Laboratory analysts can also be called lab analysts or lab technicians.
These professionals perform tasks such as conducting specific tests and analyzing the results. They’re also responsible for maintaining their workspaces, including ensuring the right levels of equipment are available, and designing & preparing experiments. Lab analysts work in a variety of fields including pharmaceutical, medical, criminal justice, and manufacturing.
Specific responsibilities for a lab analyst will vary between industries and scientific fields. However, analysts are assigned continuing tasks that carry on for the duration of a specific experiment. Lab analysts also analyze the lab results for commonplace procedures such as drug testing, or new Products. Certain lab analysts work in very strict environments testing and analyzing potentially hazardous substances.
Laboratory analysts are also required to maintain and sterilize tools and order replacement supplies. They may also work in medical laboratories analyzing patient samples for diagnostic purposes.
If you wish to become a lab analyst, you will need to undertake the following.
Education and training
If you’re looking to start a career as a Laboratory analyst it is recommended that you have at least a bachelor’s degree in a science based subject. On top of this, math qualifications will also make you more desirable to employers.
Although a degree is not strictly necessary for some employers, competition is increasing and it’s recommended to achieve a bachelor’s degree; particularly for career advancement.
As part of your studies, you will need to arrange a placement or internship in order to gain experience working in a lab environment. This will be crucial when it comes to seeking employment.
Lab analysts can come from a wide range of academic backgrounds including life sciences, Technology, and psychology.
You do not need to be certified or licensed to become a Laboratory analyst however there are professional associations such as the American Medical Technologists (AMT), the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB), or the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), who will offer certification.
Certification, though not essential, is preferred by employers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The majority of essential experience and training will happen on the job, while being supervised by senior members of staff. This type of training includes learning the proper use of technical apparatus, conducting specific preparation, different forms of methodology, how to test and record experiments, and health and safety requirements.
Duties and responsibilities for a lab analyst will differ depending on the sector you’re working in, however, common duties include:
- Perform Laboratory test to produce reliable and precise data supporting scientific investigations.
- Prepare specimens and samples.
- Perform mathematical calculations for preparation of graphs.
- Record and interpret results
- Report to senior colleagues
- Construct, maintain, and operate standard laboratory equipment.
- Ensure Laboratory is well-stocked.
- Keep up to date with technical developments.
- Conduct research on identifying topics
- Following safety procedures and safety checks.
There are many types of employers that a lab technician can work for, such as large industrial companies, hospital and public health organizations, environmental agencies, research and forensic science institutions, and pharmaceutical and chemical companies.
According to the BLS, the requirements for lab analysts will increase by 10% between the years 2012 and 2022. Medical and clinical Laboratory technicians can expect job growth in the same Period of 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Laboratory analysts can advance into senior positions within a company with the right experience and the certifications mentioned above.