Science Technicians perform tests and experiments, and provide technical support functions to assist with research, design, production and teaching in chemistry, earth sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences.

    Either extensive experience or a formal qualification in a related science field is needed to work as a Science Technician. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Science Technicians.

    Tasks

    • preparing materials for experimentation such as freezing and slicing specimens and mixing chemicals
    • collecting information and samples
    • conducting field and laboratory experiments, tests and analyses
    • presenting results in graphic and written form by preparing maps, charts, sketches, diagrams and reports
    • performing routine mathematical calculations, and computations of measurements
    • controlling the quality and quantity of laboratory supplies by testing samples and monitoring usage
    • checking, calibrating and maintaining test equipment
    • participating in fabricating, installing and modifying equipment to ensure that critical standards are met
    • preparing experiments and demonstrations for science classes

    All Science Technicians

    • $1,500 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 23,000 workers Employment Size
    • High skill Skill level rating
    • 71% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43 hours Average full-time
    • 42 years Average age
    • 53% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Science Technicians (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 23,000 in 2018 to 25,500 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 18,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 3,600 a year).

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Science Technicians work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Education and Training; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Manufacturing.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,500 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (71%, higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 42 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 53% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200816200
    200922100
    201016200
    201114800
    201219000
    201316000
    201412700
    201515300
    201612700
    201714100
    201823000
    202325500

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsScience TechniciansAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings15001460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Education and Training29.0
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services23.1
    Manufacturing17.1
    Public Administration and Safety6.2
    Other Industries24.6

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateScience TechniciansAll Jobs Average
    NSW25.531.6
    VIC27.225.6
    QLD19.320.0
    SA7.67.0
    WA14.610.8
    TAS2.72.0
    NT1.11.0
    ACT1.91.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketScience TechniciansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-191.2-5.05.0
    20-248.6-9.39.3
    25-3424.8-22.922.9
    35-4421.3-22.022.0
    45-5423.5-21.621.6
    55-5910.3-9.09.0
    60-647.0-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.4-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationScience TechniciansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate11.1-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree31.6-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma18.4-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV17.5-21.121.1
    Year 1213.0-18.118.1
    Year 112.7-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below5.7-12.512.5

    Either extensive experience or a formal qualification in a related science field is needed to work as a Science Technician. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Science Technicians.

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Laboratory Operations, Food Processing and Australian Meat Processing VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Science Technicians who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Biology

      78% Skill level

      Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

    2. Chemistry

      64% Skill level

      Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

    3. Computers and Electronics

      57% Skill level

      Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    4. Mathematics

      54% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    5. English Language

      53% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-4021.00 - Biological Technicians.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Indoors, Heat Controlled

      98% Important

      How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

    2. Face-to-Face Discussions

      91% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    3. Being Exact or Accurate

      91% Important

      How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

    4. Electronic Mail

      85% Important

      How often do you use electronic mail?

    5. Freedom to Make Decisions

      81% Important

      How much freedom do you have to make decision on your own?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-4021.00 - Biological Technicians.

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