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Cell Development Associate: Job Description, Duties and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a cell development associate. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about the job duties and the career outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

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A cell development associate monitors and prepares cell samples for analysis and testing. They are often responsible for carrying out laboratory tests, responding to emails and participating in conference calls. Most cell development associates have a bachelor's degree in a field related to biology.

Essential Information

Cell development associates assist cellular biologists and other scientists in experiments on cells and tissues. Many take cell samples directly from patients, such as skin scrapings or from inside the mouth, examine them with microscopes and document their findings. They also conduct tests that effect the development and growth of each sample. Most positions require an undergraduate degree related to biological laboratory sciences.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in biology or a related field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 2% (chemical technicians)
Average Salary (2015)* $45,230 (biological technicians)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description for Cell Development Associates

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cell development associates, similar to science technicians, work with scientists in various scientific fields (www.bls.gov). For example, those in biology may monitor how living cells react to certain diseases. Forensic associates test cell samples to determine a suspect's identity through DNA. Associates working in the pharmaceutical industry may notate how different medications effect the development and growth of human cells.

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Job Duties for Cell Development Associates

Job postings for cell development associates listed on Careerbuilder.com in April 2011 showed that common job duties included preparing cell samples, documenting changes in each sample and maintaining laboratory equipment. Most of these same job postings explained that associates would be expected to adhere to current good laboratory practices (GLP) throughout all of their daily tasks. GLP includes running quality-control checks on laboratory equipment as well as computer programs used to compare statistics.

Associates are supervised by scientists and senior staff; however, they often run tests and experiments by themselves or with other associate team members. Associates usually work in teams and frequently collaborate on projects through formal meetings, conference calls and e-mails. Most laboratory duties are conducted during normal business hours, but some cell development projects may require around-the-clock monitoring.

Outlook for Cell Development Associates

While the BLS projects slower-than-average growth for chemical technicians, and much-faster-than-average growth for forensic science technicians for the 2014-2024 decade. In May 2015, the BLS reported the average yearly salary for a biological technician was $45,230, while chemical technicians earned $48,730. Forensic science technicians averaged $60,090 at this time, based on BLS data.

Cell development associates can work in a number of scientific fields, including biology, forensics, or pharmaceutics. They must be team-oriented and understand laboratory science procedures. Some positions might require unconventional hours, depending on the project; however, most associates work a typical 9-5 work schedule.

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