Tissue culture technicians use various techniques to asexually reproduce live tissue, under laboratory conditions, producing specimens that are genetically identical to, or different from, the parent tissue. The process of producing genetically identical specimens is commonly known as cloning. Tissue culture is used for a wide variety of commercially important agricultural and horticultural plants, in the propagation of rare and endangered plant species, and in the growth of tissues or cells used in health and medical research and treatments.
You can work as a tissue culture technician without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in laboratory skills, laboratory techniques or laboratory technology. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a tissue culture technician through a traineeship in Laboratory Skills, Laboratory Techniques or Laboratory Technology. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
Tissue culture technicians may perform the following tasks:
Tissue culture technicians mostly work in laboratories, with a small amount of field and shadehouse work.
Employment opportunities exist in universities and in federal, state and territory government organisations, as well as with private agricultural/horticultural firms and medical research laboratories and institutions. Job prospects depend on the level of government funding, the extent of private sector research, and competition from people with degrees trying to enter the field by starting as a technician.