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Career Story: Laboratory Manager At A College

Laboratory Manager At A College

Job Title: Laboratory Manager

Type of Company: I work at a local college

Education: BS Biology, MS Molecular Biology

Previous Experience: I was a research scientist at a local medical school

Job Tasks: As the manager of the science laboratories, I have a lot responsibilities, including maintaining and balancing the entire science department's budget, acting as the liaison between the director of science and the faculty, coordinating the use of the laboratories for lab courses, purchasing all science equipment (both perishables as well as long-term equipment), maintaining all equipment, setting up and taking down all equipment, chairing campus safety meetings and organizing safety training for science faculty. All of these responsibilities vary each semester due to the fact that different courses are offered in the fall versus spring.

Also, this semester, I am co-teaching a course. This involves co-teaching the laboratory sections of the course, offering office hours for students' questions and grading all lab reports.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I have an academic appointment with summers off. That is the best part of my job. In academia, there is a lot of flexibility within the work day so I can still be a big part of my children's' daily activities. The worst part of the job is having to juggle many faculty members schedules and personalities, which truly vary! But, overall it is a nice setting to work in.

Job Tips:
1. Anyone who can find an academic appointment position, should take it! That is my first piece of advice. These positions are hard to come by, but having the summers off is worth the cut in pay!

2. A second piece of advice is to be willing to take a bit less for pay because it is academia.

3. And last, look for this career in academia versus pharmaceutical companies. The atmosphere is much more laid back (even if the money is less). Being with students on a lively campus is great!

Additional Thoughts: Any job that someone starts out with doesn't have to be the job thy keep forever. Overall, one should think of a job as a stepping stone to the next job. That way if you hate what you do, you should remember that it doesn't have to be forever!

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