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Summary Report for:
43-9111.01 - Bioinformatics Technicians

Apply principles and methods of bioinformatics to assist scientists in areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical technology, biotechnology, computational biology, proteomics, computer information science, biology and medical informatics. Apply bioinformatics tools to visualize, analyze, manipulate or interpret molecular data. May build and maintain databases for processing and analyzing genomic or other biological information.

Sample of reported job titles: Assistant Research Scientist, Bioinformatics Analyst, Bioinformatics Developer, Bioinformatics Specialist, Bioinformatics Technician, Biotechnician, Informatics Developer, Museum Informatics Specialist, Research Assistant, Scientific Informatics Analyst

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Analyze or manipulate bioinformatics data using software packages, statistical applications, or data mining techniques. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Extend existing software programs, web-based interactive tools, or database queries as sequence management and analysis needs evolve. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain awareness of new and emerging computational methods and technologies. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Conduct quality analyses of data inputs and resulting analyses or predictions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Enter or retrieve information from structural databases, protein sequence motif databases, mutation databases, genomic databases or gene expression databases. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop or maintain applications that process biologically based data into searchable databases for purposes of analysis, calculation, or presentation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Confer with researchers, clinicians, or information technology staff to determine data needs and programming requirements and to provide assistance with database-related research activities. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Participate in the preparation of reports or scientific publications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Write computer programs or scripts to be used in querying databases. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Document all database changes, modifications, or problems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Create data management or error-checking procedures and user manuals. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop or apply data mining and machine learning algorithms. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design or implement web-based tools for querying large-scale biological databases. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor database performance and perform any necessary maintenance, upgrades, or repairs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Confer with database users about project timelines and changes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform routine system administrative functions such as troubleshooting, back-ups, and upgrades. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Package bioinformatics data for submission to public repositories. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Train bioinformatics staff or researchers in the use of databases. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Test new or updated software or tools and provide feedback to developers. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Computer workstation — Computer clusters; Computer workstation setups See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Deoxyribonucleic sequence analyzers — Semiconductor-based sequencers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • High end computer servers — Network file servers; Web servers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • High throughput screening HTS systems in nucleic acid purification — High throughput screening HTS systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectrometers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — Basic Local Alignment Search Tool BLAST *; GENSCAN *; Life Technologies Ion Reporter Software; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 12 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — MySQL software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Development environment software — C; Ruby See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise application integration software — Atlassian Bamboo; Jenkins CI * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • File versioning software — Apache Subversion *; Git * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object or component oriented development software — C++; Oracle Java; Python; R (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Operating system software — Linux See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Web platform development software — Hypertext markup language HTML See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Enter information into databases or software programs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Format digital documents, data, or images. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Search files, databases or reference materials to obtain needed information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Confer with coworkers to coordinate work activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain operational records. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Train personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain current knowledge related to work activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze operational or research data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare research or technical reports. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop computer or online applications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop data analysis or data management procedures. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 87% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 81% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 60% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 53% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 81% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 43% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 40% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 38% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 48% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “Moderate responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 30% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 57% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 26% responded “Highly competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 70% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 28% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
51   Bachelor's degree
41   Master's degree
4   Doctoral degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Life Sciences — Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: IRC

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Statistical Assistants.
Employment data collected from Statistical Assistants.
Industry data collected from Statistical Assistants.

Median wages (2014) $20.23 hourly, $42,070 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 17,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 6,300
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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