Biotechnicians, or biological technicians, assist biologists in research and development. They set up and operate laboratory equipment, perform equipment maintenance, analyze organic substances, observe experiments, keep detailed logs and record results of experiments. Biotechnicians work in medical research, pharmaceutical development, microbiology research and biotechnology.
The average pay rate for biotechnicians as of May 2009 was $19.78 per hour, or $41,140 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent of biotechnicians were earning $14.74 to $23.72 per hour, or $30,650 to $38,700 per year. The bottom 10 percent had pay rates of $11.80 and below, and the top 10 percent were earning more than $29.50 per hour, or $61,380 per year and higher.
Types of Employment
Most biotechnicians work with scientific research and development services, earning $44,730 per year as of 2009, and with colleges, universities and professional schools, earning average pay of $40,720 per year. Other biotechnicians find employment with the federal government, making an average salary of $36,030 per year, and with pharmaceutical manufacturing, at $42,950 per year. The highest-paying opportunity is with doctors' offices, where biotechnicians had an average annual salary of $58,240, but only a very small number work in this employment setting.
Massachusetts had the largest concentration of biotechnicians per capita in 2009 and it was also the highest-paying state for these workers, with an average salary of $52,420 per year. Rounding out the top five highest-paying states for biotechnicians were Connecticut at an average pay rate of $49,490 per year, Minnesota at $47,250, Maryland at $47,190 and California at $45,710.
The highest-paying metro area in the country for biotechnicians in 2009 was the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area of Connecticut, where the average salary for biotechnicians was $58,980 per year. Massachusetts had three of the top five-paying metropolitan areas for biotechnicians, with these scientists making an average of $56,370 per year in the greater Lowell metro region, $55,160 in the Peabody metro area, and $52,940 in Framingham. Framingham ranked in fifth place, behind the greater San Jose area of California, where the average biotechnician salary was $54,580 per year.