Science Technicians

ANZSCO ID 3114

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
19,500
Future Growth
6.8%
Weekly Earnings
$1,441
Full-Time Share
71%
Female Share
53%
Average age
42

Summary

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.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Technicians And Trades Workers
Skill Level
High skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
Physical Demand
  • Light
  • Medium

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow moderately
  • is likely to reach 22,300 by 2026.
  • Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
6.8%
(or 1,400 jobs)
From
20,900
in 2021
To
22,300
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 19,200
2012 16,100
2013 17,200
2014 11,100
2015 16,300
2016 14,100
2017 17,300
2018 11,900
2019 16,800
2020 16,000
2021 20,900
2026 22,300

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 71% of people employed as Science Technicians work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 5 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,441 per week, this is lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,327
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $1,643

    Median hourly earnings are $36, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Earnings Science Technicians All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,441 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Education and Training
37.3%
2
Manufacturing
19.5%
3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
17.8%
4
Public Administration and Safety
8.1%
5
Other industries
17.8%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

25.5% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

27.2% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

19.3% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.6% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

14.6% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.7% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.1% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.9% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Science Technicians All Jobs Average
NSW 25.5 31.6
VIC 27.2 25.6
QLD 19.3 20.0
SA 7.6 7.0
WA 14.6 10.8
TAS 2.7 2.0
NT 1.1 1.0
ACT 1.9 1.9


  • Around 60% of Science Technicians live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.

    Western Australia has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
42
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
53%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Science Technicians is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 53% of the workforce. This is 5 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Science Technicians All Jobs Average
15-19 1.2 5.0
20-24 8.6 9.3
25-34 24.8 22.9
35-44 21.3 22.0
45-54 23.5 21.6
55-59 10.3 9.0
60-64 7.0 6.0
65 and Over 3.4 4.2
Median Age 42 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Extensive experience or a formal qualification in a related science field is needed to work as a Science Technician. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Laboratory Operations, Food Processing and Australian Meat Processing VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Science Technicians All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 11.1 10.1
Bachelor degree 31.6 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 18.4 11.6
Certificate III/IV 17.5 21.1
Year 12 13.0 18.1
Year 11 2.7 4.8
Year 10 and below 5.7 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Science Technicians who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 66%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 57%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 55%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 54%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 54%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 54%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 52%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 52%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 50%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 50%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 50%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 45%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 45%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 43%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 43%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 41%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 41%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 39%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 39%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 37%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 78%

    Biology

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

  • 64%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 57%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 54%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 53%

    English language

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

  • 48%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 44%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 39%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 39%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 34%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 30%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 29%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 28%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 26%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 26%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 25%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 23%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 22%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 15%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 12%

    Food production

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 64%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 64%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 63%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 61%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 59%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 59%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 59%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 57%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 57%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 55%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 55%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 54%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 54%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 50%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 50%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 48%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 48%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 48%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 46%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 43%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.


Activities

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

  • 72%

    Collecting and organising information

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

  • 72%

    Planning and prioritising work

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

  • 71%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 70%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 69%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 67%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 64%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 63%

    Documenting or recording information

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

  • 63%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 62%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 56%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 56%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 56%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 48%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 48%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 46%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 45%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 44%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 43%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 43%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 90%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 71%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 67%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 33%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 24%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 19%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 62%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 62%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 55%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 52%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 48%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 43%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 98%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 91%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 91%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 85%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 81%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 78%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 76%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 76%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 74%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 74%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 73%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 72%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 69%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 66%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 66%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 66%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 64%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 63%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 63%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 60%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

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