What does a Lab Assistant do?
Lab Assistants are there to ensure that Lab Directors and other Lab Workers have all the help they need to get their jobs done. Ultimately, Lab Assistants have to work well as part of a team and be able to complete their share of tasks individually. They need foundational knowledge and experience to carry out complex experiments, note results, and analyze those results to provide accurate conclusions. Sometimes, a Lab Assistant is required to deal with more administrative tasks rather than experiments and tests, such as ordering supplies and equipment.
Lab Assistants are an essential aspect of just about any kind of lab regardless of industry, and the position is well-served by analytical and passionate individuals who value science and independence.
Lab Assistant skills and qualifications
Lab Assistants require a foundational understanding of science, and some soft and hard skills to excel in their position. Some other key skills and qualifications Lab Assistants should have include:
- Analytical and research skills
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Dexterous motor skills for working with precision tools in testing
- Proficiency using spreadsheets, documents, and laboratory information management systems (LIS)
- Familiarity with lab equipment
- Attention to detail for carrying out analyses, tests, and instructions
Lab Assistant experience requirements
As a Lab Assistant is an entry-level position, it generally requires less than one year of experience in the field. With the right education and training, a Lab Assistant can start working straight out of college or university. If they have work experience in a similar field but not directly within a lab, they can also be successful in the role. For positions that deal in a niche, high-risk environment, like labs involving radiation or hazardous chemicals, Lab Assistants with two or more years of experience are often preferred.
Lab Assistant education and training requirements
Candidates for the role of a Lab Assistant need an associate degree or another post-secondary accreditation in a relevant field. Look for candidates with an educational background in chemistry, biology, biotechnology, or another branch of science more related to the work your lab does. Bachelor’s degrees are preferred but not required for a candidate to be successful.
Lab Assistant salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average pay for a Lab Assistant in Canada is $22.28 per hour. This wage can vary based on the company, the candidate’s level of experience, and the job location.
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