Lab Animal Technician I-IV, Laboratory Animal Resources



Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) invites applications for a Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT) I-IV . This position normally begins work in Lab Animal Resources at LAT level I. As degrees of proficiency and independence related to animal care and associated duties increase, the technician may advance through levels I, II and III. Animal technician IV is the highest rung on the lab animal technician career ladder. Promotions are based on satisfactory job performance and successful completion of certification examinations sanctioned by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (LAT I, entry level; LAT II – Assistant Lab Animal Technician (ALAT) certification; LAT III – Lab Animal Technician (LAT) certification; LAT IV – Lab Animal Technologist (LATG) certification).

LAT I (Entry level) : Given appropriate training and adequate time for development of animal care skills, be able to perform basic animal husbandry so that required food, water and shelter for animals is provided. As experience and skills increase, LAT I technicians may be asked to assist in performing health checks, bedding changes, cage washes, veterinary checks, required cleaning for all species in the LAR, and additional tasks as deemed appropriate by the facility manager. Technician will need to become AALAS ALAT-certified during LAT I phase for advancement to LAT II level.

LAT II : Technician is ALAT-certified (or has equivalent experience in lab animal science and husbandry). All duties of LAT I, and in addition: training for more advanced techniques such as clinical sample collection, anesthesia preparation, animal euthanasia; assistance with quarterly serology of sentinel rodents; assistance with keeping accurate animal medical and breeding records; training for health records for USDA-regulated species. Technician will need to become AALAS LAT- certified during LAT II phase to advance to LAT III.

LAT III : Technician is LAT-certified (or has equivalent experience and former training in the field of lab animal science and husbandry). All of the duties of LAT I and II, in addition: organizational skills related to training of scientific research personnel who will be working with animals in the LAR; maintenance of animal medical and breeding records; coordination and communication with all members of the LAR team, including the Facility manager and the Attending Veterinarian; collegial interactions with research investigators and scientific personnel. LAT III technicians will need to become AALAS LATG-certified for consideration of advancement to LAT IV level.

LAT IV : All duties of LAT I, II and III levels. In addition, in the absence of the Facility Manager, an LAT IV should be able to conduct daily scheduling, train and assist staff during performance of scheduled duties, and answer questions from staff and animal users. The employee may be asked to order animals or supplies and submit work orders in the absence of the Facility Manager. It is expected that an employee at the LAT IV level can communicate professionally, both orally and verbally, with peers and investigators. Employees should also display professional behavior worthy of being a model for employees requiring assistance. Professionalism in verbal and written communication is expected. An LAT IV should be highly independent in performing daily job tasks of animal care, husbandry, and general cleaning. Employee is also expected to be independent and proficient in collecting blood samples, sexing animals, and performing basic mouse colony management. Employee is supervised by the Facility Manager, and will work closely with the Attending Veterinarian, but should also be a leader in finding additional duties and progressing the mission of the LAR departmental team when his/her assigned duties have been completed. Employees should demonstrate increasing independence in performing work tasks, thinking ahead to perform tasks that will help the departmental team accomplish work efficiently, and suggesting new and creative ways to improve current standard operating procedures. An LAT IV will be performing technical tasks of the highest complexity in LAR. Employee must be able to combine the skills of disease recognition, nursing care, and professional judgment in bringing animal health issues to the attention of the Attending Veterinarian through established departmental channels. Professional judgment must also be displayed in written and oral communications to animal users and investigators. Excellent time management skills and the ability to organize several tasks at once are required to this job effectively. Only LAT IV or Lead Technician will provide direct supervision of other lab animal technicians in the Lab Animal Resource department. In the absence of the Facility Manager, LAT IV or Lead Technician could supervise LAT I, II and/or III levels at the request of the Facility Manager.

Employees functioning at the level of I, II, or III are expected to be practicing and improving their technical skills, asking for assistance from the Facility Manager, Lead Technician, or Attending Veterinarian in making decisions concerning animal health matters, and focusing on systemic performance of work tasks to minimize errors.

This position requires incumbent to develop ability to obtain one or more AALAS Lab Animal Technician certification levels; ability to work with computer software including spreadsheets, word processing, and e-mail; experience with rodent breeding colony management, feeding and watering animals; changing mouse, rat or hamster boxes; using cage washer; performing all surface cleaning; care of USDA-regulated animal species; and develop working knowledge of animal and equipment vendors and understanding of inventory control.

Physical Requirements

(Qualified candidates must be able to meet minimum requirements and perform the primary functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.)

  • Lifting: Crates, bundles, buckets, bags and materials weighing up to 50 lbs, from floor to 60 inches, and materials weighing up to 22.5 lbs, from floor to 70 inches.
  • Carrying: Crates, bundles, buckets, bags and materials weighing up to 50 lbs, at waist level, up to 15 feet.
  • Pushing/Pulling: Racks of cages, with 50 lbs horizontal force, at waist to chest height.
  • Reaching in all directions, including low levels, and above 72 inches with 5 lbs in each hand.
  • Above average manual and finger dexterity are necessary for activities such as pinching and handling animals and mice tails repetitively, as well as gripping, pinching and manipulating animal cages, water bottles, hypodermic needles, syringes, food and bedding materials repetitively. Average hand grip forces (60 lbs bilaterally) and pinch forces (15 lbs bilaterally) are necessary for performing these activities. Use of various hand grip circumferences and firm hand grip positions while manipulating animals, animal cages, equipment and tools.
  • Work in various postures. Frequent static and dynamic trunk forward bending and twisting from a standing, crouching or kneeling position while working with animals and animal cages, and while cleaning equipment, rooms, floors and fixtures.
  • Stand and walk continuously, with breaks.
  • Balancing when climbing ladders and stairs, occasionally.


Physical Screen will be administered prior to a final offer of employment.

Minimum Required Experience
  • LAT I, II: High school diploma or GED equivalent. AALAS ALAT (Assistant Lab Animal Technician) certification or 1 year lab animal experience
  • LAT III, IV: Bachelor ‘s degree in a scientific field preferred; or minimum 3 yrs experience in lab animal science or related field; or associate’s degree in related field. Accompanying AALAS technician certifications LAT (Lab Animal Technician) and LATg (Lab Animal Technologist)


About the Department of Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR), UM , and Missoula

The Department of Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) is a service-oriented department that provides for and ensures the humane care of animals used by the University's research and teaching communities, in accordance with the guidelines prescribed by the National Research Council (NRC), the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC). The top priorities of the department are to provide daily food, water, health verifications and appropriate housing and environmental enrichment for all animals in the facilities.

The University of Montana is a unit of the Montana University System with over 10,000 students. It is located in Missoula, a culturally vibrant community of about 72,000, surrounded by mountain grandeur which was recently ranked in the “top 20 best college towns with a population of less than 250,000” by the American Institute for Economic Research and ranked 9th in Outside Magazine’s “The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America” in 2014. Many national publications recognize Missoula for its high quality of life. Abundant recreational opportunities in surrounding state and national forests and nearby Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park complement a thriving intellectual atmosphere. The University of Montana offers eligible employees a generous benefits package that positively separates UM from other local employers and offers many programs and policies to support work-life balance for its employees.

The University of Montana is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people who would assist the University in demonstrating its five priorities for action: Place student success at the center of all we do; drive excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and research; embody the principle of “mission first, people always"; partner with place; and proudly tell the UM story.

To learn more about the University of Montana, Missoula, and the State of Montana, please visit the links below.


Position Details

Position Title: Lab Animal Tech I-IV

Position Number: New

Department: Lab Animal Resources

Work Schedule: Full-time, 1.0 FTE (40 Hours a week), Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, 12 months/year, with rotating weekends between the technicians.

Salary: Position may be hired at I ($13.375/hr), II ($14.066/hr), III ($15.743/hr), or IV ($18.043/hr) level, dependent on qualifications and successful completions of the following certification examinations, as sanctioned by the American Associate for Laboratory Animal Science: LAT I: entry level; LAT II: ALAT certification; LAT III: LAT certification; LAT IV: LATG certification. If hired at I, II, or III level, advancement is expected upon completion of required certifications. Current employee’s rate of pay for this position will be determined by the staff compensation plan and may be different from the posted salary. For questions and details regarding the staff compensation plan, email the Compensation Department .

Union Affiliation: FOCUS – MFPE

Probationary Period: Six months

Benefits Include : Insurance package, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition waiver, and professional development/wellness program.

Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to the Offer of Employment In accordance with University regulations, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations. ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran's Preference Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. References: References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant. Testing: Individual hiring departments at UM may elect to administer pre-employment tests, which are relevant to essential job functions. Employment Eligibility: All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).


How to Apply

Application Deadline: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 by 11:59 PM (Mountain Time)

Candidates are required to submit the following materials online

A complete application Includes:

  1. Letter of Interest – addressing your qualifications and experience related to the stated required skills for the position. A general letter salutation such as “Dear Search Committee” or “Dear Hiring Manager” is acceptable.
  2. Detailed Resume – listing education and describing work experience
  3. Professional References – names and contact information for three (3) professional references


Job Location Missoula, Montana, United States
Position Type Full-Time/Regular

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