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Career and Education Opportunities for Biological Sciences Technicians in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There are many career and education opportunities for biological sciences technicians in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. About 3,300 people are currently employed as biological sciences technicians in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow 13% to 3,700 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for biological sciences technicians are expected to grow by about 17.6%. Biological sciences technicians generally assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories.

The income of a biological sciences technician is about $18 per hour or $38,630 per year on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 hourly or $38,400 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical, people working as biological sciences technicians in Pennsylvania earn more. 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: microbiology analyst, marine fisheries technician, and feed research aide.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a biological sciences technician. The most common level of education for biological sciences technicians is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Pittsburgh include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has an associate's degree 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.