Information For

Employment Outlook

Industry Description   

CSUSM Extended Learning determined the initial need and creation for the Biotechnology Laboratory Technician Certificate program in 2004 and need continues to be supported based on the following information:

  • The San Diego region is the number one Biotechnology cluster in the world, according to the Milken Institute Report, Americas Biotechnology Cluster, June 2004.
  • The current existence of more than 500 Biotech/Biomed companies in San Diego.
  • Biotechnology is the fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy with California having over 30% of the nation's biotechnology companies.
  • The success of CSUSM's current Biotechnology Internship program, Professional Science Masters in Biotechnology and a networking Biotechnology Club.
  • The strong interdisciplinary partnership at CSUSM between the Biology/Chemistry/Biochemistry departments.
  • BIOCOM's 2012 Economic Impact Report shows that for the period of 2009-2011, the San Diego Life Science industry did not follow the Nation's decrease in jobs but added to their workforce by 322 jobs, an increase of 6%.  The report also projects that the San Diego region's Life Science growth is projected to be strong into 2013, adding more than 1300 jobs.

Program Description

The Biotechnology Laboratory Technician Certificate (BLTC) program was designed by consulting the local San Diego Workforce Partnership and the Life Science Association, BIOCOM, representing hundreds of local biotech companies. Based on the workforce needs for entry-level biological technicians, the BLTC is constructed to train students for jobs as laboratory technicians in research, manufacturing, and quality control laboratories. The curriculum of 16 units comprises courses offered by the experienced and award-winning research faculty from the departments of Biology and Chemistry/Biochemistry. 

This Certificate Program is geared toward mastery of a professional or vocational area of competency. Given the academic rigor of the coursework, it is expected that most applicants will already hold baccalaureate degrees in the Sciences. The cohort style of enrollment not only guarantees students a seat in each class, but encourages close collaboration between students/professional technicians well after graduation.

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2004 to 2011, there has been a 20% increase in wages and a 36% increase in employment for biological technicians. Based on the BLS, the projected employment growth from 2008-2011 will be approximately 24% within California. With San Diego County as a strong Biotechnology cluster, the employment growth should meet or exceed this estimate.

Program Beginnings

In 2004, there were multiple Industry Advisory meetings between the CSUSM Extended Learning Director of Biotechnology, BIOCOM, and the San Diego Workforce Partnership in regard to the Industry outlook and Workforce development needs. Multiple Curriculum advisory meetings were held to determine the program curriculum. The Biotechnology Laboratory Technician Certificate then followed the standard CSU Certificate approval process which can be found at: 

In summary, a new Certificate is subject to review and approval by the relevant college curriculum committee and the University Curriculum Committee and, for resource implications, the Budget Long-range Planning Committee of the Academic Senate. Requests for approval of a Certificate are submitted according to the timeline of the appropriate college curriculum committee.

August 30th, 2004-The first day class for the Biotechnology Laboratory Technician Certificate was offered.

August 27th, 2012-The first day of class to begin disbursing Title IV funds to students enrolled in the Biotechnology Laboratory Technician Certificate.

Gainful Employment Program Information 

Program Name:     
Biotechnology Lab Certificate             
OPEID:03011300 CIP Code: 26.1201

Links to program information

Tuition Fees Books and Supplies
$8,000 Subject to Change Subject to Change
Median Loan Debt 2009-10 Completion Rate Job Placement Rate
N/A 95% 88% (2009-10)