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Laboratory Quality Control Analyst

Run tests ensuring medications are safe and effective for consumers.

What does a Laboratory Quality Control Analyst do?

A Guitarist with a headache from screaming fans and bright lights opens a bottle of aspirin and pops two or three tablets in his mouth. While he may not know it, he owes a debt to an army of Laboratory Quality Control Analysts. Not only will the aspirin kill his headache, but the drugs won’t sicken him either. Laboratory Quality Control Analysts run tests to make sure medications are safe and effective for consumers like the achy Guitarist.

When you’re a Laboratory Quality Control Analyst, you’re given a sample of finished pills each day, and you run a series of chemistry experiments to determine what the medications are made of. Then, you run other tests to see how long the medication stays potent in a variety of conditions. When your sampling is done, you give the Quality Control Coordinator a report of the problems you’ve found.

Sometimes, the Quality Assurance Coordinator uses your work to design new manufacturing procedures. These overhauls can cost thousands, so when you spot errors, you often run the tests again just to make sure you’re not making a mistake and inadvertently skewing the results.

Faulty laboratory equipment can result in screwy medications. Whenever a machine leaves the facility and returns home once more, you run tests to make sure the tools are calibrated properly and working just right.

Drugs aren’t made of ideas and thin air. They’re made of raw materials, and those ingredients can also contain contaminants or irregularities. You perform tests on batches of raw materials and make sure they’re suitable before they’re transformed into your company’s products.