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.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
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.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
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)
|Earnings||Science Technicians||All Jobs Average|
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.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Science Technicians||All Jobs Average|
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.
Age and gender
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)
|Age Bracket||Science Technicians||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.4||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
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.
- 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)
|Type of Qualification||Science Technicians||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||11.1||10.1|
|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 can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
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.
Using maths to solve problems.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Talking to others.
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.
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.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
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.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
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.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
Read and understand written information.
Communicate by speaking.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
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).
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.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
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.
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 are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
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.
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.
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.
98%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Talk with people face-to-face.
91%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Use electronic mail.
81%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
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.
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.
Talk on the telephone.
72%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
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.
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.