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.

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed.

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

Job Titles

  • Chemistry Technician
  • Earth Science Technician
  • Life Science Technician
  • School Laboratory Technician
  • Hydrographer
  • Other Science Technicians
  • Chemistry Technician (also called Chemistry Technical Officer)

    Performs laboratory tests on organic and inorganic chemicals, analyses test data and carries out technical functions in support of Chemists or Chemical Engineers in a wide variety of areas such as fuels, agricultural products, food, pharmaceuticals, paints, metals, plastics, textiles, detergents, paper, fertilisers and cosmetics.

    Specialisations: Chemical Instrumentation Officer, Chemical Process Analyst, Chemistry Laboratory Technician, Dairy Laboratory Technician, Petroleum Laboratory Technician, Sugar Laboratory Assistant

  • Earth Science Technician (also called Earth Science Technical Officer)

    Collects and tests earth and water samples, records observations and analyses data in support of Geologists or Geophysicists.

    Specialisations: Earth Science Laboratory Technician, Geochemical Laboratory Technician, Geological Technical Officer, Geoscience Laboratory Technician, Hydrographical Technical Officer, Hydrological Technical Officer, Meteorological Observer, Seismology Technical Officer, Soil Science Technical Officer, Water Resources Technical Officer

  • Life Science Technician (also called Life Science Technical Officer)

    Identifies and collects living organisms and conducts field and laboratory studies in support of Life Scientists or Environmental Scientists.

    Specialisations: Biological Technical Officer, Botanical Technical Officer, Ecological Technical Officer, Environmental Technical Officer, Fisheries Technical Officer, Forestry Technical Officer, Forestry Technician, Wood Technologist, Zoology Technical Officer

  • School Laboratory Technician

    Prepares experiments and demonstrations, makes up solutions, prepares slides, orders books and equipment, and tidies up laboratories in support of teaching chemistry, earth sciences, life sciences and physical sciences.

  • Hydrographer

    Measures, analyses and maintains the flow and quality of water in rivers, lakes, stormwater and sewage, and surveys and maps oceans, seas and rivers.

  • Other Science Technicians

    Includes Calibration Technician, Fibre Technologist, Optics Technical Officer, Physics Technical Officer, Textile Technical Officer

Fast Facts

  • $1,013 Weekly Pay
  • 12,600 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • High skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 76.7% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 38.6 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 38.9% female Gender Share

The number of Science Technicians fell over the past 5 years and is expected to grow moderately over the next 5 years:
from 12,600 in 2017 to 13,000 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 8,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Science Technicians work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Education and Training; and Mining.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,013 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (76.7%, higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 38.6 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 38.9% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200717300
200816200
200922100
201016300
201115000
201219100
201315700
201412800
201515100
201612400
201712600
202213000

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. 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 Earnings10131230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services26.7
Education and Training26.4
Mining12.5
Public Administration and Safety9.9
Other Industries24.5

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateScience TechniciansAll Jobs Average
NSW23.031.6
VIC17.826.2
QLD22.519.7
SA4.96.7
WA25.010.8
TAS2.62.0
NT1.51.1
ACT2.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketScience TechniciansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-192.2-5.25.2
20-2411.2-9.99.9
25-3425.1-23.623.6
35-4424.7-21.721.7
45-5423.5-20.820.8
55-597.3-8.88.8
60-642.3-6.06.0
65 and Over3.8-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed.

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

  • 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.

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.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Biology

    89% Important

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

  2. Chemistry

    73% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

  3. Mathematics

    69% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  4. English Language

    65% Important

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

  5. Education and Training

    56% Important

    Teaching and course design.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The 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.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Documenting/Recording Information

    88% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  2. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    84% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  3. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work

    83% Important

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  4. Interacting With Computers

    81% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  5. Processing Information

    81% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The 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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