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Laboratory Operations


The Laboratory Operations sector plays a supporting part across a range of industries and roles in technical and scientific occupations. The work areas are highly regulated as they play a critical role in the safety, quality and compliance of many industry sectors.

What does this industry cover?

  • Manufacturing testing
  • Food testing
  • Bio-medical laboratories
  • Pathology testing
  • Defence laboratories
  • Biotechnology
  • Construction materials testing
  • Environmental testing/monitoring
  • Scientific glassblowing

Industry Information

Laboratory workers use scientific techniques and equipment to carry out tests, and to operate and manage scientific processes.

In 2013 there were 17,700 people employed in laboratory operations occupations.

Traineeship and apprenticeship commencements in this industry are good.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a small industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2018, commencements were: 414

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 28/03/2019AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2018 in this industry have remained stable, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 28/03/2019AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a small sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2018. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has remained stable.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2018. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is low to medium.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2018. AATIS analysis.

Key Occupations

Pathology Laboratory Technical Assistant

Technical Assistant (Food Processing)

Technical Assistant (Environmental Testing)

Technical Assistant (Manufacturing Testing)

Technical Assistant (Mineral Assay)

This industry is positioned in the following groups


Manufacturing & Production

Work Type

Analytic & Scientific 

Practical & Manual

Ready to see where Laboratory Operations can take you?

Career Pathways

Laboratory Operations has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Charts

MyGain - YouTube Channel

Watch videos on apprentices in various industries and their rewarding experiences doing an apprenticeship.


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Further Research


Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below. 


  • National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia


  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Careers Sites