The Lab Science program is being offered at Richland Center High School. For more information, please contact your guidance counselor or our Career Prep Coordinator, Mary Johannesen by Emailing Mary.

A Pivotal Position in the Food Quality Industry

Food quality technicians work in a fast-paced environment. Enjoy plenty of variety in your work day in the high-demand food processing industry. You’ll work as part of a food quality team, producing internationally-recognized products, such as cheese, yogurt, butter, and more.

Making sure the food we eat is safe is just one of the responsibilities of a laboratory food quality technician. Learn how to:

  • Conduct food quality and safety tests
  • Report Results
  • Evaluate the environment’s effect on food quality
  • Apply quality principles to food production
  • Be involved in research and development of new products

Employers in the region are looking for Southwest Tech graduates in this program and offer plenty of opportunity for advancement in your career.

Southwest Tech's Laboratory Science Technician program is a one-term technical diploma with a four-week internship that will ensure you are workplace ready!

This program is offered in a convenient format. Most of your coursework will be completed online with twice-weekly face-to-face laboratory sessions. In addition, with your successful completion of coursework you will graduate with a HACCP certificate.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Successful Lab Science Technicians will: Enjoy working in a fast-paced environment. Be focused on quality and organization. Enjoy using hands-on lab skills in a team setting in day-to-day work.

    Students entering the Laboratory Science Technician program should:

    • Have good reading skills, basic math skills, and good verbal communication skills
    • Be Employable
    • Desire to work with people
    • Desire to work as a team member

    Program Basics

    • One Semester technical diploma
    • This program includes classroom and laboratory learning activities, followed by an externship in the food industry
    • Courses are a blend of online classes and face to face lab session learning
    • The externship hours are based upon the facility hours as assigned
    • Must earn at least a grade of C in core classroom/laboratory learning settings to be eligible to work under the direct supervision of a mentor in a four-week externship
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) 24-25

    Cost of Attendance (COA) is a total of all the usual expenses of being a student. The COA sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive.

    Category Amount
    Tuition and Fees $4,820
    Living Expenses (Housing and Food) $9,148
    Books and Supplies $1,466
    Personal Expenses $3,608
    Transportation $4,018
    Charger Tech 360 Fee $600
    Loan Fees $84
    Yearly Total (Living Away from Home) $23,744
    1 Semester Total (Living Away from Home) $11,872

    Based on Wisconsin Residents.

    Approximate school costs are for a full-time (12 credit) student over a semester span of 17 weeks.

    Fees are legislated by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

    These costs are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Admissions Preference Policy

      Priority for program acceptance will be given in this order until May 1, 2024:

      1. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Residents (permanent address is in one of Southwest Tech’s 30 school districts the College serves) Southwest Tech District Information
      2. Non-District State Residents
      3. Out-of-State Residents

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Basic Education course in writing
    • Reading comprehension skills
    • Basic math skills

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Collect, process, and preserve lab samples.
    • Perform and report laboratory tests in a variety of laboratory settings.
    • Identify pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical variables that affect procedures, instruments and results, and take appropriate corrective action.
    • Perform mathematical functions as required by laboratory procedures.
    • Perform and monitor quality assurance and quality control techniques.
    • Practice laboratory safety and regulatory compliance.
    • Perform information processing functions in the laboratory.
    • Apply laboratory results and communicate variables.
    • Communicate with colleagues in a professional manner.
    • Model professional behaviors, ethics, and appearance.
  • Career Opportunities
  • Laboratory Science Technician - Performs routine laboratory tests for the food industry in: Laboratory Technician/Research Assistant - Performs routine and special laboratory tests in:

    • Laboratory settings: research, industrial, environmental and food science labs.

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.

    Laboratory Science Technician Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title
    Challenge Exam
    Challenge Exam
    10-103-106Beginning Microsoft ExcelYes
    Any Microsoft MOUS certification (even an old certification) will also be considered for CPL
    10-513-110Basic Lab SkillsYes
    Work Experience Documentation
    10-513-113QA Lab MathYes
    10-513-184HACCP TrainingYes
    Current HACCP Certificate
    10-513-187Lab Science PracticumYes