How can you combine programming and biochemistry

Laboratory technology - biochemistry (modular apprenticeship) - apprenticeship period: 3 1/2 or 4 years

English: Laboratory engineering specializing in biochemistry

Job description

Laboratory technicians for biochemistry work in a very innovative industry. They carry out biochemical studies and experiments on biological materials such as B. microorganisms and cell cultures. With the help of often computer-controlled laboratory devices and microscopes, they examine bacteria, viruses, cell cultures, enzymes, proteins and the like for certain properties such as germ count and germ growth. They use various biochemical working methods and analysis methods such as B. dimensional analytical, gravimetric, microbiological or cell culture techniques.

Laboratory technicians for biochemistry work in companies (laboratories) specializing in biochemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology, but also at private and public research institutions (e.g. universities). You will work in a team with colleagues, scientists and other specialists in the field of chemistry and biochemistry.

Modules and combinations

The training in the modular apprenticeship laboratory technology includes a mandatory 2-year training in Basic module laboratory technology and a year and a half of training in one of the following Main modules:

  • chemistry
  • Lacquers and paints
  • biochemistry

Additionally can in a further half year of training a second main module or the following one Special modules to get voted:

Duration of the apprenticeship:

  • 3.5 years: basic module + one main module
  • 4 years: basic module + a main module + a special module
  • 4 years: basic module + two main modules

Combination options: Not all main modules can be combined with one another. The combination options can be seen from the change in the training regulations from 2016. Change of laboratory technology training regulations.

Work and activity areas

Laboratory technicians for biochemistry carry out chemical, physical-chemical and biochemical examinations and experiments on biochemical materials (e.g. bacteria, viruses, cells / cell cultures, enzymes, proteins). You work in the analytical or synthetic area: In the analytical area you deal with the determination of the ingredients, properties and characteristics and the acquisition of samples. In the synthetic field, they work on the development and manufacture of new biochemical substances and products such as B. Vaccines or drugs.

With the help of computer-controlled laboratory equipment and microscopes, they examine living organisms for certain properties such as z. B. temperature, germ count and germ growth, viable number of cells, detection of nucleic acids and proteins. In doing so, they apply various biochemical analysis procedures and methods. You create simple test sketches, prepare the samples and set up the necessary apparatus and laboratory equipment. They clean and concentrate various substances and materials, e.g. B. by distillation, extraction, evaporation. They evaluate the recorded biochemical characteristics and measurement results, log and document their results and create statistical and graphic evaluations. After the examinations and analyzes, they clean the equipment used and ensure that the materials and samples are properly stored and disposed of.

Laboratory technicians for biochemistry read and know the analysis and procedural regulations and safety data sheets. In all their work, they ensure that all quality, safety and environmental standards are adhered to and pay close attention to the fact that samples are not contaminated by foreign bodies. Especially when working with automated laboratory systems, they install and configure programs, monitor the automated processes, intervene in the event of malfunctions and eliminate them.

Work equipment

Laboratory technicians for biochemistry work with laboratory computers and specific software programs, with chromatography devices, UV analyzers, vacuum filters and polarographs, mixing, dispersing and separating units. They operate decimal and analytical scales, use microscopes, polarization devices, photometers, test tubes, flasks, petri dishes, suction flasks and the like.

Laboratory technicians for biochemistry use solutions, acids, alkalis, (in) organic substances and other raw materials and keep test and analysis protocols and other working documents as well as databases and archives. When working with automated laboratory systems, the use of laboratory information and laboratory management systems is also relevant.

Work environment / places of work

Laboratory technicians for biochemistry work in laboratories, offices and production halls of industrial and commercial operations in biochemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, but also in laboratories of private and public teaching and research institutions (e.g. universities) or e.g. B. in museums. Depending on the size and type of company or institution, you work in a team with scientists and other specialists in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry and physics, but also with a wide variety of production specialists, such as B. with chemists, biochemists, chemical process engineers (see chemical process engineering (apprenticeship), biologists (see biologist), pharmacologists (see pharmacologist), biotechnologists or food technicians.

The most important activities at a glance

  • Know and apply laboratory working methods and procedures in the field of biochemistry
  • apply biochemical working methods, e.g. B. carry out enzymatic work, process biological material, electrophoretically separate protein mixtures and purify proteins
  • microbiological working methods such as B. Carry out production of nutrient media, microscopy, isolation, staining and differentiation of microorganisms, documenting the germ growth and determining the germ count
  • apply cell culture technical working methods, e.g. B. Cultivate adhesion and suspension cells and determine the viable number
  • apply molecular biological working methods, e.g. B. isolate nucleic acids from biological material, ligate and cut nucleic acids and electrophoretically separate and detect
  • Perform enzymatic work such as processing of biological material, electrophoretic separation of protein mixtures and purification of proteins
  • instrumental analytical methods such as B. Use photometry or chromatography
  • Perform separation processes for liquid-solid mixtures such as decanting, sedimenting, filtering, centrifuging and evaporation, etc.
  • Carry out work planning; Define work steps, work equipment and work methods
  • participate in quality and environmental management
  • Know industry-specific regulations, standards and rules of laboratory practice
  • Set up and set up apparatus, measuring and laboratory devices, set or program functions
  • clean, disinfect and sterilize the equipment and apparatus and work surfaces used
  • Know and apply occupational safety measures when handling biological material

Employment opportunities

  • Research, operating, development and control laboratories in the pharmaceutical, food, biochemistry and biotechnology industries
  • Institutes and companies in the environmental sector, recycling or wastewater treatment companies
  • university research institutes


In every job you need whole special technical know-howthat is conveyed in training and further education. In the two menu items training and further education you will find information about which professional skills are particularly important in this profession.

There are also competencies, skills and characteristics that are important in all professions. These include in particular:

  • Reliability and punctuality
  • accurate and careful work
  • independent work
  • Enthusiasm
  • Sense of responsibility
  • Ability and willingness to work together with others (ability to work in a team)
  • Willingness to learn

The following list gives you an overview of others general requirements, in the This profession frequently asked. These can of course be very different from company to company.

REMEMBER: Many of these requirements are also part of the training.

Physical requirements: which physical characteristics are important?

  • Insensitivity to chemical substances
  • Insensitivity to odors

Expertise: What skills and knowledge are expected of me?

  • Application and operation of digital tools
  • chemical understanding
  • Data security and data protection
  • good powers of observation
  • good sense of proportion
  • mathematical understanding
  • technical understanding
  • Numerical understanding and arithmetic

Social skills: What do I need when dealing with others?

  • Ability to argue / persuade
  • Communication skills

Self-competence: What personal qualities should I have?

  • attention
  • Resilience / resilience
  • Judgment / decision-making ability
  • Flexibility / willingness to change
  • Legal awareness
  • Security awareness
  • Environmental awareness

Further requirements: What else is important?

  • Hygiene awareness
  • be as free from allergies as possible

Methodological competence: Which working and thinking styles are important?

  • creativity
  • logical-analytical thinking / ability to combine
  • Organizational skills
  • Planning ability
  • Problem solving skills
  • systematic way of working


The training in the modular apprenticeship laboratory technology - biochemistry includes a mandatory 2-year training in Basic module laboratory technology and a year and a half training in Main module biochemistry.

Additionally can in another half year of training that Special module laboratory automation to get voted.

The main module biochemistry can NOT be combined with the main module paints and varnishes.

Duration of the apprenticeship:

  • 3.5 years: basic module + one main module
  • 4 years: basic module + one main module + second main module
  • 4 years: basic module + a main module + a special module

Combination options: Not all main modules can be combined with one another. The combination options can be seen from the change in the training regulations from 2016. Change of laboratory technology training regulations.

General information:

  • Chemistry, analytical chemistry
  • Biochemistry, biotechnology
  • biochemical working methods
  • Procedures and methods in molecular biology and cell technology
  • Methods of disinfection and sterilization
  • Separation process for liquid-solid mixtures
  • analytical methods (photometry, chromatography)
  • Laboratory practice, laboratory management
  • Hardware and software components in automated laboratory systems
  • Test planning, test execution
  • company-specific IT and statistics
  • Quality management
  • Project management, documentation

Apprenticeship training / vocational schools

The training takes place as Apprenticeship training (= Dual training). The prerequisite for this is the completion of 9 years of compulsory schooling and an apprenticeship in a training company. The training takes place predominantly in Training company and accompanying it in the professional school. The vocational school provides the theoretical background that you need to successfully practice your profession.

Important: Attending the vocational school normally requires an (company) apprenticeship position. You can NOT choose your vocational school, you will be assigned to it.

The following vocational schools are intended for this apprenticeship:

Lower Austria

State vocational school St. Pölten

Upper Austria

Vocational School Linz 3


State Vocational School Graz 2


Tyrolean vocational school for nutrition, beauty, chemistry, media - St. Nikolaus location


Vocational school for chemistry, graphics and creative professions

Vocational schools with similar vocational training


Technical college for chemical industrial engineering (with internship)

Higher college for chemical engineers


Technical college for chemistry - training in biochemistry and bioanalytics

College of Chemistry - Chemical Technology and Environmental Technology course

Higher educational institute for chemical engineers

Apprenticeship qualification in the second educational path

Apprenticeship completion in the second educational path (extraordinary admission to the final apprenticeship examination):

In addition to apprentices who have completed their specified apprenticeship period and people who do not have to complete an apprenticeship due to school training, the following people are exceptionally admitted to the final apprenticeship examination:

a) Persons who have reached the age of 18 and who can demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge for the relevant teaching occupation in another way (e.g. through appropriate training periods, practical activities or course events).


b) People who have completed at least half of the apprenticeship period in an apprenticeship (i.e. 1 1/2 years for an apprenticeship period of 3 years) and have no opportunity to conclude an apprenticeship contract for the rest of the time.

For the subject theory, it is recommended to attend appropriate courses (or the vocational school).

Apprenticeship positions

Here you can find the apprenticeship positions of the Austrian Economic Chambers: >> Apprenticeship positions

Training regulations & examination regulations

You can find the training and examination regulations here: Training and examination regulations

Alternative professions

Related apprenticeships

Due to the relationship regulation, the training in one apprenticeship occupation is credited towards parts of the apprenticeship time in other (related) apprenticeship occupations. This shortens the apprenticeship time when training in a further apprenticeship (or when changing to a related apprenticeship). In some cases, the apprenticeship period and the final apprenticeship examination are completely replaced.

For the following related apprenticeships, the apprenticeship time is reduced by the amount of the specified apprenticeship years. (Example: The entry "1. full" means, for example, that the apprenticeship time in the related apprenticeship is reduced by one year.)

  • Chemical process engineering (apprenticeship), "1st, 2nd full"
  • Disposal and recycling specialist (apprenticeship), "1st full"
  • Disposal and recycling specialist - waste water (apprenticeship), "1. full"
  • Food technology (apprenticeship), "1. full"
  • Paper technology (apprenticeship), "1st full"
  • Pharmaceutical technology (apprenticeship), "1st full"
  • Pharmaceutical-commercial assistant (apprenticeship), "1st full"
  • Physics laboratory assistant (apprenticeship), "1st full"
  • Pest controller (apprenticeship), "1st full"
  • Textile chemistry (apprenticeship), "1st full"


Further alternatives / specializations

Alternative professions are professions that either have a similar training or similar tasks or activities to the profession you are currently researching. The similarity can also lie in the work materials, the work environments or in the way you work with other people.

This list should help you to consider which professions and training courses might be of interest to you and to give you further ideas.

  • Biochemist
  • Biomedical Analyst
  • Biotechnician
  • Chemical technician
  • Chemist
  • Forensic scientist (forensic expert)
  • Research & Development Technician
  • Innovation Technician
  • Plastics technology (apprenticeship)
  • Laboratory assistant (medical)
  • Painting technology (apprenticeship)
  • Food technician
  • Pharmacologist
  • Pyrotechnician
  • Quality assurance technician
  • Composite Technician
  • Process engineer
  • Materials technology (modular apprenticeship)
  • Materials technician
  • Pulp technician

Apprenticeship and high school diploma

With a successfully completed apprenticeship and four further exams, you will obtain the vocational matura (vocational maturity examination). This gives you access to university and technical college studies. It also enables additional career paths in the learned profession, but also outside of the previous professional field.

And so it goes:

The vocational baccalaureate consists of four partial exams: German (written and oral) and mathematics (written), a living foreign language (written or oral) and a subject area (written examination or project work and oral examination). The department is a topic from the candidate's professional field.

How does the preparation work?

Preparation for the vocational maturity examination takes place in preparatory courses offered by adult education institutions (e.g. WIFI, BFI, adult education centers), vocational schools or higher schools (e.g. AHS, HAK, HTL, HLW). The respective partial exams can also be taken in such courses. Three of the four partial exams can be taken during the apprenticeship. You can take the last partial examination after successfully completing your apprenticeship, but not before your 19th birthday.

Thanks to a funding program, the preparatory courses and the exam have been offered free of charge throughout Austria since September 2008.There are different models in the individual federal states for the specific design of the preparation for the vocational maturity examination. Information offer inter alia. the educational institutions and apprenticeships of the economic chambers.

Link: Frequently asked Questions!

further education

Laboratory technicians in the field of biochemistry are constantly faced with new challenges. The prerequisite for success in this profession is to always stay up to date with the latest developments and to continuously supplement and deepen specialist knowledge, methodological skills and social skills.

Further training opportunities in various relevant areas are offered by further training institutions such as the Vocational Promotion Institute (BFI), the Economic Promotion Institute (WIFI) with courses and courses for e.g. B. hygiene standards, occupational and operational safety, quality management but also on commercial and business management topics.

Attending a foreman school or preparing for the master craftsman examination as well as further training opportunities in related professions such as B. Physics laboratory assistant (apprenticeship) or chemical process engineering (apprenticeship) can be considered as further training and higher qualifications.

Many private and university laboratories regularly conduct internal training courses, courses and seminars on laboratory technology, laboratory equipment and working methods or offer manufacturers and suppliers the opportunity to carry out product training on site.

Opportunities for higher vocational qualification are also offered by preparatory and advanced courses at higher vocational schools for employed people (higher technical institutes, HTLs), e.g. B in the fields of electrical engineering, electronics, mechatronics or mechanical engineering. With the completion of an advanced course, in addition to a higher technical qualification, the Matura is also connected, which enables study at technical colleges and universities, for example in chemistry, technical chemistry, biotechnology, molecular biology.

Studies without Matura:

For studies at a technical college, university or teacher training college, the Matura from a general education (AHS) or vocational secondary school (BHS) is usually required.
However, there are also other access options:

  • Vocational maturity examination (apprenticeship with Matura) The vocational matriculation examination, which you can start during your apprenticeship, is a fully-fledged Matura with which you have unrestricted access to the course.
  • University entrance examination: You can take the university entrance qualification test before starting your studies. It enables access to a specific course of study.
  • without Matura with vocational training and work experience: Universities of applied sciences usually also offer the opportunity to start a relevant (i.e. related to the vocational) bachelor's degree with a completed vocational training (especially apprenticeship or vocational middle school (BMS)) and several years of professional experience even without a Matura. In most cases, individual additional exams have to be completed.

Training opportunities

(Werk-) master schools

Upper Austria

Foremen's school for professionals for technical chemistry and environmental technology


Foremen's school for professionals for technical chemistry and environmental technology


Foremen's school for professionals for technical chemistry and environmental technology



Higher educational institute for employed people in chemical engineering



College for Chemistry - Biochemistry and genetic engineering training

Further education at universities of applied sciences

Lower Austria

University of Applied Chemistry

Continuing education at universities

University studies

Upper Austria

University degree in Biological Chemistry

University degree in Biological Chemistry

University degree in Management in Chemical Technologies (MCT)


University degree in biochemistry and molecular biomedicine

University degree in chemistry

University degree in environmental systems science - chemistry

University degree in environmental systems science - chemistry


University degree in chemistry


University degree in Biological Chemistry

University degree in chemistry

University courses


University course quality assurance in the chemical laboratory

Economic Development Institute (WIFI)

Upper Austria

WIFI - Qualified application technologist course

Search options & training databases

  • Learning in Austria
  • AMS training database
  • adult - collection of further education databases
  • Economic Development Institute (WIFI)
  • Vocational Promotion Institute (BFI)


Interesting information about the job

  • All APPRENTICE INCOME in Austria

  • Federal guild of the chemical industry

  • Chemiereport - industry magazine for chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals

  • ChemLin - The internet path to chemistry

  • Austrian Chemical Industry Association - FCIO

  • Industrial Technician - The Industry

  • Apprenticeship service of the Federal Ministry for Digitization and Business Location

  • Nanoinitiative - Austria Nanoforum

  • Springboard chemistry

  • Vienna Open Lab

© ibw - Institute for Economic Research in Education