Biology Specimen Technician

Prepare plant and animal specimens for use in biology research.
picture of Biology Specimen Technician

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$25,000 – $63,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Biology Specimen Technicians do?

When students are learning how plants and animals work, they can consult drawings in textbooks to get a basic understanding. But examining something in 3D, and even being able to take things apart to look at them, can help students come to a much deeper understanding. Biology Specimen Technicians prepare those models.

For Biology Specimen Technicians, animals may take up much of their workday, as they prepare specimens in several ways. For example, as a Biology Specimen Technician, you may strip the muscles off of an animal to expose the skeletal system, and then you coat that skeleton with preservatives so it won’t disintegrate. Or, by using a plastic bath, you may preserve an entire part of an animal, such as a brain or a kidney. You may also prepare small slides of tissues, staining those tissues so the cells really stand out, and then preserving the slides so they don’t grow molds or fungi.

Sometimes, you dehydrate certain parts of an animal so students can take those items apart in dissection experiments. You may spend a lot of time apologizing to the animal carcasses as you take them apart.

Plants may also play a role in your workday, although your work here may be a bit less gruesome. Once more, you may stain plant material to make the cells stand out, and preserve those slides so they don’t rot. You may also grow plants from seeds, and immerse the seeds in plastic when they reach a certain stage of germination. This can help students see how plants grow and change.

Should I be a Biology Specimen Technician?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Bacteriology Lab Specialist, Bacteriology Technician, Microbiology Technician, Specimen Technician

    How to Become a
    Biology Specimen Technician

    Most Biology Specimen Technicians have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:gad9dd&chl=no+college+%288%25%29||associate%27s+%284%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2879%25%29|master%27s+%285%25%29|doctorate+%285%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,8,79
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