How Do I Become a Laboratory Director?

Jessica F. Black
Jessica F. Black
A director oversees laboratory staff.
A director oversees laboratory staff.

Education and experience are both required in order to become a laboratory director, and some companies may require that you have several advanced degrees before entering this profession. This position is highly scientific, and an early interest in science subjects may prepare you to become a laboratory director. Some people who have chosen this profession participate in additional events such as science fairs, clubs, and projects to become more involved in the scientific community. In addition to building your scientific background, you will need to excel in most areas of mathematics in order to fully comprehend the complex components of biological processes.

The first step to become a laboratory director should be to choose a four year university that has a well-developed science program, preferably in biochemistry or biophysics. A college adviser should be able to assist you in mapping out the coursework that you will need to successfully complete a bachelor's of science (B.S.) program in your chosen field. You will first need to complete general coursework as prerequisites for advanced coursework, and this step should have a heavy focus on math and science. Once you have completed the necessary coursework you may want to consider enrolling in advanced courses, including biology, chemistry, physiology, anatomy, computational mathematics for biomedical science, molecular biophysics, and structural biology.

During your four year undergraduate career, you should begin researching a master's degree or doctorate degree program because an advanced degree may help you to become a laboratory director with certain companies. You should also consider an internship during your undergraduate studies in order to get a head start on gaining experience. An internship in a scientific related field or laboratory-based profession may increase your understanding of the industry and improve your employment opportunities. After the completion of your B.S. degree and your master's program and/or doctorate degree program, you should begin researching job descriptions and available positions in order to determine the position that you are best qualified for.

Many companies may offer on-the-job training during the first year of employment, which will help familiarize you with the details of the industry and ultimately assist you to successfully become a laboratory director. In addition to education, experience, and training, you will need to possess certain personality attributes, including communication skills, technical writing abilities, and leadership skills. Personality traits will be extremely important because this profession usually requires that the laboratory director oversees and interacts with a team of scientific professionals.

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    • A director oversees laboratory staff.
      A director oversees laboratory staff.