8 Jobs in Regulatory Affairs (With Salaries and Job Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 21 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many professionals seek positions in regulatory affairs because of the excellent job security and a wide range of career options in this field. Some industries in this area include biotechnology, pharmaceutical, government and manufacturing. If you're interested in pursuing a job in this field, learning about some of your career options can help you develop a career plan. In this article, we define what regulatory affairs is, list 8 jobs in this field and provide answers to some frequently asked questions about this career.

What are regulatory affairs?

Regulatory affairs ensure the safe and effective creation of a wide range of products. Some of these products may include medical devices, cosmetics, food and beverages, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. Companies that create, manufacture or market products have an obligation to certify their proper function to make they're safe. They're also required to comply with all the laws and regulations that pertain to their specific products and services.

Professionals who work in this career are responsible for staying informed about the latest legislation and guidelines for the industries they work in so they can advise companies on the legal and scientific requirements for each product. Also known as government affairs, this profession involves handling data collection, analysing company procedures and enforcing regulations.

Related: Supply vs. Value Chain: Key Differences and Definitions

8 jobs in government affairs

Here are eight jobs in government affairs that you can explore, along with the average salary and primary job duties for each position.

1. Director of regulatory affairs

Average base salary: $230,613 per year

Primary duties: A director of regulatory affairs reviews industry practices to ensure organisations meet both government and company policies. They also lead the regulation process for products that need government approval. These professionals help file all the necessary applications and create and documentation or procedures to comply with any laws.

2. Food technologist

Average base salary: $235,868 per year

Primary duties: Also known as a food safety officer, a food technologist protects consumers by making sure the food products a company manufacturers are safe to consume. They may assess sanitation procedures, monitor work stations and conduct routine inspections. Food technologists may also take samples of the food products for tests and analyse the data they find. If they notice any unsafe, unsanitary or hazardous issues, food technologists may report it to senior management or the proper authorities.

3. Research associate

Average base salary: $328,647 per year

Primary duties: A research associate may perform clinical trials to test the safety and quality of products. They may also review the development of clinical trial protocols, help create a clinical plan, establish trial sites and recruit clinical study participants. Research associates also input research data into a data system, analyse their findings and suggest improvements to ensure an organisation produces high-quality products that meet quality assurance standards and safety regulations.

4. Compliance officer

Average base salary: $347,081 per year

Primary duties: A regulatory compliance officer ensures companies operate or abide by legal requirements, such as regulations and policies. They create, review and update internal policies to reduce a company's risk of breaching any legal requirements. Regulatory compliance officers also perform investigations, identify potential risks and help educate company staff members.

Read more: What Is a Compliance Officer? 5 Steps to Becoming a Compliance Officer

5. Quality assurance manager

Average base salary: $427,907 per year

Primary duties: A quality assurance manager supervises a company's quality assurance team or department. They design, implement and maintain processes that allow the company to test products before distributing them to consumers. This often involves testing and sampling products to ensure they meet a high level of standards and specifications.

6. Regulatory project manager

Average base salary: $479,073 per year

Primary duties: Regulatory project managers supervise the planning and implementation of assigned product deliverables. They use their knowledge of business, scientific and regulatory issues to develop product submission strategies, review manufacturing and quality assurance procedures, and identify potential risks. Regulatory project managers also review each product to ensure it complies with all legislation before it's distributed to consumers.

7. Government affairs manager

Average base salary: $594,089 per year

Primary duties: Government affairs managers make sure every aspect of a company abides by a regulatory agency's rules and regulations. They handle the processing and submission of compliance documents to government agencies. Government affairs managers also manage a company's production activities to ensure compliance with laws and regulations and internal operating procedures.

8. Senior compliance officer

Average base salary: $941,794 per year

Primary duties: Senior compliance officers inspect a company to ensure it abides by all necessary standards, laws and regulations. They supervise the effective implementation of a compliance programme. Senior compliance officers also review a management team's actions to address any compliance deficiencies and file reports or suggest improvements.

Related: What Is Auditing? Common Types and Steps to Perform an Audit

Frequently asked questions about government affairs

If you're considering pursuing a role in government affairs, here are a few answers to some frequently asked questions about this field:

Where do government affairs professionals work?

These professionals can work in any industry that's regulated by the government. They often work for manufacturing companies in biotechnology, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods or food products. You can also find career opportunities with government agencies, hospitals, research companies, law firms, marketing agencies, technology companies and academic institutions.

What skills do you need for a successful career in government affairs?

Professionals who work in government affairs rely on a combination of hard and soft skills to complete their daily tasks successfully. Here are a few skills you can develop throughout your career to excel:

  • Critical thinking: Government affairs professionals use their critical-thinking skills to track regulatory changes and determine any impacts they may have. They analyse complex information and generate reports that showcase their findings in a way that's easy for other people to understand.

  • Writing skills: Professionals who work in this field are often responsible for submitting compliance reports and documentation to government agencies. Having excellent writing skills can help you develop and review legal and business documents as a government affairs professional.

  • Business skills: Having an excellent sense of business strategy and a strong understanding of legislation is important as a government affairs specialist. These professionals rely on their ability to analyse trends, interpret policies and assess finances so they can implement compliant processes and procedures that improve products while maintaining a successful revenue stream.

  • Computer skills: Professionals who work in government affairs use a variety of computer systems and software applications to manage data, organise files and generate reports. Familiarising yourself with some of the most common programmes government affairs professionals use can prepare you for this role.

  • Leadership skills: As a government affairs professional, it's important to have strong leadership and negotiation skills so you can influence business leaders to make necessary changes to strategies, processes and products. These skills can also help you lead product development teams, implement new marketing efforts and oversee the quality assurance projects.

Related: Critical Thinking Skills: Definition and Examples

What's the difference between government affairs and quality assurance?

While government affairs and quality assurance are similar, there are a few key differences between these practices. Quality assurance focuses on ensuring that the products a company produces are suitable for consumers to use. While quality assurance professionals may concern themselves with ensuring the organisation they work for remains compliant with legal regulations and develops safe products, their primary goal is to create products that adhere to the company's internal standards. Government affairs professionals focus on ensuring products meet the external standards and regulations of government agencies and third-party organisations.

What are the education requirements for a position in government affairs?

While there are many types of degrees professionals can pursue to prepare for a career in this field, employers typically prefer candidates who have at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study. Some popular degrees include business, economics and management. If there's a specific industry you want to work in as a government affairs specialist, you can also choose a degree that focuses on this area.

For example, if you want to work for a medical device manufacturer, you can consider earning a degree in biology, engineering, chemistry or public health to show you have a strong understanding of the industry.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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