How to Become a Lab Assistant

If you want to become a lab assistant, you should first know the employment requirement or qualifications. In most places, a high school diploma or GED is enough but in some countries, it is better to be a graduate of 2-year relevant courses or degree.

You can also learn the basics through the short courses or OJT programs.

Becoming a Lab Assistant

You can find lots of laboratories all over the world these days. Because of this, there is an increasing need for qualified and competent lab assistants. Their job involves procuring, processing, and measuring specimens or samples. They also maintain supplies and equipment in the laboratory. Since assistants are indispensable, you can easily get hired as long as you possess the knowledge, skills, and experience. You have to begin early and after high school, you can already take advantage of this profession.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a diploma in high school. You should obtain a GED (General Equivalency Diploma) and if you can proceed with an associate’s degree, you have better chances of getting employed as a lab assistant. To become competitive, you have to take up relevant short courses at a local school. Community colleges usually offer 2 year courses like lab technician, medical assisting, and other related fields. You will have an edge if you have backgrounds of data entry and medical terminology. The first place where you can look for employment opportunities is the local hospitals. Check the different positions available and their corresponding requirements or qualifications.

Specialization and OJTs

Lab work may also vary and if you’re interested on a certain aspect, you can cultivate such passion and become an expert. Among these areas are phlebotomists, histology, etc; the former is concerned in checking blood samples for abnormalities, and in identifying the blood type. The latter is more on examining the tissues to find out if there is a disease. Employers prefer applicants with chemistry and math coursework. You can tale up biological science or biotechnology if you want. These disciplines are vital in becoming a lab assistant because you will learn how to measure, handle, and mix chemicals.

Hands-on experience is what really counts. In some places, coursework is not important. To be sure, you should inquire first and never make assumptions. By doing so, you will lessen the chances of rejected applications. Base on your qualifications and knowledge, you can already tell if you’re appropriate for the job or not. Make a choice now. If the laws in your state are not that stringent and you’re already a high school graduate, you can do OJT (on the job training) to learn the basics or fundamentals. When you’ve gained enough experience, you can now look for greener pastures. If you’re determined to advance in your career, you can take up additional coursework; that way, you can be promoted.


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