Is a 20/hr job good for college graduate with BS in bio?

Aug 23, 2016
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I am finding out there are lab tech positions out there and I saw on occupational handbook that the median pay is 20/hr. I realize that it's median pay though and some positions might offer less... I am wondering if I should look into getting a job instead in a hospital but I haven't been able to find something like that available around my city. Anyone have an advice for me in landing a job? For example, what I should be looking into? Thanks.
 
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gonnif

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20/hr is approximately $40,000 a year. For a starting job out of college it isnt bad
 
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Doctor-S

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I am wondering if I should look into getting a job instead in a hospital but I haven't been able to find something like that available around my city. Anyone have an advice for me in landing a job? For example, what I should be looking into? Thanks.
If you want to work in a local hospital, go to the hospitals in your area and review their "want" ads. If you live near any AMCs, review the lab tech job listings in the different departments of the AMCs. Contact PIs who might be advertising lab tech positions (e.g., at universities which may, or may not be "paid" lab positions). Check with your own school. Check out the job listings at your local blood work labs.

Make sure your cv is up-to-date so potential employers know *which* types of lab work you are qualified to immediately perform, as well as which technical skills you already possess. Otherwise, the employer will have to train you ... you know ... on-the-job training, which often uses up valuable time, resources and energy. Exercise initiative, ask around, network, and pound the pavement.
 
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ready2go2

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I am finding out there are lab tech positions out there and I saw on occupational handbook that the median pay is 20/hr. I realize that it's median pay though and some positions might offer less... I am wondering if I should look into getting a job instead in a hospital but I haven't been able to find something like that available around my city. Anyone have an advice for me in landing a job? For example, what I should be looking into? Thanks.
I make about 22/hr as a lab tech in NYC, that seemed to be about the norm here (got offers from at least three different institutions and it ranged from 18-24/hr)
 
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Shirafune

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I live in California and my annual salary is roughly 37K, so it seems about right. I work for a UC, so the benefits that come with the junior specialist position are pretty nice.
 
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Pholaffle

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When I was applying to jobs back in May, all the lab tech positions at the university started out at $15/hr. so I'd say 20/hr is good. Other positions I was applying for in the medical lab started at 21/hr so it was really hard to consider selling myself short to work in a research lab when I need to make/save as much money as possible over the next few years before med school.
 
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Mar 4, 2015
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I am finding out there are lab tech positions out there and I saw on occupational handbook that the median pay is 20/hr. I realize that it's median pay though and some positions might offer less... I am wondering if I should look into getting a job instead in a hospital but I haven't been able to find something like that available around my city. Anyone have an advice for me in landing a job? For example, what I should be looking into? Thanks.
I'm an ER scribe, almost finished my B.S. in Bio, and I get $9.60/hour....20/hour is amazing!

The lab tech jobs I'm seeing are also offering minimum wage to 13/hour max. I guess it depends on location. I'm in the northeast (RI) which I thought had higher costs of living and salaries.
 

Frogger27

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scribe jobs pay you absolutely nothing... If you live in a big city, it is hard to do with COL
 
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Aug 23, 2016
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I'm an ER scribe, almost finished my B.S. in Bio, and I get $9.60/hour....20/hour is amazing!

The lab tech jobs I'm seeing are also offering minimum wage to 13/hour max. I guess it depends on location. I'm in the northeast (RI) which I thought had higher costs of living and salaries.
minimum wage is now 10/hr right?
 
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Gibbward

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I live in Boston and the rate for entry level lab tech jobs in academic labs is 15-20/hr if I remember correctly so your offer is on par I think.
 
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That's how much mechanics make after all their training so it's not bad.
 

gonnif

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minimum wage is now 10/hr right?
Federal minimum is still $7.25. States and municpalities may have higher so you need to check your locality for specifics

as an aside non exempt employees who are industries where tipping is standard (as defined federal labor standards act) can be paid a much lower minimum wage. So next time you have server in a resturant, they indeed working for tips. please keep that in mind
 
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@MonkeyDLuffy777 You won't be making $20 an hour as an introductory lab technician. Staffing companies have set the price standard of the market to $15 an hour last time I checked: Joule Scientific Staffing Solutions, Kelly Scientific.
 
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@MonkeyDLuffy777 You won't be making $20 an hour as an introductory lab technician. Staffing companies have set the price standard of the market to $15 an hour last time I checked: Joule Scientific Staffing Solutions, Kelly Scientific.
Yeah sorry, I was just thinking it might be around that amount from looking at the occupational handbook.
 
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@MonkeyDLuffy777 The occupational handbook can be subject to a skewed impression of median salary for the field due to the differentiation between entry, intermediate, advanced or lab technician I, II, or III which are subject to variable payouts. Another area of interest is what field of science is being considered. For instance, fields like agriculture utilize many molecular techniques that you would similarly use in profiling oncogenic markers, however the payout discrepancy for working as a lab technician between both fields tends to be drastically different often due to more funding being poured into the latter.
 
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Gibbward

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Yeah sorry, I was just thinking it might be around that amount from looking at the occupational handbook... In the end I couldn't find a lab tech job around my area that I can apply to unfortunately. And thanks everyone for the insight! So basically it takes a lot of certification etc. to be making even $20 an hour..? I am wondering why people would be spending so much money on undergrad.. my bio major is not helping me one bit landing any job in my area..
Well it depends on the kind of lab tech. If you're a research assistant doing wet lab research in an academic lab you won't need any certifications typically. If you're talking about hospital lab technicians that work up the blood work or even have to sterilization of different equipment, then yeah you'll need certifications.
 

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Akewataru

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Yeah sorry, I was just thinking it might be around that amount from looking at the occupational handbook... In the end I couldn't find a lab tech job around my area that I can apply to unfortunately. And thanks everyone for the insight! So basically it takes a lot of certification etc. to be making even $20 an hour..? I am wondering why people would be spending so much money on undergrad.. my bio major is not helping me one bit landing any job in my area..
If you want a job straight out of college, but still want to be pre-med I suggest a Bachelor's in Medical Lab Science. All your pre-med prerequisites are covered, (physics you can throw in there), plus your upper level sciences such as Micro, Biochem, Cell Bio, Immunology, Hematology, Genetics, etc...are too. Your last year is spent training in a lab rotating in the various areas of Clinical Pathology depth and is pretty much an audition for a job. Once you finish the program you take the MLS (ASCP) exam. You should easily make $20+ an hour entry level, and like a nurse you can get a job any shift, anywhere, even travel.

In your case, since you have a Bachelor's you can do a one year MLS program and then take the certification exam.


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efle

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It's all relative. Some people work as scribes for single digits an hour, because they need the clinical hours. Some work as techs/research assistants in basic sciences for hours in the teens, some people do jobs like tutoring that can pay massively per hour but have trouble finding enough hours per week of business...

20/hr for a full time lab tech position is very solid unless you're in an expensive location. The only friends I had doing better than 40k for their gap year went into private sector stuff (eg pharm, Epic software), not basic science or clinical jobs.
 

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Yeah sorry, I was just thinking it might be around that amount from looking at the occupational handbook... In the end I couldn't find a lab tech job around my area that I can apply to unfortunately. And thanks everyone for the insight! So basically it takes a lot of certification etc. to be making even $20 an hour..? I am wondering why people would be spending so much money on undergrad.. my bio major is not helping me one bit landing any job in my area..
College doesn't improve your odds of getting a job in your area unless you researched what jobs were in demand in your area before you started. You don't just get a degree and a job magically appears. It will help you get a job somewhere, but relocation might be involved. Bio is, unfortunately, a rather useless degree compared to most STEM degrees, as it doesn't really provide much in regard to skills or knowledge that is commercially or academically useful at the undergraduate level.
 
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@MonkeyDLuffy777 There is no such thing as job security. You wake up and go to work realizing that despite doing everything right, there is no guaranty that you may have your current job tomorrow. Downsizing, disgruntled client, something you did ran fowl with legal, etc. If you sign an at will employment then you are hired and fired at the will of the employer. On the same token at will always means that you as an employee have the means to defend yourself through personal marketing and constantly expanding your job network. The best security you can get yourself is to always have a Plan B. Whether it is another job or a fall back plan in case you lose the one you currently have.
 

Frogger27

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I get $15/hr with mine -- although I am the exception and have been employed 2 years.
Yeah 15/hr for a scribe position is definitely an outlier... If I could have gotten that, I would have been scribing too this year
 

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Yeah 15/hr for a scribe position is definitely an outlier... If I could have gotten that, I would have been scribing too this year
It's hard to believe some scribes are making less than $10/hr. Is that rate in the Deep South or something? I know ER scribes here in the Twin Cities that started at $15+/hr.

Soon the minimum wage here will be $15/hr. I wonder if that will push up the wage for higher skilled workers.


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@MonkeyDLuffy777 There is no such thing as job security. You wake up and go to work realizing that despite doing everything right, there is no guaranty that you may have your current job tomorrow. Downsizing, disgruntled client, something you did ran fowl with legal, etc. If you sign an at will employment then you are hired and fired at the will of the employer. On the same token at will always means that you as an employee have the means to defend yourself through personal marketing and constantly expanding your job network. The best security you can get yourself is to always have a Plan B. Whether it is another job or a fall back plan in case you lose the one you currently have.
I have a friend is technology in the financial who survived 5 major bank mergers in 15 years. At the end of it all, he said is only real skill he had left was how to survive a merger. I have seen people get transferred out of state, move their whole family, start a new life, and then have the new site closed in a downsizing. Seen mergers or outsourcing where just for the huge size, they miss entire buildings in review and, more importantly, miss the long time employees who dont get picked up by the new company just due to oversight. This included a guy who was 19 years with the company and who wife was 7 months pregnant.

Eventually as physicians, you have more marketable skills and mobility but the entire industry of medicine is moving to corporate hospital owned or other large group practices where you get some of this as well I am sure.
 
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efle

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It's hard to believe some scribes are making less than $10/hr. Is that rate in the Deep South or something? I know ER scribes here in the Twin Cities that started at $15+/hr.

Soon the minimum wage here will be $15/hr. I wonder if that will push up the wage for higher skilled workers.


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Here in beautiful St. Louis, new scribes are lucky to break $10/hour. I think it's an especially terrible market though, there are so many medical hopefuls with Bio bachelor's and no good connections in need of clinical experience, they could probably offer the bare minimum wage and still have no trouble.
 

Frogger27

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It's hard to believe some scribes are making less than $10/hr. Is that rate in the Deep South or something? I know ER scribes here in the Twin Cities that started at $15+/hr.

Soon the minimum wage here will be $15/hr. I wonder if that will push up the wage for higher skilled workers.


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I live in Philadelphia, and some scribes make less than 9/hr... absolutely ridiculous
 
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efle

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I live in Philadelphia, and some scribes make less than 9/hr... absolutely ridiculous
It's pretty insane. People with college degrees, working a stressful job with potentially big consequences for screwing up, make about the same as many high school summer jobs as cashiers and ice cream scoopers. There must just be an insane number of premeds that need that sort of job
 
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@gonnif Beautiful post, thanks for sharing. I felt that it's an apt consideration for people who are planning on putting in some years as a laboratory technician before heading off to medical school. We had a professor at our church with a PhD in Organic Chemistry who survived a merger in a Big Pharma company which coincidentally joined with another chemist who was also a regular, however the way they outlined the process was pretty bleak. Mostly how they segregated workers in the sense that PhD's would compete with PhD's for remaining positions by being assigned numbers which was supposed to be a type of indicator of how much the company prioritized them out of the entire employee pool. It was sort of shocking that achieving a pinnacle of education in a certain field could still be a double edge sword in a modern market place.
 
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@efle @Frogger27 @Epictitus I've seen min. wage for training, $10 as standard starting payout for first year in NJ/NY, and pay scaling being around $1.25 to $1.50 every year regarding Scribe salaries if you're working for a contracted company (service contracted to hospital, but not hired by the hospital). Working in-house for hospital should be up at least $2-3 hourly compared to a contractor position which is why certain Scribes get paid a little more than their peers in some cases.

If you have to burn the year I'd suggest working as a nursing assistant if you need the clinical experience and nowhere else is biting. Especially if you're considering PA schools as a backup option where being a Scribe is not considered to be clinical experience by many schools.
 
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efle

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@efle @Frogger27 @Epictitus I've seen min. wage for training, $10 as standard starting payout for first year in NJ/NY, and pay scaling being around $1.25 to $1.50 every year regarding Scribe salaries if you're working as a contractor (service contracted to hospital, but not hired by the hospital).
Yikes, $10/hr out there is probably more brutal than $8-9/hr somewhere as cheap as here. Terrible.
 
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Yikes, $10/hr out there is probably more brutal than $8-9/hr somewhere as cheap as here. Terrible.
Tell me about it. Rooming with freshman co-eds to split rent when you are already a year out of school makes for an interesting social dynamic. When I suggest that one of the best financial decisions you can make is moving back home with mom and pop, I'm not kidding. I've always learned my lessons the hard way.
 
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Hopeful_vet

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It's hard to believe some scribes are making less than $10/hr. Is that rate in the Deep South or something? I know ER scribes here in the Twin Cities that started at $15+/hr.

Soon the minimum wage here will be $15/hr. I wonder if that will push up the wage for higher skilled workers.


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EPPA scribes, one of the larger scribe companies in the Twin Cities, starts at $9.75


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shoal

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It's pretty insane. People with college degrees, working a stressful job with potentially big consequences for screwing up, make about the same as many high school summer jobs as cashiers and ice cream scoopers. There must just be an insane number of premeds that need that sort of job
whats your big consequence? you lose your job? as a doc using scribes, you f up on my documentation and i get sued for millions. i potentially lose my job, cannot be hired and have 3-5 yrs spent in a lawsuit.

yes, being a scribe can be stressful, but no your consequences arent big and relatively minor.

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@shoal Doctors got their pick of the litter at our ER. If they didn't want you, they'd tell the Chief Scribe and they would schedule someone else to be assigned that doctor. They want Shawna? They get Shawna. Sometimes they'd get Kaylee, but they'd be ok with Kaylee. But 90% of the time if they only wanted Shawna, then they got her for the majority of their shifts. For a lot of students this was their first job out of school and I saw several negative signs associated with it. Mostly kids trading away years of working as a scribe because they valued the experience so much. One year is a great experience. But I've seen people there for three to five years. If they started off with a base of $10 an hour that means they're making around $15. That's a huge loss.
 

efle

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whats your big consequence? you lose your job? as a doc using scribes, you f up on my documentation and i get sued for millions. i potentially lose my job, cannot be hired and have 3-5 yrs spent in a lawsuit.

yes, being a scribe can be stressful, but no your consequences arent big and relatively minor.

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I wasn't thinking like punishment for the scribe, rather than its a job where the outcome matters. Bad medical records vs ice cream dropped on the floor and they have to start over, that kind of thing.
 

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I got hired by a staffing company making $14-$15 per hour just out of college with only my micro degree. After 6 months I was hired full time at $20 per hour with nice benefits. It's not necessarily the norm for an entry level lab tech job but they are out there.
 

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Do you guys think I should apply for a job as a sterilization tech? I want to ask for $15/hr because that sounds reasonable after reading kamakazi5's post and that's within the range sterilization tech's get paid for (though I think it's above average). I am asking you guys first because I want to avoid emailing my professors as much as I can since I plan to ask them for references. I don't have any other business people I can ask for reference from except them.
Absolutely ask for as much as you think you're worth. A dollar or two increase makes a huge difference over the course of a year or two.

Companies only ask how much you want for a job on applications so they can lowball needy people. Some states have even forbidden this practice.


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Absolutely ask for as much as you think you're worth. A dollar or two increase makes a huge difference over the course of a year or two.

Companies only ask how much you want for a job on applications so they can lowball needy people. Some states have even forbidden this practice.


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Thank you
 
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aldol16

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Do you guys think I should apply for a job as a sterilization tech? I want to ask for $14-15/hr because that sounds reasonable after reading kamakazi5's post and that's within the range sterilization tech's get paid for (though I think it's above average). I am asking you guys first because I want to avoid emailing my professors as much as I can since I plan to ask them for references. I don't have any other business people I can ask for reference from except them.
Absolutely ask for as much as you think you're worth. A dollar or two increase makes a huge difference over the course of a year or two.
Many companies adhere to industry standards when it comes to pay, so even if they ask, it's unlikely you'll get much more out of them because they know you couldn't do better elsewhere either. Definitely stand your ground and negotiate when given the opportunity, but don't go too high or else they'll think you have an inflated perception of yourself and your abilities (unless you have some really unique talent they want) and don't go too low or else you shoot yourself in the foot and they think you have low self-esteem.
 
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