How to become a Tissue Culture Technician

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.

Personal requirements for a Tissue Culture Technician

  • Good eyesight (may be corrected)
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to concentrate on detail
  • Able to keep records accurately

Education & Training for a Tissue Culture Technician

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 and you may like to consider a VET qualification. 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. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Duties & Tasks of a Tissue Culture Technician

Tissue culture technicians:

  • Clean, sterilise and maintain equipment and facilities
  • Set up and operate equipment, including microscopes, environmental chambers (incubators) and centrifuges
  • Select live material with the desired characteristics
  • Dissect and test tissues or cells for viruses and other diseases
  • Prepare selected tissues or cells for reproduction
  • Prepare reproductive and growth chemical solutions (medias) suitable for the species to be cloned
  • Chemically treat selected tissues or cells to induce genetic mutations
  • Place tissues or cells in sterile chemical solutions or medias and place on shakers to initiate reproduction or growth
  • Place reproduced plant material in sealed sterile containers containing a nutrient gel, then grow under controlled temperature and light conditions, repeating this process until the specimens are of sufficient size
  • Grow samples of cloned cells or organisms to maturity and monitor them for desirable or undesirable genetic mutations (genotypes) or characteristics (phenotypes)
  • Record results by using computers or other methods.

Tasks

  • Investigates the chemical structure and function of living cells and their isolated components, organs and tissues in humans, animals, plants, and micro-organisms..
  • Examines objects of interest and uses the knowledge gained to create and develop new, and improve existing, products, materials and processes..
  • Studies the forms and structures of parasites and toxins by systematic observation, dissection and microscopic examination..
  • Designs and conducts experiments, makes observations and measurements, researches information, analyses data, prepares or supervises the preparation of laboratory reports and scientific papers, presents findings at scientific meetings and conferences, and may supervise the work of staff..

Working conditions for a Tissue Culture Technician

Tissue culture technicians mostly work in laboratories, with a small amount of field and shadehouse work.


Employment Opportunities for a Tissue Culture Technician

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.


Specializations

Tissue Culture Technician

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.

  • Average age
    Average age
    37 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    63% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    42 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,794
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Average unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    70% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    1,000 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 3.9%
    NSW: 26.9%
    NT: 1.5%
    QLD: 17.4%
    SA: 7.4%
    TAS: 2.6%
    VIC: 32.1%
    WA: 8.2%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.3%
    20-24: 5%
    25-34: 35%
    35-44: 30.8%
    45-54: 16.9%
    55-59: 5.5%
    60-64: 3.9%
    65 and Over: 2.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 3.4%
    Bachelor degree: 40.9%
    Certificate III/IV: 4.1%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 48.5%
    Year 10 and below: 0%
    Year 11: 0%
    Year 12: 3%
Is the information on this page correct? Request update

Become a member

Already a member? Login Forgot password?

Join the conversation