Laboratory supervisors are leaders who manage activities in labs in which scientific research is completed or bodily specimens are tested for clinical purposes. These individuals must have strong management skills for overseeing employees and for dealing with conflict. If you desire to become a laboratory supervisor, you need to complete at least four years of college and acquire practical field experience. Earning a graduate school degree in addition to industry certification makes you even more competitive in the job market as well.
An individual who seeks to become a laboratory supervisor first must complete a bachelor’s degree in life science, which typically takes four years. Enrollment in this type of program involves completing your potential college’s admissions application in addition to turning in a copy of your high school diploma or the equivalent certification. You also have to provide the results from your most recent standardized exams and submit a your high school transcript.
You must take multiple science courses while studying to enter this industry. For instance, you need to take a class on biology, in which you learn how the human body works and how its various systems interact and function. This is important if you desire to become a laboratory supervisor because you will be responsible for overseeing activities that involve the development of medications that address body system functions that fail. Health science courses further teach you the technical aspects of disease, and a forensic science course introduces you to how chemistry works when completing crime scene investigations — skills that will help you to succeed when you become a laboratory supervisor in various settings.
Gaining hands-on experience in this field also prepares you for permanent employment opportunities. While completing an internship, you should practice reviewing and interpreting laboratory test results as well as mastering established lab processes and equipment. You additionally need to learn how to enforce government regulations that address health and safety in the workplace and get used to hiring and training employees. Facilities such as food safety establishments, pharmaceutical research companies, and medical centers might be willing to accept you as an intern as you work to become a laboratory supervisor.
Although not all employers require you to complete graduate school in this career area, earning a master’s degree along with certification increases your chances of getting hired. An advanced degree training program typically lasts two years and covers scientific topics in a more in-depth fashion. You also should be prepared to complete an original research thesis project prior to graduating. Graduate training will make you ready to earn certification through industry societies, which often involves passing an exam and shows potential employers that you are proficient in your field of study as you strive to become a laboratory supervisor.