Research Technician Education and Career Facts

Get information about a research technician's daily responsibilities and duties. Learn about employment opportunities and educational requirements available to research technicians. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Research technicians assist head researchers by conducting experiments, recording observations and analyzing data. Research is conducted in a variety of fields, such as biology, chemistry, ecology, sociology, agriculture and even veterinary studies. In a laboratory setting, you could be responsible for managing the lab, which could include ordering supplies, carrying out ongoing experiments and sometimes being in charge of a team of researchers. Depending on your goals, the research you conduct could take place in a variety of settings, such as in a forest, within a body of water or even among another culture.

Courses Managing labs, research on plants and the environment, microscopic organisms, zoology, new treatments and cures to illnesses, social groups, social problems and societal structures
Programs Field specific programs; online degree programs available
Online Options Can do coursework at any time; lab work can be completed online with videos and simulations

What Education Would I Need?

Research technicians typically fall into one of two groups. You could either become a science technician, performing first-hand research in a laboratory setting alongside scientists or a research assistant, which is typically an academic position. To become a science technician, you may only need to obtain a 1-year certificate or an associate's degree. A crime scene technician certificate program might be available. A science technician Associate of Science degree might also be offered.

What Other Options Should I Consider?

A research assistant working in an academic setting is typically required to hold a bachelor's degree. The degree you earn should typically be in the same field, or closely related to the field, in which you intend to conduct research. For example, you could enroll in a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology if you're interested in pursuing a career in the field. In order to be a strong candidate when applying for a position as a research technician, you may need to have gained some experience working on a research team or conducting experiments.

How Could I Receive My Education Through an Online Program?

Some online degree programs allow you to do your coursework at any time as it fits into your schedule. For any laboratory section that your degree coursework might include, some schools enable you to complete most of this requirement online through the use of videos and lab simulations. It is typical though, to be required to attend an on-campus segment to fulfill this requirement.

What Can I Research?

Typically, the aim of your research will either be to gain a broader knowledge of a particular research subject or to discover a solution to a specific problem. Some areas a research technician might focus on include ecology, biology, medicine and sociology. The following courses might be included in those general areas of interest:

  • Plants
  • Soil
  • Bodies of water
  • Microscopic organisms
  • Zoology
  • Medical treatments
  • Cures to illnesses
  • Social groups
  • Societal structures
  • Social problems

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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