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Visit Mentors' Round Table to read our interviews of women in the fields of science and health. These are women of varying levels of experience and backgrounds, brought to the table to answer your questions about everything from work-life balance to financial management. Read on, be inspired, and leave them (and us!) a comment!

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About

It takes a lot of organization to make a scientific lab run properly. Most large lab rely on a lab manager to ensure day to day operations run smoothly. Lab managers are often responsible for lab ordering, ensuring lab safety and compliance with institutional requirements, supervising animal work, running certain basic experimental procedures, helping lab workers to troubleshoot and maintaining the day to day stocks of supplies needed in a laboratory.

 Lab managers are super organized and ideally keep a lab well stocked yet on budget. They ideally have great people skills and are the first person lab members turn to for assistance and help. IN larger labs the lab manager may even be in charge of several research technicians who assist in these tasks. Without a proper lab manager the lab can often not run. Therefore a responsible, trustworthy lab manager is respected and valued by her employer.

 Different laboratories will require lab managers with different skill sets. Many skills are also learned on the job. Although the job can be engaging and absorbing the hours are often that of a typical nine to five job with good vacation time. While graduate students and postdoctoral fellows often stay late to finish their experiments a laboratory manage has the ability to organize her day and leave at a set time every day. This means a women can go to work knowing she can pick up her children from school every day if she want to.

Training

Most laboratory technicians hold Master of Science degrees. If you are thinking about pursuing this career you should choose an undergraduate major in one of the sciences. After you complete your undergraduate training enrolling in a two 0r three year masters program in biology, chemistry, physics or a related field is a good idea. 

 In addition most lab managers  have significant laboratory experience. Many have worked as technicians in other laboratories in order to widen their skill set and obtain valuable networking contacts. Participating in research during your undergraduate carer may help you get a feel for this career and if it is right for you.

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