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Love a lab(oratory)!

What 2018 has in store for Australia’s laboratory operations industry

LTT - Laboratory and Pathology Training | Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth & Sydney
December 12, 2017

Barking up the wrong tree? 

Come for the puppies, stay for the job opportunities!  Laboratory operations is a diverse field with plenty of opportunities for career advancement – retrieve a list of lab jobs here.


Curious about what it means to work in laboratory operations and what the industry has in store for the new year? 

Read on. 



What are laboratory operations?

From formulating cosmetics colours, analysing forensic crime scene evidence, to taste testing kiwifruit in a French orchard, laboratory science is at the heart of so much of today’s work.

Laboratory operations (sometimes written as LabOps) is a term used to describe the sampling, testing, analysis and reporting work done in industries as diverse as paper, aeronautics, construction, mining, pharmaceuticals, transportation, water and food.

With a grounding in science and unlimited practical applications, individuals trained in laboratory operations will find themselves with skills applicable to variety of workplaces.



What does 2018 mean for lab work?

The Australian Government has some promising predictions for medical technicians: future outlook stats through to 2020 foresee jobs (including roles performing and assisting laboratory tests) experiencing very strong growth (the highest rating available). Science technicians are set to enjoy stable growth with a slightly higher average salary.

Job growth forecasts from Career HQ vary depending on the type of laboratory work involved:


Strong growth

  • Medical laboratory technicians
  • Environmental engineering technicians

Positive and likely to grow

  • Geological technicians
  • Metallurgical technicians
  • Non-destructive testing (NDT) technicians


  • Agricultural technical officers
  • Materials technicians


  • Textile technicians


What work is done in a lab?

Depending on the industry and role, the materials and tasks of laboratory workers vary dramatically.  Duties central to many jobs might include:

  • Collecting and preparing samples (e.g., mixing chemicals, freezing or slicing specimens)
  • Setting up experiments
  • Operating lab equipment to carry out tests
  • Recording, analysing and presenting data



What about specific roles?


Medical laboratory technicians

perform chemical analyses of body fluids and tissues.


Geological technicians (geotechnicians / geoscience technicians)

analyse the chemical constituents of rock, water and soil samples.


Metallurgical technicians

work with ore samples to support mineral and metal processing and research.


Non-destructive testing (NDT) technicians

use an assortment of analytic techniques to evaluate the performance of materials and systems without damaging them.


Agricultural / food science technical officers

are involved in the production and quality control of food products.


Materials technicians

test the properties and performance of materials used in all sorts of products.



How do I get into the industry?

Some labs offer on the job training for entry-level workers and some roles require a university degree; however, in general, working as a laboratory technician will require a VET qualification. The advantage of VET laboratory qualifications is that they equip students with an incredibly versatile skill set, preparing you for work in a variety of labs. Additionally, studying at a vocational level can be a pathway to university.

If you’re hoping to find a job after study, private training providers like LTT recently outperformed both TAFEs and universities on measures of employment outcomes – check out the stats here.



What jobs are going?

Different jobs need different credentials – LTT offers the following VET qualifications to help you get a job that suits you:


Laboratory operations is a diverse field with plenty of opportunities for career advancement. Check out this search on SEEK for a mix of entry level and senior roles to demonstrate the enormous variety of work that exists in the sector.


What are you waiting for? To the lab!

We hold regular information and enrolment sessions in our Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney training centres. Free call 1300 588 588 to register to attend. 

Depending on demand, we also hold courses in other areas (including Ballarat, Central Coast and the Gold Coast), so feel free to fill out the enquiry form below and let us know where you’d like to see training held!


Need to know more?

Ask us anything.  Fill out the enquiry form below, email or call us on 1300 588 588 during business hours to speak to your nearest LTT training centre!

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