Just like the name suggests, research technicians are professionals who work close to other professionals from the research department, generally in laboratory settings. The median yearly salary of a skilled research technician I the United States of America depends greatly upon the type of research they conduct, as well as on their education and their level of expertise. Generally speaking, those who fill an entry-level position in the research industry should expect to be paid anything between $26,000 and $34,000, and the salary is directly proportional to the experience and level of education. In some cases, a research technician can make as much as $56,000 a year.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America
In addition to the type of research, the level of training and the employer, another factor that plays a crucial role in the research technician salary is the location. The highest median yearly wage for research technician is offered in the state of California, where these specialists can make as much as $49,000 a year, even if they have very little experience.
After California, the state of Texas pays these technicians a median wage that ranges anywhere between $27,000 and $32,000 a year, while the state of Michigan pays its research technicians a median yearly wage between $24,000 and $34,000.
Research Technician Job Description
Simply put, research technicians work closely to scientists and other skilled and highly trained laboratory professionals, conducting different experiments and then recording and monitoring their findings. They can choose to specialize in different research fields from environmental science and agriculture to biology or chemistry. A research technician can also work in different environments, such as industrial laboratories or different research facilities, generally private ones.
The duties and responsibilities of a research technician include sanitizing, cleaning and maintaining the laboratory equipment and technologies. It is their duty to make sure that all the medical and non-medical equipment is functional and up to date, and they must also keep records and use their computers for research and data analysis.
As the time passes, the research technician can choose to upgrade their career and to become either teachers for those who plan to be research technicians in the near future, or they can expand their education and advance to the position of lab supervisor. It often happens that some lab technicians also become scientists in their field of work.
How To Become A Research Technician?
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The first step toward becoming a research technician is completing a post-secondary education in science or in any other field related to science. After that, you can opt to enroll in a specialized training program that typically lasts between 24 and 48 months. Most of these programs are offered by universities, and throughout the course of the training you will develop your skills as a research technician and you will also gain an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s Degree.
Bachelor’s Degree programs are rather complex and they involve extensive coursework in fields like physics, chemistry or biology, and the good news about enrolling in such a program is that most of them also come with great job placement options as well. In order to be accepted into such a program, one must have in-depth knowledge in fields like physics, chemistry, math and biology, along with advanced computer skills.
Also, a good research technician must also possess impeccable written and oral communication skills, and it is important for them to decide in what type of research they want to specialize in. Some experience in the laboratory is crucial for your future as a research technician, this is why most technicians choose to get a part-time job as lab assistants while they are still in school.
Certification for research assistants is available, and in order to get one you must firstly apply to the ACRP or the SCRA, or the Association for Clinical Research Professionals, or the Society of Clinical Research Associates. If you meet all the eligibility requirements and you pass the final exam, you will be given a clinical research associate certification, or a CCRA designation.
Research Technician Salary In Canada, Australia And The UK
In Australia, a research technician who fills an entry-level position should expect to be paid between Au$44,000 and Au$70,000, while one from the United Kingdom typically earns between 19,000 and 20,000 pounds a year. A Canadian research technician, on the other hand, has a median yearly salary of around C$42,000.
Verdict On Research Technician Salary
To conclude, research technicians get a good salary given their work volume and the educational requirements.