Job Description and Duties of a Photo Lab Technician
Although the job of a photo lab technician is changing with the switch to digital photography by casual photographers, photo lab technicians are still a vital component to the photography industry. With on-the-job training, the skills necessary to work as a photo lab technician may be gained quickly.
Job Description of a Photo Lab Technician
Photography laboratory technicians (or photo lab technicians) ensure that photographic negatives submitted to their lab are developed and processed correctly. Recently, this work has also included the development of digital film into hard copies of photographs, as well as the development of photo rolls. Technicians may also be responsible for enlarging, refocusing or retouching photographs to make specific parts of the image clearer or more visible.
Although photo lab technicians can work in unaffiliated photography laboratories, they may also seek employment with specific laboratories attached to forensic departments, insurance companies or governmental agencies. Often photo lab technicians attached to specific agencies are also required to work as photographers. As such, technicians may need to produce and identify orders according to agency specifications.
Job Duties of a Photo Lab Technician
Photo lab technicians are required to know how to produce copies of negatives, whether digital or print. For film, this involves understanding how to prepare photographic chemical solutions. Currently, computers are also utilized to assist in this work, and it is the duty of photo lab technicians to maintain the computers and the programs necessary. In addition, photo lab technicians must be able to examine prints for defects and trim photographs as needed.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the skills needed to perform the duties of photo lab technicians can be learned on the job, although classes on photography and photo development may be an asset (www.bls.gov). For most jobs, no additional education is necessary. Nevertheless, training will teach prospective photo lab technicians how to use and maintain computer equipment, mix chemical baths necessary for photo development and determine the best possible finish, coloring and shading. These programs may also instruct photo lab technicians on techniques to enhance the photographer's work and avoid defects.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Photo lab technicians are placed in the category for photographic process workers and processing machine operators, and the BLS expects a moderate eight percent decline in employment over the 2010-2020 decade (www.bls.gov). The median wage for these workers and operators was $23,120 in May 2012, reported the BLS.
Related to Job Description and Duties of a Photo Lab Technician
- Recently Updated
Houston Community College in Texas is one of the largest community colleges in the nation. Its health sciences programs are...
Learn how to become a biology lab technician. Research the education and career requirements, training information and...
Dental lab technician courses are typically offered through certificate and associate degree programs in dental laboratory...
Learn how to become a molecular biology lab technician. Research the job description and the education and licensing...
- Lab Technician: How Do I Become a Laboratory Tech?
- Lab Assistant: Career Education Overview
- How to Become a Microbiology Lab Manager
- Data Modeler: Job Description & Career Requirements
- Medical Aid Worker: Job Description & Career Info
- Computer Office Technician: Employment Info & Requirements
- Pharmaceutical Science Professions: Job Duties & Career Info