Explore: Science

Senior Laboratory Technician

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Jacek J

My name is Jacek J and I work for Xsova and I’m a senior laboratory technician in the pesticide department where we monitor the amount of pesticides in food samples, specifically fruits and vegetables. So we extract a sample and we run this extract on very high technology instruments and then we compare the result to the maximum residue level in food and then we report it to our clients. Maximum residue level is the level which is set by the legislation to every single pesticide and it shouldn’t be exceeded as it may be harmful for people.

At the age of 15, when I didn’t know what to do with my life as a career and when my mum advised me that maybe food technology college would be ok for me. So I was always interested in food science and also maths as well, so I decided that I’m going to do it so after five years of being in that subject I decided that I want to learn more about food so I went to the university of agriculture in Krakoff and I completed a masters degree in food technology and human nutrition. After university in Poland they sent me for a work experience here in the UK, there was like a project for students to help them get work experience so I came here and then after the work experience I cam e back to Poland, then after half a year I made a decision that working here and living here in Great Britain is actually better for me, more spectrum of possibilities of more things to do here with my career.

Originally I started as a technician in nutritional department but after a few years time there was a senior technician position available, I successfully applied for them. When I came here, it wasn’t easy but I knew that I wanted to start learning English as soon as possible so at work I could, people understood my situation and I was very for me, at the same time I started doing English class in college in microbiology, when the names are actually not either English or Polish but they are the same, so it was very easy yeah it was good.

As I think word belongs to brave people we have to do sometimes you know steps we don’t do we’re not really sure whether we’re going to go any further or not. For my close family nobody went to University I was the first one. My parents were working as farmers so I was the first one to go to university. At the moment they are both retired but they’ve been doing farming.

The beginning at school I didn’t know what I wanted to do as my career so I basically learned all the subjects I was interested in, it was maths and science so I was working very hard on them and I thought that it may be very useful for me in the future. So I was actually focused on the science and maths. In terms of the career progression I’m going to still level of myself and continue in food sciences. I mean like food technology is not just working in a laboratory it has a wide spectrum of possibilities, like working in a laboratory, quality control, food production, So its alright so Im going to stay in this field and then maybe in the future I will do a manager course or something so I can see myself maybe in a few years times become a lab manager. Every day I learn something new as everyday brings a new situation. We work on very high technology instruments so sometimes trouble shooting them is not really easy and I think I learn day by day but I think I’m confident I would say. I can say that I am a happy person and I can say also that I’m lucky person that I you know, decided to come here and I now live where I live and do what I do.

Jacek grew up on a farm with his parents in Poland. He always had an interest in science and started thinking about food science from an early age. He moved to Krakow to study food technology at university. As part of his course he had the opportunity to travel to the UK. He really enjoyed spending time in England and when he completed his degree he took the very brave step of moving to England to find a job. His risk worked out and he now loves living and working in the UK.

More information about Laboratory technicians

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

66%  male 
34%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and checks, and perform a variety of technical support functions requiring the application of established or prescribed procedures and techniques to assist scientists with their research, development, analysis and testing, and to verify the physical, chemical and other characteristics of materials and products.
Entry varies from employer to employer. Entrants usually possess GCSEs/S grades, an appropriate BTEC/SQA award or a GNVQ/GSVQ. Professional qualifications, NVQs/SVQs at various levels, and apprenticeships are available in some areas of work. Good eyesight, and in some cases, normal colour vision are also required.
  • Sets up and assists with the construction and the development of scientific apparatus for experimental, demonstration or other purposes;
  • Prepares and analyses body fluids, secretions and/or tissue to detect infections or to examine the effects of different drugs;
  • Grows cultures of bacteria and viruses, prepares tissue sections and other organic and inorganic material for examination and stains and fixes slides for microscope work;
  • Operates and services specialised scientific equipment, undertakes prescribed measurements and analyses and ensures that sterile conditions necessary for some equipment are maintained;
  • Records and collates data obtained from experimental work and documents all work carried out.
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