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Top Five Reasons to Consider a Career in Regulatory Affairs

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If you're seeking a challenging, fulfilling career in the health care arena that doesn't require direct patient care, the regulatory affairs profession could be a good fit. In this role, you’ll play an integral role in testing health care products to ensure they meet government regulations.

Here are five great reasons to consider a career in regulatory affairs.

Reason #1: Large Degree of Career Flexibility
As a regulatory affairs professional, there are many options available to you. Potential employers include government agencies (e.g. the Food and Drug Administration), hospitals, universities, medical research firms and private medical companies.

Regulatory affairs jobs come in many colors. For instance, you could choose to focus on an area such as quality assurance, regulatory compliance or clinical affairs. Regulatory professionals work with a variety of health care products, including medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, biologics and diagnostics.

Reason #2: High Earning Potential
The Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS) reports a growing need for people trained in regulatory affairs, at all levels and for many types of employers. According to the organization's 2014 Scope of Practice & Compensation survey, "The regulatory profession continues to pay well, and salaries for regulatory professionals maintained a general upward trend."

Survey results showed that U.S. based regulatory professionals earned an average base compensation of $126,163. Average compensation ranged from $70,687 for associates to $227,357 for vice presidents.

Reason #3: Improve the Opportunity to Make a Difference
Regulatory affairs specialists are integral in bringing essential health care products to patients, many of whom are suffering from life-threatening diseases. In this role, you'd help promote the safety and effectiveness of drugs, devices and policies that have the power to improve and save lives.

Reason #4: Collaboration with Other Health Care Professionals
Regulatory affairs is very much a team-oriented field. Throughout the testing process, regulatory affairs professionals are involved in everything from research and development through clinical trials to product launch and beyond. Along the way, they work directly with doctors, clinicians, scientists, lab technicians and other specialists.

Reason #5: An Intellectual Challenge
Jobs in regulatory affairs involve a lot more than just memorizing regulations. Regulatory professionals are expected to know the ins and outs of the medical marketplace, and to understand how changing regulations will impact the industry. They must demonstrate strong attention to detail, advanced problem-solving and communications skills, and the ability to think critically.

There is a growing need for qualified professionals who can transform regulatory oversight from a progress barrier to a guiding force, to help bring more safe, affordable and efficient innovations to market. Regulatory professionals can accelerate their career in regulatory affairs by expanding their knowledge in the areas of marketing, project management, negotiation, finance and other business disciplines.

The First Step Towards a Career in Regulatory Oversight
Education can provide a solid foundation for a successful career in regulatory affairs. The George Washington University (GW) offers a Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Regulatory Affairs. Developed in collaboration with regulatory affairs professionals in prominent industry and government agencies, the online Master of Science in Health Sciences (MHSH) in Regulatory Affairs gives students an in-depth understanding of the complex process of bringing medical products to market.

To learn how an MSHS from GW can help you pursue a career in regulatory affairs, click here or contact an admissions advisor at 844-386-7323.