Quality Assurance Laboratory Manager
AliceTell us about your work---what do you do? Evaluate raw materials for the manufacturing line, to make sure they meet certain specifications; analyze product to troubleshoot process problems on the manufacturing line; photo-document process problems. What skills are needed? Ability to prioritize and schedule incoming work; tact in supervising laboratory technicians and handling personnel issues; ability to research and educate self and others about chemical / mechanical methods of analysis. What was your major? Chemistry . How did you get started in your career? I became interested in chemistry in a high school chemistry class and took a summer job working in a geochemical laboratory. I then pursued a degree in chemistry in college. What experience do you need in this job? A four-year college degree in chemistry, physics or chemical engineering. Describe your "typical" workday: Prioritize and schedule the day's work; two hours of meetings to report on lab findings; two to three hours of writing/reviewing reports; two hours researching/reviewing new test methods; one hour responding to inquiries about the capabilities of our lab. What is the hardest aspect of your job? Clearly communicating scientific and statistical data to non-technical personnel. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Designing experiments to identify process problems on the manufacturing line. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? In high school, take math and science every year. In college, take courses in statistics / data analysis and technical writing , even if they are not required for your degree.