The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Conduct tests to determine quality of raw materials, bulk intermediate and finished products. May conduct stability sample tests.
Sample of reported job titles:
Lab Analyst, Lab Technician (Lab Tech), Laboratory Analyst, Microbiology Lab Analyst, QA Auditor (Quality Assurance Auditor), QA Lab Tech (Quality Assurance Lab Technician), QA Tech (Quality Assurance Technician), Quality Control Analyst (QC Analyst), Quality Control Lab Technician (QC Lab Tech), Quality Control Technician (QC Tech)
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Conduct routine and non-routine analyses of in-process materials, raw materials, environmental samples, finished goods, or stability samples.
- Interpret test results, compare them to established specifications and control limits, and make recommendations on appropriateness of data for release.
- Calibrate, validate, or maintain laboratory equipment.
- Ensure that lab cleanliness and safety standards are maintained.
- Perform visual inspections of finished products.
- Complete documentation needed to support testing procedures, including data capture forms, equipment logbooks, or inventory forms.
- Compile laboratory test data and perform appropriate analyses.
- Identify and troubleshoot equipment problems.
- Write technical reports or documentation, such as deviation reports, testing protocols, and trend analyses.
- Investigate or report questionable test results.
- Monitor testing procedures to ensure that all tests are performed according to established item specifications, standard test methods, or protocols.
- Identify quality problems and recommend solutions.
- Participate in out-of-specification and failure investigations and recommend corrective actions.
- Receive and inspect raw materials.
- Train other analysts to perform laboratory procedures and assays.
- Supply quality control data necessary for regulatory submissions.
- Serve as a technical liaison between quality control and other departments, vendors, or contractors.
- Write or revise standard quality control operating procedures.
- Participate in internal assessments and audits as required.
- Perform validations or transfers of analytical methods in accordance with applicable policies or guidelines.
- Evaluate analytical methods and procedures to determine how they might be improved.
- Prepare or review required method transfer documentation including technical transfer protocols or reports.
- Review data from contract laboratories to ensure accuracy and regulatory compliance.
- Develop and qualify new testing methods.
- Coordinate testing with contract laboratories and vendors.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Detailed Work Activities
- Interpret research or operational data.
- Test quality of materials or finished products.
- Maintain laboratory or technical equipment.
- Calibrate scientific or technical equipment.
- Evaluate quality of materials or products.
- Inspect areas for compliance with sanitation standards.
- Record research or operational data.
- Apply mathematical principles or statistical approaches to solve problems in scientific or applied fields.
- Prepare operational reports.
- Analyze test results.
- Monitor operational procedures in technical environments to ensure conformance to standards.
- Advise others on business or operational matters.
- Conduct quantitative failure analyses of operational data.
- Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.
- Prepare information or documentation related to legal or regulatory matters.
- Develop collaborative relationships between departments or with external organizations.
- Conduct financial or regulatory audits.
- Determine appropriate methods for data analysis.
- Establish standards for products, processes, or procedures.
- Verify accuracy of data.
- Develop testing routines or procedures.
- Evaluate new technologies or methods.
- Coordinate activities with suppliers, contractors, clients, or other departments.
- Advise others on the development or use of new technologies.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 92% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 85% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 64% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 61% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 32% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Important.”
- Consequence of Error — 42% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Standing — 46% responded “About half the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 39% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Physical Proximity — 52% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 38% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Telephone — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 29% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 32% responded “About half the time.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 44% responded “Important.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Interest code: CIR
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other.
Employment data for Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other.
Industry data for Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data
and 2019-2029 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.