Working as a laboratory analyst is often fitting for people who are fascinated by science and enjoy performing scientific experiments. These individuals analyze numerous specimens, and can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and industrial facilities. Candidates for this position are typically required to have a minimum of an associate's degree in a science related field, but a bachelor's degree is preferable. Some common job duties of a laboratory analyst include conducting experiments, recording results, cleaning testing equipment, maintaining laboratory safety and monitoring inventory.
The primary responsibility of a laboratory analyst is conducting experiments. For example, if he is working at a hospital, he might perform testing on patients' tissue samples. If he is working at an industrial facility, he may do testing on different chemicals used in production. To perform this job safely, a laboratory analyst must have extensive knowledge of lab equipment and follow safety guidelines.
Upon the completion of an experiment or testing, an individual will be required to record the results. In the case of a tissue sample, he might need to determine if it was cancerous and document his findings. Most of the time, the results will be placed in a database so they can be easily accessed by computer in the future. After each test, a laboratory analyst will also need to dispose of any leftover wastes. When appropriate, he might also publish his findings in scientific journals for other professionals to review.
Along with this, it's important for a laboratory analyst to clean testing equipment. Items like beakers, flasks, test tubes and other materials all need to be cleaned to prevent hazards or incorrect test results. Sometimes, this process is simple and involves cleaning items with soap and water. Other times, an individual may need to completely sterilize equipment.
Maintaining laboratory safety is another duty of a laboratory analyst. Due to the use of harmful chemicals and the potential for accidents, he must inspect equipment and keep the lab clean. If he finds faulty equipment or other hazards, it's his job to address the situation and report it to a supervisor.
In addition, an individual in this position must monitor laboratory inventory and order supplies when necessary. To keep his lab fully functioning, it's important for a laboratory analyst to keep tabs on what's in stock. When a particular item is running low, he will need to place an order ahead of time. Consequently, it helps for an analyst to be organized and capable of looking ahead.