How to Be Laboratory Analyst - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

The rise of environmental awareness has caused many companies to re-evaluate their practices in order to reduce their environmental impact. As a result, laboratory analysts have become increasingly important in ensuring that companies meet the necessary standards and regulations. Analysts are responsible for testing the quality of products and materials, as well as providing data on the effects of production on the environment.

Their research allows companies to develop strategies that could potentially reduce emissions, conserve energy, and reduce waste. This in turn can help businesses remain competitive in an increasingly sustainable market.

Steps How to Become

  1. Obtain a Bachelor's Degree. A laboratory analyst's job requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biology, or biochemistry.
  2. Pursue Internship Opportunities. Pursuing internship opportunities in a laboratory setting can provide valuable experience and knowledge that can help when applying for jobs.
  3. Obtain Certification. Certification is required in many states for laboratory analysts. Certification is usually obtained by passing an exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).
  4. Apply for Jobs. After obtaining a degree, certification and experience, you can apply for jobs as a laboratory analyst. These jobs are available in a variety of settings, including hospitals, universities, and private laboratories.
  5. Gain Experience. Once employed as a laboratory analyst, it is important to gain experience in order to advance in the field. Keeping up with advancements in technology and techniques is important in order to stay competitive in the job market.

The skill and competency of a laboratory analyst are integral to achieving accurate and meaningful results. Poorly trained or inexperienced analysts can lead to inaccurate results that can have serious implications on safety, health, and the environment. To ensure high-quality data, analysts must be well-educated in the principles of laboratory analysis, possess a thorough understanding of the instruments used, and maintain proficiency in the use of lab protocols.

Furthermore, analysts must stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and advancements in the field to remain effective and productive. Regular training and certification in laboratory methods is necessary to maintain a high level of competency. the success of a laboratory analyst depends on their knowledge, experience, and proficiency in their field.

You may want to check Laboratory Scientist, Laboratory Technician II, and Laboratory Support Technician for alternative.

Job Description

  1. Collect and prepare samples for analysis.
  2. Operate laboratory instrumentation to analyze samples.
  3. Record and analyze data from laboratory experiments.
  4. Maintain laboratory equipment, instruments, and supplies.
  5. Prepare reports on results of laboratory tests and experiments.
  6. Perform quality assurance and quality control procedures.
  7. Follow safety protocols and procedures in the laboratory.
  8. Troubleshoot equipment malfunctions.
  9. Identify and report any anomalies or discrepancies in test results.
  10. Develop and validate new analytical methods and processes.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of laboratory testing principles, methods, and procedures.
  2. Ability to accurately follow instructions and procedures.
  3. Knowledge of laboratory safety standards and protocols.
  4. Familiarity with laboratory instrumentation, such as spectrophotometers and gas chromatographs.
  5. Proficiency with computer software for data collection, analysis, and reporting.
  6. Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  7. Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  8. Ability to maintain accurate and detailed laboratory records.
  9. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  10. Ability to identify and troubleshoot issues in the laboratory environment.

Having good problem-solving skills is essential for a Laboratory Analyst. Being able to identify issues and develop creative solutions is an important part of any laboratory job. Laboratory Analysts must be able to think critically and take a systematic approach to troubleshooting, whether it be a faulty piece of equipment or an unexpected result.

In addition, being familiar with the relevant safety protocols is extremely important for any laboratory analysis position. Analysts must also be able to accurately record and interpret data, as well as communicate their results effectively to colleagues and customers. Good communication and organizational skills are also necessary to keep track of samples, tests, and results in a timely manner.

In summary, the key skills necessary to be a successful Laboratory Analyst include problem-solving, critical thinking, safety protocols, data analysis and interpretation, communication, and organization.

Food Science Laboratory Technician, Quality Assurance Laboratory Technician, and Environmental Laboratory Technician are related jobs you may like.

Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have in laboratory analysis and testing?
  • How familiar are you with laboratory instrumentation and data management systems?
  • Describe a challenging laboratory analysis you have undertaken and how you overcame it.
  • How do you ensure accuracy and precision in your laboratory measurements?
  • What safety protocols do you follow in the laboratory?
  • How do you prioritize tasks when working in a fast-paced laboratory environment?
  • What techniques do you use to troubleshoot laboratory problems?
  • How can quality control principles be applied to laboratory analysis?
  • What steps do you take to ensure compliance with laboratory regulations?
  • How do you keep up with new developments in laboratory methodology and technology?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Gas Chromatography. A laboratory instrument used to separate and analyze chemical compounds. (eg: example: Using Gas Chromatography to analyze hydrocarbon compounds in a sample of oil)
  2. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). A laboratory instrument used to separate, identify and quantify compounds in a mixture. (eg: example: Using HPLC to analyze a sample of a pharmaceutical drug for active ingredient content)
  3. Spectrophotometer. An instrument used to measure the intensity of light in different wavelength ranges. (eg: example: Using a spectrophotometer to measure the absorbance of a sample of dye in the visible light range)
  4. UV-Vis Spectrometer. An instrument used to measure the amount of radiation absorbed by a sample in the ultraviolet and visible light ranges. (eg: example: Using a UV-Vis spectrometer to measure the absorbance of a sample of dye in the ultraviolet and visible light ranges)
  5. Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). An instrument used to determine the concentration of specific elements in a sample. (eg: example: Using AAS to measure the concentration of lead in a sample of water)
  6. Mass Spectrometry (MS). A laboratory instrument used to identify and quantify molecules by measuring their mass and charge. (eg: example: Using MS to identify and quantify proteins in a sample)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. American Chemical Society (ACS)
  2. American Society for Quality (ASQ)
  3. International Association for Laboratory Accreditation (IALA)
  4. Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT)
  5. Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)
  6. Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA)
  7. American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)
  8. American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB)
  9. National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
  10. American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)

We also have Research Laboratory Technician, Laboratory Coordinator, and Laboratory Supervisor jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. Quality Control. Systematic process used to ensure a product meets predetermined standards of quality.
  2. Data Analysis. Process of examining data to identify patterns and trends and draw conclusions.
  3. Spectroscopy. Technique used to measure the intensity of light and identify the material it is composed of.
  4. Chromatography. Separation technique used to analyze and isolate components of a mixture.
  5. Microscopy. Process of using a microscope to observe and analyze very small objects.
  6. Validation. Process of verifying that a procedure or method produces reliable and accurate results.
  7. Calibration. Process of adjusting an instrument to ensure it is performing accurately.
  8. Sample Preparation. Process of preparing a sample for analysis.
  9. Hazard Analysis. Examination of potential risks associated with a product, process, or environment.
  10. Quality Assurance. Systematic process of ensuring products meet predetermined standards of quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the typical educational requirement for becoming a Laboratory Analyst?

Most Laboratory Analysts are required to have at least an Associate's degree in a laboratory science such as chemistry, biology, biochemistry, or microbiology.

What type of work environment do Laboratory Analysts typically work in?

Laboratory Analysts typically work in a laboratory setting, either in a research or private laboratory.

What types of tests do Laboratory Analysts typically perform?

Laboratory Analysts typically perform tests such as chemical analysis, microbiological analysis, DNA sequencing, and other laboratory procedures.

What are the primary duties of a Laboratory Analyst?

The primary duties of a Laboratory Analyst include collecting and analyzing samples, interpreting test results, documenting results, and maintaining laboratory equipment.

What is the average salary for a Laboratory Analyst?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a Laboratory Analyst is $54,470.

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