Subject Material

Laboratory Assistant in the UK

Published: 04.12.2013, Updated: 05.03.2017

Are you thinking of becoming a laboratory technician/assistant when you are finished at school? Would you consider working abroad in an English-speaking country after your training is completed? If so the interview below will give you an idea of what it is like to work as a laboratory assistant in England.

Woman working in a laboratory. Photo.Laboratory work  

 Warning signs on laboratory doorWarning signs on laboratory door 

 Research in the laboratoryResearch in the laboratory 


Before listening, use the dictionary to check that you know the meaning of the following words: hospital, sample, patient, extract, cell, slide, microscope, confusing, diagnosis, blood, tissue, mistake, science, probe, tumour, pre-natal, amniotic fluids

Listen to the following interview with a laboratory assistant in the UK and find out:

  • Where she works. (type of company - large/small, etc)
  • Where about in the UK she works.
  • Why she chose this profession.
  • What type of tasks she has to do on a typical day at work.
  • What personal qualities she suggests are needed by a laboratory assistant.
  • Does she describe any work processes or services that she provides?
  • What she likes best and least about her job.
  • How she thinks this line of work will change in the future.
  • Where she sees herself in 5 - 10 years' time.

Laboratory Assistant - Interview

Apprenticeship and Training

  1. Find out about becoming a laboratory assistant in the UK. Make a table with 3 columns: What does the job involve, the salary and the qualifications and training required. Below, you will find some useful links. (Search for laboratory technician or laboratory assistant)
  2. Now compare a laboratory assistant's job and education in the UK with a laboratory assistant's job and education in Norway. Utdanning - Yrkesbeskrivelse 




Now make a dialogue with a colleague in the laboratory where you include the following words/phrases:

microscope, slide, samples, polluted water, mistake, specimen, sterile, equipment, extract