Occ. Code 6204200


New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Standard


Laboratory Technicians are technical positions, requiring specialized education and training, that perform laboratory work in biological, chemical, or physical science programs by conducting testing, performing laboratory procedures and techniques, and assisting professional personnel in the technical phases of research. They may be assigned to general laboratory work or to laboratories or units that specialize in particular fields, such as biology, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, microbiology, or physiology.


LABORATORY TECHNICIAN: entry level; conducts standard tests and procedures under general supervision; may perform more advanced work under close supervision.

SENIOR LABORATORY TECHNICIAN: supervises Laboratory Technicians and other staff assigned to a laboratory or unit; may be classified to perform laboratory work, requiring specialized training, of advanced difficulty in a particular specialty.


The non-competitive class Senior Laboratory Technician (Nucleonics) participates in the production and shipment of radioactive isotopes. A license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is required to perform these duties.

Medical Laboratory Technicians perform standard medical laboratory tests on specimens of human tissue and body fluids to provide basic data on physiological conditions to physicians and other health care professionals and scientists.

Science Service Technicians perform specialized technical work in the field collection, identification, and preparation of scientific specimens for the State Museum's research collections.

There are a number of other technician classes, such as Histology Technician, Cytotechnologist, and Radiologic Technician, that are characterized by performing medical tests within an assigned specialty and requiring education and training in that specialty.


Prepares and completes a variety of standard laboratory procedures.

Maintains equipment and supplies for the laboratory.

May train and observe students and post-doctoral fellows in the conduct of tests and use of computers, equipment, media, and techniques.

In addition, a Senior Laboratory Technician performs the following activities and tasks.

Supervises Laboratory Technicians and other staff.

Performs the more complex laboratory tests.


Laboratory Technicians perform the more routine tests independently, although anomalies and unusual findings are generally referred to the supervisor for review and confirmation. Their work is reviewed and monitored for accuracy and completeness. When learning new procedures, tests, computer programs, and equipment operation, their work is closely reviewed.

Senior Laboratory Technicians independently prioritize, perform, and supervise standard laboratory tests in accordance with established parameters. Their work is observed when learning to perform advanced tests, operate complex and delicate equipment, or perform new or experimental tests and protocols, but they usually work more independently once these are mastered. They may work closely with scientists, research staff, and students to assist them in conducting experiments.

Both Laboratory Technicians and Senior Laboratory Technicians are supervised in accordance with Department of Health regulations where applicable.


The work performed is generally described in written guidelines, procedures, and laboratory protocols, with established standards for evaluating test results and determining normal or anomalous results. There is considerable responsibility for the correct and accurate performance of tests, operation of equipment, and recording of results. Mistakes can result in considerable harm to public health and safety and inaccurate analysis and reporting of testing and research findings.

Depending on assignment, some positions may require basic or advanced knowledge about operating, calibrating, maintaining and using laboratory equipment and computerized systems.

Senior Laboratory Technicians perform work of advanced difficulty and complexity when assisting in experiments and research, operating equipment that requires highly specialized training and difficult calibration, and conducting unusual tests and experiments.


The work performed is primarily data oriented and, therefore, oral communication is not important when classifying positions. Oral communication is primarily with staff in the same laboratory to exchange information and ask for and provide technical assistance and advice. Written communication consists primarily of completing forms and records, recording and describing test results, and calculating findings. Laboratory Technicians and Senior Laboratory Technicians may give physical demonstrations and hands-on instruction to explain the preparation of samples, solutions, cultures, stains, slides, and reagents, operation of equipment, and performance of experiments.


Although supervision is not required for classification of Laboratory Technicians, they may supervise lower level laboratory staff. In addition, they may assist in orienting and training other technicians or students by demonstrating and explaining the work of the laboratory and answering questions about procedures and protocols.

Senior Laboratory Technicians generally supervise Laboratory Technicians and other technical and support staff assigned to a unit or laboratory by performing the full range of supervisory activities. Additionally, they explain and demonstrate laboratory protocols, test procedures, and equipment operation, review work for technical accuracy, and review unusual test results and anomalies and refer them to professional staff.



Promotion: one year of permanent service as a Laboratory Aide, Laboratory Animal Caretaker, Laboratory Caretaker, Laboratory Worker, Senior Laboratory Animal Caretaker, or Senior Laboratory Worker.

Open Competitive: completion of 60 credit hours of college coursework, with at least 18 credit hours in biology, chemistry, health science, physics, or science technology; or two years of experience performing tests and procedures in a laboratory or clinical setting; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


Promotion: one year of service as a Laboratory Technician or a Medical Laboratory Technician.

Open Competitive: completion of 120 credit hours of college coursework, with at least 18 credit hours in biology, chemistry, health science, physics, or science technology and six additional credit hours in computer science, mathematics, or science; or three years of experience performing tests and procedures in a laboratory or clinical setting; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Senior Laboratory Technicians may be required to meet requirements as stated in Title 10, Part 58-1.4 of New York State Code, Rules and Regulations.

NOTE: For current information on minimum qualifications, contact the Division of Staffing Services.

Date: 12/97