Running a laboratory is serious business. And because of that, it requires a host of skills. If you think you would like to be in charge of a laboratory, then you'll need to have great skills in leadership, communication, organization, multi-tasking, problem-solving, and budgeting. As a laboratory director, you'll be responsible for the overall operation and administration of the laboratory. Laboratory directors can end up dealing with a wide range of issues, including management of health and safety, regulatory affairs, equipment and facilities maintenance, and supervision of staff.
You will also be responsible for hiring competent and qualified personnel who can perform the required tasks. Since you'll be in a leadership position, you can also expect to collaborate with the organization's top executives to report on research goals and testing activities at the lab.
Most employers prefer to hire lab directors with a Bachelor's degree in a field of study related to the specific industry of the lab. Previous experience working in a lab as a technician or scientist is also helpful. Since you may end up managing complex budgets, you may find it beneficial to take business classes or earn an MBA.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a laboratory director. For example, did you know that they make an average of $42.61 an hour? That's $88,627 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 18% and produce 71,600 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many laboratory directors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, detail oriented and technical skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a laboratory director, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.1% of laboratory directors included laboratory equipment, while 8.4% of resumes included patient care, and 8.4% of resumes included facility. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the laboratory director job title. But what industry to start with? Most laboratory directors actually find jobs in the health care and education industries.
If you're interested in becoming a laboratory director, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 55.3% of laboratory directors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 15.4% of laboratory directors have master's degrees. Even though most laboratory directors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a laboratory director. When we researched the most common majors for a laboratory director, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on laboratory director resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a laboratory director. In fact, many laboratory director jobs require experience in a role such as medical technologist. Meanwhile, many laboratory directors also have previous career experience in roles such as laboratory manager or research assistant.