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Career Definition of a Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Regulatory affairs specialists play a key role in ensuring that their company complies with applicable regulations. Their job is to oversee the processes involved in ensuring compliance. They also record all steps taken in relation to regulation compliance. This may include tasks such as preparing applications for licenses or maintaining inspection records. Regulatory affairs specialists have to be aware of all the latest regulations and any changes to those already in existence. They help determine how those changes may impact their company's practices and play a key role in communicating changes to the departments that are affected.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Communication skills, clerical skills, attention to detail, legal knowledge, critical thinking skills, teamwork skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$64,094|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||8% (compliance officers)|
Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
To pursue a career as a regulatory affairs specialist it's necessary to have a bachelor's degree. The specific field of study that a regulatory affairs specialist may need to pursue might vary depending on the type of industry in which they work. Some companies require applicants to have engineering degrees while others prefer a degree in science or healthcare. All regulatory affairs specialists may benefit from some knowledge of business law.
Regulatory affairs specialists benefit from having some legal business knowledge because their work involves ensuring their company complies with legal regulations. They need to have good written communication skills so that they can maintain effective documentation of their company's policies and operational procedures to demonstrate compliance with regulations. Since there is a great deal of information they have to work with, they must exhibit strong attention to detail to ensure that nothing is missed. Part of their role involves anticipating potential regulation issues that may impact company policies, which requires critical thinking skills to develop strategies to help change practices when needed for compliance. Good teamwork skills are also essential in order to ensure all affected departments work together effectively to implement new practices.
Career Outlook and Salary
A 2017 annual median salary of $64,094 was reported by PayScale.com for regulatory affairs specialists. These specialists are encompassed within the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) listing for compliance officers. The BLS reported that from 2016 to 2026, professionals they classified as compliance officers should see an 8% increase in job opportunities in their field.
The work that regulatory affairs specialists do is often similar to the duties performed by auditors and risk managers. Related career options can be explored through the links below.