There are many different levels of participation in science. I do not
know your age but getting a Ph. D. usual involves about 5 - 7 years of
commitment. Most people do one or two 1-2 year post-docs after that.
The time one spends in the lab is not related to the degree one has
but rather to the commitment and that is true at all degree levels.
Commitment levels can change at different times in life too.
Furthermore, there are many different levels to participate in science
with any degree. I think you should view Ph. D. training as an
opportunity to learn the theory and practice of science to help you to
think independently. I hope this is helpful.