A laboratory is a space where scientists, researchers, and students conduct experiments, tests, and investigations. It acts as a controlled environment where they can study various things such as chemicals, living organisms, or even technology.
The main purpose of a laboratory is to gather precise data and conduct experiments in a controlled setting. This controlled environment helps to ensure that experiments are carried out safely and accurately.
While every lab is different, they do have some things in common:
- Safety is key – you might be working with dangerous chemicals or items, so being safety-conscious is incredibly important.
- A place for problem solving – whether it’s developing new medicines, creating innovative technologies, or finding solutions to environmental challenges.
- Lots of collaboration – you’ll rarely be working alone in a laboratory.
Perform controlled scientific experiments
In a laboratory, scientists can test hypotheses, develop new technologies, and analyse various substances. This helps in advancing our understanding of the world around us.
- Conduct experiments and tests
- Analyse data and record results
- Maintain equipment and ensure safety protocols
- Prepare and handle materials and samples
- Collaborate with fellow researchers and scientists
- Document findings in reports or presentations
- Stay updated on relevant research and techniques
- Adhere to ethical and procedural guidelines
You can find laboratories in the professional, scientific, and technical services industry
Laboratories are usually found in the professional, scientific, and technical services industry. There are various types of laboratories, including chemistry, biology, physics, medical, environmental, and technology labs, each focused on specific areas and outcomes.
You can expect regular hours and on-site work
Regular hours | Work on-site | Jobs more common in metro areas | Strong job growth
The operating hours of a laboratory can vary depending on its purpose and the institution it’s associated with. For example, academic and research labs are typically open from 9 to 5, while medical and clinical labs might need to remain open 24/7 to provide constant patient care.
On-site work is traditionally more common in laboratories due to the hands-on nature of experiments and the need for specialised equipment. But some tasks, such as data analysis and report writing, may be able to be done remotely.
Laboratories can be found in both metropolitan and rural areas, but they tend to be more common in metro areas.Some rural areas might have labs that are specifically focused on agriculture, forestry, environmental studies, or other fields that benefit from being in rural settings.
The Career Clusters you’ll find in a laboratory
People from all Clusters are needed for a laboratory to run successfully, but Informers and Innovators are typically the most common Clusters. In many roles, you might find yourself performing tasks across multiple Clusters.