Many different industries employ regulatory affairs managers, including aerospace and defense, biotechnology, business services, construction, education, government, energy and utilities, financial services, health care, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing durable and nondurable, pharmaceuticals, retail and wholesale, software, telecom, and transportation. Some work as consultants for legal, research, or marketing agencies. In September 2020, more than 80,000 regulatory and related professionals were members of the Regulatory Compliance Association.
Regulatory affairs managers may start in this career through an internship and in entry-level positions such as regulatory affairs associate. They may also enter their field after having worked in related industries, such as research and development, lab sciences, manufacturing, or engineering, to name just a few. They find jobs through their school's career services office, professional associations, and by contacting companies directly. They also search for jobs on employment Web sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and SimplyHired, and social media such as LinkedIn.
Regulatory affairs managers with three or more years of supervisory experience may advance to become directors. In large organizations they may become regulatory department heads, overseeing regulatory directors and management teams. They may receive certification in specialized areas within their profession and industry. They may also advance by getting a master's or doctoral degree and teaching and writing about the regulatory field. Those that are employed in full-time positions may leave their jobs to start their own consulting businesses.
Get a part-time or summer job in a regulatory affairs department of a company. Find job listings at https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/regulatory-affairs-jobs and by checking company Web sites.
Join a professional association such as the National Society of Compliance Professionals or the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society for access to educational programs, networking events, and other resources.
Conduct an informational interview of a regulatory affairs manager to find out the steps they took to get started in their career and what they enjoy most about their work and what challenges they face. Ask your school's career services office for help with setting up an interview.
Keep up with recent developments and news by reading publications related to the industry in which you plan to work, for example, Food Safety Magazine (https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com) or Today's Medical Developments magazine (https://www.todaysmedicaldevelopments.com/magazine).