A laboratory tester carries out tests relating to chemistry and physics. The projects worked on may be for private companies to better their products, for onsite projects such as mining, or for general scientific research. The laboratory tester may then hand the results to a scientist for them to be analyzed. In some positions, the laboratory tester may also be expected to carry out certain analyses based on the results.
The laboratory tester is usually expected to carry out general laboratory duties, such as cleaning the area and stocking and ordering supplies when they are low. Another important duty is maintaining and calibrating machines to ensure that they are fit for use. When problems with machines are detected, the laboratory tester should attempt to resolve the issue or refer it to management for repair. Some positions will provide training. In other positions, the laboratory technician will be expected to be familiar with various testing methods prior to the time of application.
Some laboratory tester positions are done in a laboratory environment that is climate controlled. However, other jobs may be more physically demanding, as the testing is done onsite. Subsequently, the tester may be subject to harsh weather conditions. Though communication with managers is a normal part of the job, many of the tasks are done independently, so it is important to be self-motivated in order to adhere with time constraints. Many positions are available to those who possess a high school diploma. However, an associate's or bachelor's degree in a scientific field is often needed.