designations of ALAT, LAT, and LATG are well known and widely used throughout the varied fields of laboratory animal care.

For more information, see the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science website.

Laboratory Animal Technician: The technician certification designations of ALAT, LAT, and LATG are well known and widely used throughout the varied fields of laboratory animal care.

For more information, see the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science website.

Registered Environmental Laboratory Technologist: RELT -- Registered Environmental Laboratory Technologist is a special registration/certification for persons engaged in the laboratory management and/or analysis of environmental samples.

For more information, see the National Registry of Environmental Professionals website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona photo by Howcheng

Tucson is situated in Pima County, Arizona. It has a population of over 541,811, which has grown by 11.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Tucson, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tucson are priced at $179,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Tucson, down from 1,131 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tucson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 22.9% of Tucson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tucson is 9.2%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Tucson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Tucson is home to the Arizona Correctional Training Facility and the Silverbell Golf Course as well as Vista del Pueblo Park and Verde Meadows Park. Shopping centers in the area include Gaslight Square Shopping Center, Grant Park Shopping Center and Grant Plaza South Shopping Center. Visitors to Tucson can choose from LA Quinta, Casa Tierra Adobe B & B Inn and Best Western Executive Inn for temporary stays in the area.