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Career and Education Opportunities for Biological Sciences Technicians in Arlington, Virginia

For those living in the Arlington, Virginia area, there are many career and education opportunities for biological sciences technicians. The national trend for biological sciences technicians sees this job pool growing by about 17.6% over the next eight years. Biological sciences technicians generally assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories.

Biological sciences technicians earn about $18 hourly or $39,110 annually on average in Virginia and about $18 hourly 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 Virginia earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical nationally. Biological sciences technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: resource biologist-fisheries, resource biologist, and cytogenetic technologist.

The Arlington area is home to eighty-seven schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Arlington 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, it will take about four years to learn 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 Arlington 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

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has an associate's degree program in Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician.

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician which graduated five and seven students respectively in 2008.

Medix South - Landover, MD

Medix South, 4351 Garden City Drive, Landover, MD 20785. Medix South is a small school located in Landover, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 243 students. Medix South has a one to two year program in Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician.

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: Arlington, Virginia

Arlington, Virginia
Arlington, Virginia photo by Postdlf

Arlington is located in Arlington County, Virginia. It has a population of over 209,969, which has grown by 10.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Arlington, 126, is far greater than the national average.

The top three industries for women in Arlington are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 60.2% of Arlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 30.6%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Arlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 29.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Convenant Presbyterian, Abundant Life United Holy Church and Advent Lutheran Church are among the churches located in Arlington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church.

Arlington is home to the Clarendon Metro Station and the Virginia Square-GMU Metro Station as well as Arlington House-Robert E Lee Memorial and Doctors Branch Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lee-Harrison Shopping Center, Ballston Common Shopping Center and Lucas Market Shopping Center. Visitors to Arlington can choose from Econo Lodge National Airport, Crystal Gateway Marriott and Hilton Arlington & Towers for temporary stays in the area.