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Become A Laboratory Manager

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Working As A Laboratory Manager

  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Make Decisions

  • $60,588

    Average Salary

What Does A Laboratory Manager Do

Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.

Duties

Natural sciences managers typically do the following:

  • Work with top executives to develop goals and strategies for researchers and developers
  • Budget resources for projects and programs by determining staffing, training, and equipment needs
  • Hire, supervise, and evaluate scientists, technicians, and other staff members
  • Review staff members’ methodology and the accuracy of their research results
  • Ensure that laboratories are stocked with equipment and supplies
  • Monitor the progress of projects, review research performed, and draft operational reports
  • Provide technical assistance to scientists, technicians, and support staff
  • Establish and follow administrative procedures, policies, and standards
  • Communicate project proposals, research findings, and the status of projects to clients and top management

Natural sciences managers direct scientific research activities and direct and coordinate product development projects and production activities. The duties of natural sciences managers vary with the field of science (for example, biology or chemistry) or the industry they work in. Research projects may be aimed at improving manufacturing processes, advancing basic scientific knowledge, or developing new products.

Some natural sciences managers are former scientists and, after becoming managers, may continue to conduct their own research as well as oversee the work of others. These managers are sometimes called working managers and usually have smaller staffs, allowing them to do research in addition to carrying out their administrative duties.

Managers who are responsible for larger staffs may not have time to contribute to research and may spend all their time performing administrative duties.

Laboratory managers need to ensure that laboratories are fully supplied so that scientists can run their tests and experiments. Some specialize in the management of laboratory animals.

During all stages of a project, natural sciences managers coordinate the activities of their unit with those of other units or organizations. They work with higher levels of management; with financial, production, and marketing specialists; and with suppliers of equipment and materials.

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How To Become A Laboratory Manager

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. Natural sciences managers typically have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a related field, such as engineering. Some managers may find it helpful to have an advanced management degree—for example, a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), or a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Education

Natural sciences managers typically begin their careers as scientists; therefore, most have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a closely related field, such as engineering. Scientific and technical knowledge is essential for managers because they must be able to understand the work of their subordinates and provide technical assistance when needed. 

Natural sciences managers who are interested in acquiring postsecondary education in management should be able to find master’s degree or Ph.D. programs in a natural science that incorporate business management courses. A relatively new type of degree, called the Professional Science Master’s (PSM), blends advanced training in a particular science field with business skills, such as communications and program management, and policy. Those interested in acquiring general management skills may pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Some natural sciences managers will have studied psychology or some other management-related field to enter this occupation.

Sciences managers must continually upgrade their knowledge because of the rapid growth of scientific developments.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. While employed as scientists, they typically are given more responsibility and independence in their work as they gain experience. Eventually, they may lead research teams and have control over the direction and content of projects before being promoted to an administrative position.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not typically required to become a natural sciences manager, many relevant certifications are available. These certifications range from those related to specific scientific areas of study or practice, such as laboratory animal management, to general management topics, such as project management, and are useful to natural sciences managers regardless of the organization being managed.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to communicate clearly to a variety of audiences, such as scientists, policymakers, and the public. Both written and oral communication are important.

Critical-thinking skills. Natural sciences managers must carefully evaluate the work of others. They must determine if their staff’s methods and results are based on sound science.

Interpersonal skills. Natural sciences managers lead research teams and therefore need to work well with others in order to reach common goals. Managers routinely deal with conflict, which they must be able to turn into positive outcomes for their organization.

Leadership skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to organize, direct, and motivate others. They need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their workers and create an environment in which the workers can succeed.

Problem-solving skills. Natural sciences managers use scientific observation and analysis to find solutions to complex technical questions.

Time-management skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to do multiple administrative, supervisory, and technical tasks while ensuring that projects remain on schedule.

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Laboratory Manager jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Laboratory Chief 4.2 years
Laboratory Manager 4.0 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 5.2%
Chemist 4.3%
Supervisor 3.7%
Manager 3.1%
Technician 3.0%
Instructor 1.9%
Top Employers After
Manager 7.0%
Consultant 5.7%
Owner 4.3%
Chemist 3.9%
Internship 3.8%
Supervisor 3.4%

Laboratory Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

55.4%

Female

40.9%

Unknown

3.7%
Ethnicity

White

76.7%

Asian

10.5%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Unknown

2.4%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.4%

French

9.4%

German

6.5%

Chinese

5.5%

Mandarin

5.2%

Arabic

3.5%

Korean

3.0%

Russian

3.0%

Japanese

2.7%

Hindi

2.2%

Cantonese

2.0%

Portuguese

2.0%

Italian

1.7%

Carrier

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Polish

1.2%

Indonesian

1.0%

Turkish

1.0%

Serbian

1.0%
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Laboratory Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.5%

University of Florida

6.7%

Pennsylvania State University

5.6%

Michigan State University

5.2%

Texas A&M University

5.0%

Ohio State University

4.8%

Purdue University

4.7%

Johns Hopkins University

4.6%

George Washington University

4.2%

Arizona State University

4.2%

University of California - Davis

4.0%

University of South Florida

4.0%

University of Cincinnati

3.9%

University of Texas at Austin

3.9%

North Carolina State University

3.8%

Northern Illinois University

3.7%

Iowa State University

3.7%

University of Utah

3.5%

Clemson University

3.5%

University of Alabama

3.5%
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Majors

Chemistry

15.3%

Business

14.5%

Biology

14.4%

Medical Technician

6.1%

Psychology

5.1%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

5.0%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

4.9%

Electrical Engineering

4.2%

Management

3.5%

Microbiology

3.4%

Computer Science

3.1%

Nursing

3.0%

Health Care Administration

3.0%

Environmental Science

2.6%

Geology

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%

Chemical Engineering

2.2%

Photography

1.9%

Communication

1.8%

Biotechnology

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.3%

Masters

25.9%

Other

15.8%

Doctorate

9.9%

Associate

7.1%

Certificate

3.3%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Laboratory Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Analytics Lab Manager Deloitte LLP Los Angeles, CA Feb 22, 2016 $151,400
Analytics Lab Manager Deloitte LLP Chicago, IL Feb 22, 2016 $151,400
Emc/Rf Compliance Lab Manager Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Apr 22, 2016 $137,660
Quality and Lab Manager Secop Inc. Roswell, GA Apr 18, 2016 $137,072
Laboratory Manager Avella of Deer Valley, Inc. Phoenix, AZ Sep 12, 2016 $135,949
Laboratory Manager Avella of Deer Valley, Inc. Phoenix, AZ Apr 19, 2016 $135,949
Associate Crash Lab Manager Tesla Motors, Inc. Fremont, CA Feb 11, 2015 $135,000 -
$145,000
UCC Laboratory Manager Orange Business Services U.S., Inc. New York, NY Jan 06, 2015 $130,000
Life Science Services Biochemistry Laboratory Manager SGS North America, Inc. Carson, CA Jan 21, 2016 $126,402
Life Science Services Biochemistry Laboratory Manager SGS North America Inc. Carson, CA May 27, 2016 $126,402
Laboratory Manager Allure Cosmetic, Inc. DBA Allure Labs, Inc. Hayward, CA Jan 28, 2016 $124,550 -
$134,550
Laboratory Manager Intertek USA Inc. Houston, TX Sep 17, 2015 $124,440
Laboratory Manager The Rockefeller University New York, NY Jan 15, 2016 $123,600
Laboratory Manager Syntech (SSPF) Int'l., Inc. Montclair, CA Mar 18, 2016 $97,490
Laboratory Manager/SR. Scientist Novus Biologicals, LLC Littleton, CO Apr 25, 2016 $95,172
Lab Manager Leidos, Inc. McLean, VA Aug 25, 2016 $93,704 -
$100,000
Laboratory Manager Integramed Medical Connecticut, LLC Trumbull, CT Sep 20, 2015 $93,101 -
$113,101
Metabolomics Lab Manager Research Corporation of The University of Hawaii Urban Honolulu, HI Mar 01, 2015 $90,388
EEG Lab Manager New York University Hospitals Center New York, NY May 23, 2016 $89,000
EEG Lab Manager New York University Hospitals Center New York, NY Jun 06, 2016 $89,000
Enterprise Lab Manager-Americas Services Labs Nice Systems, Inc. Paramus, NJ Sep 12, 2015 $88,000
Laboratory Manager Valley County Hospital Ord, NE Oct 20, 2016 $66,784
Lab Manager II Florida International University Miami, FL Aug 29, 2016 $65,803
Laboratory Manager The University of Chicago Chicago, IL May 24, 2015 $64,990
Laboratory Manager Brown University Providence, RI Aug 27, 2016 $64,298
Lab Manager The Univ. of Ala. at Birmingham (UAB) Birmingham, AL Nov 07, 2016 $62,500
Aquatic Sciences Laboratory Manager EMSL Analytical, Inc. Cinnaminson, NJ Aug 25, 2016 $62,424

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Top Skills for A Laboratory Manager

LabEquipmentLabProceduresLabSafetyRegulatoryComplianceChemistryAnalyticalCustomerServiceLabOperationsCellSuperviseLabTechniciansDailyOperationsOshaLabSuppliesCliaLabPersonnelISOLabStaffHematologyMicrobiology

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Top Laboratory Manager Skills

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Lab Procedures
  3. Lab Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintain lab equipment schedule and utilization tracking report.
  • Hired and provided ongoing training to 10-12 lab assistants regarding computer software, hardware and lab procedures.
  • Performed multiple daily inspections of lab safety and environment.
  • Reviewed and setup for FDA regulatory compliance requirements in equipment calibration and maintenance.
  • Administer daily operation of the laboratories and ensure the safety of both wet chemistry and instrument labs

Top Laboratory Manager Employers

Laboratory Manager Videos

Neuroscience Laboratory Manager talks about the Human Brain Project

Mary Jane Emmerton - Laboratory Manager | Health Services | Emirates

Anne-Sophie Gardes - Laboratory Manager and Technical Product Manager Personal Care IMCD France

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