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You are here: The Job Explorer > Job Description > Research Technician

Research Technician Duties and Responsibilities

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Purpose of Classification:

Performs data collection and reduction, laboratory techniques and conducts surveys and excavations of limited scope requiring initiative and judgement based on knowledge and understanding of scientific theory.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is fourth in a series of seven classifications and is distinguished from the Research/Laboratory Assistant in that incumbents are required to use some initiative and independent judgement to plan their work and to interpret results. Advanced technical and problem solving skills are utilized. Incumbents must have a thorough understanding of the theory behind tasks being performed while the Research/Laboratory Assistant draws largely upon practical knowledge and experience derived from trial and error in the performance of technical procedures. Incumbents may be assigned to one of various types of research areas such as social or physical sciences or other specialized research fields. Incumbents may be required to travel to remote locations to perform research experiments, surveys and excavations and may be required to work with potentially hazardous materials such as toxic chemicals, radiation and/or disease causing organisms.

Examples of Duties:

  • Performs scientific data collections, reductions and analyses involving routine procedures characterized by moderate use of independent judgement.
  • Conducts experiments, surveys and excavation of sites using various tests, routines and analyses, aerial photographs, maps and survey instruments where procedures are clearly defined and results readily determined.
  • Maintains detailed records of studies conducted; organizes data; prepares data for computer input and records computer output.
  • Compiles data and generates computerized statistical data for analytical purposes using software packages; makes preliminary analyses and assists researchers in interpreting the data.
  • Conducts library searches to find research or archaeological information on related procedures and techniques that can be used in the laboratory and/or field.
  • Writes summaries of projects, documenting location, findings and procedures used and assists in writing reports by conducting literature searches and background research; prepares bibliographies as required.
  • Operates laboratory and experimental equipment such as microtomes, microscopes, electron microscopes, spectrophotometers, centrifuges, analytical balances, photometers and spectrometers; performs minor repairs and makes arrangements for major repairs to be performed.
  • Assists in performing necropsies and surgical procedures on research animals.
  • Maintains detailed records of controlled substances used in the laboratory; packages waste material and arranges for disposal according to established procedures.
  • Inventories and requisitions supplies; may maintain bookkeeping records.
  • Trains students and staff in the operation of equipment and/or in the performance of technical procedures.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of the principles and techniques of the subject discipline.
  • Knowledge of modern research methods, data collection and analyses.
  • Skill in both verbal and written communication.
  • Skill in analyzing and evaluating data.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree in a field appropriate to the area of assignment; OR, Four years research or archaeological experience appropriate to the area of assignment; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.


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