Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 6807


  Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
Salary Range 12 $2379 $2464 $2557 $2657 $2741 $2859 $2971 $3103 $3235


The LABORATORY ASSISTANT provides support to technical and professional laboratory personnel by performing record keeping and other clerical tasks related to laboratory operations, preparing reagents and other media used in testing, preparing specimens for testing, and performing the varied housekeeping duties required for smooth day-to-day operation of the laboratory. Laboratory Assistants in the medical laboratories may work as technical trainees to gain skills necessary to become a Medical Laboratory Technician.


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


  1. Clerical Duties. Typical tasks: receives requisition slip and sample or specimen for testing and assigns accession number; may input sample or specimen information from requisition slip into computer, including the specifics of the test requested; logs each specimen into log book and fills out work card used by professional laboratory personnel in conducting test; distributes samples or specimens to appropriate work area; calls test results to physicians or other professional personnel; takes telephone messages or refers callers to appropriate personnel; graphs data from quality control data book onto special forms to be used in statistical analysis; files laboratory reports.
  2. Housekeeping Duties. Typical tasks: reviews supply of available stock and orders laboratory media and supplies as necessary to maintain an adequate inventory; prepares records of the lot numbers and quantity of supplies received; unpacks and puts away supplies and rotates stock on shelves; cleans and disinfects work area; cleans microscopes and other equipment and checks equipment to make sure it is turned off when not in use; washes glassware and laboratory instruments and sterilizes with hot air oven or autoclave; checks temperatures of incubators, freezers, and refrigerators to determine if functioning within proper limits.
  3. Materials Preparation. Typical tasks: weighs and measures accurate amount of media and chemicals and prepares reagents, stains, chemical solutions, and other media used in testing according to written instructions; sterilizes media in autoclave; dispenses prepared media into proper receptacles (e.g., petri dishes, test tubes, and flasks).
  4. Specimen/Sample Preparation. Typical tasks: after receiving training, some employees in this class set up tests for technicians and technologists by assessing quality and appropriateness of sample or specimen with regard to test requested; selecting media required for each sample or specimen according to type of test requested or making special media as needed to perform test; preparing and staining slides used for microscopic examinations; centrifuging samples or specimens and drawing off serum; inoculating specimen as necessary for testing.
  5. Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: transports specimens from laboratory to other laboratories; demonstrates performance of assigned duties to students and new employees.


Depending on the area of assigned duties, some employees have daily telephone contact with doctors, nurses, and veterinarians to report test results or to obtain information regarding samples or specimens which have been submitted. Other employees in this class have regular contact with professors and research associates to discuss special procedures for preparing laboratory materials. Employees in this class have occasional in-person contact with students to demonstrate performance of assigned duties.


Employees in this class work under the supervision of an administrative superior who assigns work verbally and occasionally in writing. Daily activities are closely reviewed by medical laboratory technologists or other professional staff for accuracy and conformance to standards. Work is reviewed by supervisor through daily review of records prepared by these employees for clerical accuracy and conformance to laboratory policy, through meetings and frequent consultation to discuss problems, questions, or workload.

Laboratory policies and procedures, desk procedures, and laboratory safety procedures are used as guidelines in the proper handling of chemicals and equipment, in preparing reagents and specimens for testing, and in performing other assigned laboratory and clerical activities.


Positions in this class are primarily found in hospitals and health institutions. They require the willingness to work in the environment associated with the position's location and purpose.


Training or experience demonstrating the a) knowledge of basic laboratory techniques; b) knowledge of laboratory terminology, equipment, and materials; c) knowledge of basic math; d) ability to follow formulas accurately; e) ability to handle, package, and store laboratory specimens and materials; f) ability to operate and maintain standard laboratory equipment; g) ability to learn routing testing methods, procedures, and techniques; h) ability to keep accurate records in conformance with laboratory procedures; and i) ability to follow written and verbal instructions.

High school courses, in chemistry, biology, mathematics, or any course which included laboratory work, are considered qualifying.

On your application, be specific in addressing your training and/or experience to the areas listed in the minimum qualifications.