What Does a Laboratory Analyst Do?
Laboratory analysts are professionals who perform various technical and scientific tests in a laboratory. Those working as laboratory analysts need to have experience working in a scientific environment and the protocols that comes along with that. In this position, laboratory analysts will test and analyze specimens, samples, and other materials.
Depending on the laboratory, work may vary. There may be biological samples, like DNA or blood, or environmental samples, like water and industrial waste. As such, they must know how to use the specialized equipment commonly used in medical, pharmaceutical, and chemical facilities. A day as a laboratory analyst will be spent performing test after test, working with the same materials frequently. They may also be working with other scientists or doctors while doing their experiments. Laboratory analysts need solid analytical skills, good attention to detail, strong computer skills, and excellent time management skills.
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National Average Salary
Laboratory Analyst salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Laboratory Analyst is:
Laboratory Analyst Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great laboratory analyst is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
[Your Company Name] is searching for an experienced laboratory analyst to join our team. The lab analyst will monitor opportunities for business and cultural growth that foster operational excellence. Responsibilities will include financial statement analysis and budgeting support, strategic project deep dives, construction of reporting tools, best practice identification, and ensuring that business leaders have the insights required to make high-quality decisions. As an ideal candidate, you have proven experience maintaining lab equipment, testing and analyzing samples, and following scientific best practices.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Set up lab test equipment to complete specific procedures
- Perform chemical tests on materials and samples as requested or assigned
- Log and analyze data
- Manage inventory and supplies
- Calibrate and clean equipment and replace worn or broken parts to ensure equipment functions properly
- Adhere to safety standards and regulations, including wearing proper protective equipment
- Maintain a clean, organized lab
Education and experience
- Associate’s degree in chemical technology, applied science, medical technology, or related field
- Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or relevant field preferred
- 1-5 years experience
Required skills and qualifications
- Solid analytical skills
- Good attention to detail
- Strong computer skills
- Familiarity with software programs like Microsoft Word and Excel
- Excellent communication skills
- Good time management skills
- Ability to operate electrical and non-electrical laboratory equipment
- Comfortable handling potentially dangerous substances, such as flammable liquids and biohazards
- Proven experience as a lab technician or relevant position
- Experience in a specific field or industry
- Certified in a relevant field
Are you looking for a work environment where diversity and inclusion thrive? Submit your application for our Laboratory Analyst opening with ABC Company today and find out what it truly means to be a part of the ABC Company team.
We are seeking a Laboratory Analyst for our team to ensure that we continue to provide all patients with high quality, efficient care. Did you get into our industry for these reasons? We are an amazing team that works hard to support each other and are seeking a phenomenal addition to our team. We want you to apply!
As a lab analyst you will be responsible for
- Assisting with specimen testing requirements and understanding specimen rejection
- Collecting biological specimens on pediatric, neonatal, adults, and geriatric patients
- Completing appropriate specimen collection documentation
- Following established procedures for patient identification and specimen collection based test orders
- Educating patient and/or family regarding specimen collection procedures prior to obtaining specimen
- Using our computer information system relative to job functions
- Clerical duties (i.e., faxing, phones, pneumatic tube system, reports)
- Reviewing Outstanding Specimen Report (OSR) and pending specimen collections/accessioning issues; take action as appropriate
- A completed high school diploma or GED
- A vocational/technical diploma
- A phlebotomy certificate is beneficial
- 1 year of experience in a clinical laboratory setting
- Time management and customer service skills
ABC Company is looking for a Laboratory Analyst to join a clinical research organization in (City, State). The Laboratory Analyst will perform automated and non-automated testing including DNA prep, PCR, and Sequencing for DNA processes samples for paternity testing and bone marrow matching. This is a contract role with the expectation to go full time after 6-12 months. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shift openings.
Responsibilities for the laboratory analyst include:
- Determine the acceptability of specimens for testing based on established criteria
- Perform routine and complex technical procedures and functions according to departmental Standard Operating Procedures
- Monitor, operate, and troubleshoot instrumentation and perform preventative maintenance
- Assist with processing of specimens as needed
Qualifications for the laboratory analyst include:
- 1+ years of relevant work or education experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Chemistry, Medical Technology, or a related science is preferred but not required
Example 4 (Environmental)
This position is responsible for performing regular chemical, bacteriological, and microscopic examinations of water and wastewater samples.
- Collects and analyzes influent and effluent samples.
- Performs laboratory analyses of water and wastewater samples.
- Ensures compliance with quality control standards.
- Prepares reports for the Superintendent and regulatory agencies.
- Sets up, cleans and calibrates laboratory equipment and instrumentation.
- Maintains discharge monitoring reports and supporting documentation.
- Assists other divisions with sample collection and laboratory analysis as needed.
- Assists in the collection and shipping of samples for pollutant scans and toxicity testing.
- Repairs and maintains laboratory equipment.
- Assists with after-hours emergencies when needed.
- Attends required training classes.
- Performs related duties.
- Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws and regulations pertaining to analytical procedures.
- Knowledge of water or wastewater treatment principles and practices.
- Knowledge of chemistry.
- Knowledge of the maintenance and calibration of laboratory equipment.
- Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws and regulations pertaining to sample collection and laboratory procedures.
- Knowledge of data analysis and records management principles.
- Skill in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of water samples.
- Skill in the operation and maintenance of laboratory equipment.
- Skill in planning, organization, and decision making.
- Skill in the collection and analysis of data and in the preparation of reports.
- Skill in oral and written communication.
- Knowledge and level of competency commonly associated with completion of specialized training in the field of work, in addition to basic skills typically associated with a high school education.
- Sufficient experience to understand the basic principles relevant to the major duties of the position usually associated with the completion of an apprenticeship/internship or having had a similar position for one to two years.
- Possession of or ability to readily obtain state certification as a water or wastewater analyst as appropriate.
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Medical Lab Technician Certification (MLT). The MLT prepares candidates to work in a medical lab environment, assisting doctors and other specialists by performing a wide variety of tests on blood, tissue, and other bodily fluids. To be eligible for the exam, candidates must have at least an associate’s degree or have completed an accredited medical laboratory technician program. The MLT exam covers a wide range of subjects, including laboratory operations, immunology, microbiology, chemistry, hematology, urinalysis, and other body fluids.
- Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS). The American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification offers the MLS certification, which shows a candidate’s ability to conduct a full range of routine and complex laboratory tests in the areas of blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, and urinalysis. Certification demonstrates their expertise in providing the results necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. To be eligible for certification, there are several routes available, including having a bachelor’s degree or having achieved prerequisite certifications.
- Molecular Diagnostics Technologist (MDT). American Medical Technologists certify candidates as MDTs, which proves their ability to perform routine clinical diagnostic testing and test development in a molecular pathology laboratory. The exam covers general laboratory procedures, general molecular diagnostics, theory, molecular laboratory procedures, and diagnostic methods. There are several available paths to becoming eligible for the exam, including various combinations of other certifications, education, and experience.
How to Hire a Laboratory Analyst
There are a number of important initial considerations when hiring an accounting assistant:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Are you hiring for a project or an ongoing need?
- Urgency: How soon does the opening need to be filled? What happens while it remains open?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring a laboratory analyst:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- What type of instruments are you familiar with?
- How do you properly prepare a sample for testing and analysis?
- Do you have experience with performing XYZ tests?
- How do you prevent cross-contamination in the lab?
- What is co-chromatography?
- How do you handle flammable liquids?
- What are the responsibilities of a laboratory analyst?
- What is GLP?
- What are some common errors when handling a pipette?
- How do you avoid imbalance when using a centrifuge?
- Can you explain what a positive control is?
- Have you ever mixed up samples or labeled a sample incorrectly? If so, how did you fix it?
- What characteristics do you possess that make you a qualified lab analyst?
- How would you handle a chemical spill?
- What would you do if you noticed a colleague not following proper safety protocols?
- What about our research interests you?
- What are the common sterilization methods in a laboratory? Which have you used?
- What is an aliquot?
- Share an example of a time you exceeded expectations
- Can you explain an effective method you have used to analyze test results?