Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 6870


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Salary Range 20 $3103 $3235 $3382 $3540 $3710 $3887 $4072 $4265 $4479 $4690


The SCIENCE LABORATORY PREPARATOR provides support to the science laboratory teaching program by preparing media, solutions, and teaching materials; maintaining laboratory equipment; preparing laboratories for use by students and staff; and testing the laboratory exercises which will be used in the lab to determine, if their directions and procedures are appropriate to achieve desired results.


This is a single classification and not currently part of a series of classes.


1. Materials/Equipment Preparation and Maintenance. Typical tasks: prepares the media and solutions used in the various laboratory experiments, including determining the correct formula and recipe to be used and the amount of materials to be prepared; regularly checks condition of the materials being used in the laboratories and replaces materials when necessary to maintain fresh quality; may collect and maintain living plants and animals under the proper conditions until needed; operates instruments and equipment used in teaching laboratories to test the performance; calibrates and aligns equipment and instruments as necessary to maintain accuracy and validity of test results; performs routine maintenance, such as cleaning and replacing bulbs, on microscopes, oscilloscopes, spectrophotometers, pH meters, and analytical balances; prepares purchase orders for all new equipment and supplies.
2. Laboratory Procedure Testing.
Typical tasks: in advance of the laboratory course, conducts the laboratory experiments which will be performed by the students to test directions and procedures for these experiments which have been prepared by the teaching staff; analyzes the procedures used and results achieved to determine if the directions and procedures are appropriate for student use in terms of reliability, ease of execution, and learning value; provides technical interpretation of test results to supervisor, teaching staff, graduate teaching assistants and others; proposes alternative procedures or techniques, to teaching staff, which may be more appropriate in achieving the specific results desired.
3. Laboratory Classroom Preparation and Maintenance.
Typical tasks: assembles and organizes all the supplies and equipment which will be used in teaching laboratory; sets up each student work station with proper supplies and equipment so that everything needed to conduct laboratory exercises is immediately available for students' use; checks equipment which will be used to assure that it is working properly; cleans classroom after each class period and sets up for next class; collects and disposes of chemical wastes; assigns, coordinates, and reviews the work of student workers who are assisting in the setup and maintenance of the laboratories.
4. Training.
Typical tasks: trains student workers in the proper handling and maintenance of equipment and materials and the correct procedures for setting up and preparing teaching laboratories; instructs laboratory students in the use of pH meters, oscilloscopes, microscopes, and analytical balances; responds to questions from students or graduate teaching assistants during classroom instruction regarding equipment use or the directions/procedures for conducting the laboratory experiments.
5. Miscellaneous.
Typical tasks: registers students for laboratory courses; keeps a record of materials used by students; determines at end of the term if the student owes an additional charge or has a refund coming based on the amount of materials used.


Employees in this class are in daily contact in person with the science students and graduate teaching assistants to respond to questions or to demonstrate the use of various laboratory equipment. Employees in this classification also meet occasionally with faculty to discuss experiments to be conducted next in order to prepare all the laboratory equipment and materials prepared.


Employees in this class work under general supervision with work being assigned verbally by supervisor based on the needs of the teaching staff and the class being taught. Work is reviewed through informal daily contact or periodic discussions to determine progress of assigned activities. Guidelines are available in the form of specialized laboratory procedures and State and Federal safety regulations. These guidelines are used in performing the various laboratory activities and in the handling, storing, and disposing of chemical solutions.


Positions are found in central and remote locations throughout State government (e.g., general government agencies, human or natural resource agencies, correctional, mental health, or higher education institutions, hospitals, etc.). They require the willingness to work within the environment associated with the position's location.


  • Twelve college credit hours with passing grades in a physical and/or life science, which included laboratory procedures, such as anatomy, biology, botany, chemistry, general science, geology, physics, or zoology; AND  

  • one year of laboratory experience which provided a knowledge of laboratory testing and/or demonstration methods and techniques.