I am currently a (USA) Master's student studying biochemistry. I intend to get a PhD after my Master's but I am doing a Master's first because my husband is going to finish his PhD and want to move to another city before I would be able to finish a PhD at my current university (this was planned from the beginning, I applied to the Master's program, not the PhD program).
Normally, people in my program graduate in 1.5-2 years. I could graduate in that time frame and find a tech job in the area or I could continue my research in my program until my husband finishes (~3.5 years from the time I started). Given where we live, I think the job I could find would be a job that will help me develop additional lab skills, but probably not result in publications.
My advisor is happy for me to stick around and it would be convenient for me to do so, but I'm concerned that it will look on a resume/PhD application like I was either lazy so it took so long or just bailed from a PhD and dropped to a Master's. I understand that if I had a fantastic publication record it might make up for the long Master's program, but I expect my publication record to be average.
In summary, does it look bad on PhD applications to extend the length of my Master's program instead of getting a job as a technician for 2 years?