Science Lab



Jobs in Biotechnology

In the California, salaries for biotechnology technicians range from $46,000 - $57,000 per year ( With more experience and education, your salary could go even higher! Industries who need biotechs include: scientific research, medicine and health care, agriculture, manufacturing, quality control and more...additional information

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You're Invited to a Zoom Information Session

Zoom Info Sessions on:  Apr 19 @ 12:00 pm  |  Apr 21 @ 12:00 pm  |  May 7 @ 12:00 pm  |  May 7 @ 6:00 pm May 10 @ 1:00 pm  |   Aug 21 @ 6:30 pm

To get started, enroll in BIOTECH 001 & 002


Help Getting Started (Mon-Thur)

$0 TUITION College Promise Program

For any questions, email: Tiffany Miller, at @email

Programs Offered

Certificate of Achievement - Biotechnology Laboratory Technician

Biotech Course Descriptions

BIOTECH 001:  Fundamentals of Biotechnology (3 Units) CSU Transferable

This class offers an introduction to the fundamentals of biotechnology. Students will be given theoretical instruction in many concepts important to working in a biotechnology lab. This class is suggested for students exploring career options in biology or biotechnology or for those already employed and wishing to improve their skills.

BIOTECH 002: Biotechnology I (4 Units) CSU Transferable

This course expands concepts introduced in Biotech 001. Students will be given theoretical instruction and hands-on experience in many of the basic skills used in biotechnology labs, including the preparation of solutions and buffers, pipetting techniques, microscopy and cell counting, spectroscopy, centrifugation techniques and the proper measurement of pH, mass and volume. Students will learn and practice proper aseptic techniques in their preparation of solutions, buffers and culture media. The proper validation and maintenance of lab equipment will be explained. Instruction on good laboratory practice (GLP), good clinical practice (GCP) and good manufacturing practice (GMP) will be given. Students will learn how to write standard operating procedures (SOPs) and how to maintain a laboratory notebook. This class is suggested for students exploring career options in biology or biotechnology or for those already employed and wishing to improve their skills

BIOTECH 003: Biotechnology II (4) CSU Transferable

This course expands on the concepts and techniques introduced in Biotech 001 and Biotech 002. Students will be introduced to modern biology techniques for the analysis of nucleic acids and proteins. Students will be taught how to analyze DNA and RNA using techniques such as gel electrophoresis, restriction digests, PCR, sequencing, northern blotting and microarrays. Analysis of proteins will also be covered, including Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, ELISA analysis, spectrophotometric quantitation and isolation through chromatography. Prerequisites: BIOTECH 002

BIOTECH 102: Cell Culture (4 Units)

This course provides students with an introduction to techniques for culturing cells, including media preparation, sterile technique, freezing, thawing, sub-culturing, and maintaining cells. Theory includes the selection of media, maintaining sterile conditions, and preventing contamination. Practical experience includes the proper use and care of equipment for culturing cells. Stem cell technology is also examined. Prerequisites: BIOTECH 001

What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is the application of biological and biochemical skills to the preparation of new and enhanced agricultural, environmental, clinical and industrial products. Biotechnology uses biological systems, such as bacteria, yeast or even human cells, to develop or make products that improve the health and well-being of humans.

Today's biotechnology uses the principles and techniques of:

  • molecular & cell biology
  • immunology & microbiology
  • genetics
  • biomedical engineering - including biomaterials
  • biomanufacturing

The products created through biotechnology have uses in 4 major industrial areas:

  1. healthcare
  2. agriculture
  3. food production and safety
  4. non-food crop production - biodegradable plastics and biofuels

Earn Your Certificate in Just 1 Year

The Biotechnology program being offered at West LA College focuses on providing our students with the theoretical knowledge and hands-on laboratory skills to work as a laboratory technician in a wide variety of agricultural, environmental, pharmaceutical and biomanufacturing laboratories. Areas of instruction include: bioinformatics, gene identification, immunoassays, DNA sequencing, genetic engineering, industrial microbiology, cell culture, production processes, biotechnology ethics and regulations.

West's Biotechnology program is designed so that student's can earn a Certificate of Achievement in just 4 semesters.

  • Semester One: BIOTECH 001 - Fundamentals of Biotechnology (3 units) AND CHEM 060 - Introduction to Chemistry (5 units) **
  • Semester Two: BIOTECH 002 - Biotechnology I
  • Semester Three: BIOTECH 003 - Biotechnology II
  • Semester Four: BIOTECH 102 - Cell Culture

**Those students who have already taken CHEM 060 as a general education credit will NOT have to repeat this course and can apply it to their certificate

Our Biotechnology program has:

  • state of the art facilities and equipment to provide learning environments that duplicate what you will find on the job
  • highly trained faculty who will teach you everything you need to know to find and keep a job in the biotech field
  • opportunities for competitive internships to provide you with on-the-job training


Dr. Kareen Martin, PhD
Office: MSB 201 | Email: @email | Phone: (310) 287-4415

Dr. Patricia Zuk, PhD
Office: MSB 210 |Email: @email | Phone: (310) 287-4452

Did you know...

LA and Orange counties are two exciting biotechnology hubs with a strong demand for workers with training in biotechnology.

The Greater LA area has more than 4,300 biotechnology and bioprocessing jobs, employing nearly 100,000 people in the biotechnology field!!

In Orange County, there are more than 1,000 Biotech/Bioprocessing companies.

As a biotechnology technician, you can be part of this exciting field. Potential employers (both private and academic) of biotech technicians include:

  • Medical clinics & labs
  • Food Inspection sectors
  • Life science research labs
  • Livestock & Agricultural labs
  • Hospitals & Pharmacies

Possible job titles include:

  • agricultural technician
  • medical laboratory technician
  • biological sciences research lab technician
  • food safety technician
  • bioprocessing or manufacturing technicians
  • quality control and quality assurance technicians
  • health and safety inspector