Is becoming a regulatory affairs manager right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do regulator affairs managers do?

Still unsure if becoming a regulatory affairs manager is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a regulatory affairs manager or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

How to become a Regulatory Affairs Manager

Becoming a regulatory affairs manager involves obtaining relevant education, gaining practical experience, and developing specialized skills in regulatory affairs. Here are the steps to pursue a career as a regulatory affairs manager:

  • Education: Start by earning a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as biology, chemistry, pharmacy, engineering, or a related discipline. Some regulatory affairs managers may also have advanced degrees such as a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on regulatory affairs or a related field. A strong academic background in science, technology, or engineering is essential for understanding the technical aspects of regulated products and navigating regulatory requirements.
  • Gain Experience: Gain practical experience in regulatory affairs through internships, entry-level positions, or roles in quality assurance, compliance, or related areas within regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology, cosmetics, or food and beverage. Seek opportunities to work with regulatory professionals, participate in regulatory projects, and learn about regulatory requirements, processes, and best practices.
  • Develop Regulatory Knowledge: Acquire in-depth knowledge of regulatory requirements, guidelines, and standards relevant to the industry and geographic regions where you intend to work. Stay informed about changes in regulations issued by regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and other governmental bodies. Familiarize yourself with regulatory pathways, submission requirements, and compliance obligations applicable to different types of regulated products.
  • Obtain Certifications: Consider obtaining industry-recognized certifications in regulatory affairs to enhance your credentials and demonstrate your expertise to employers. Certifications such as the Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) offered by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) or the Certified Regulatory Affairs Professional (CARA) offered by the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AIPM) can validate your knowledge and skills in regulatory affairs (see below).
  • Build Professional Network: Network with regulatory professionals, industry experts, and potential employers through professional associations, conferences, seminars, and networking events. Join regulatory affairs organizations such as RAPS, the Drug Information Association (DIA), or the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) to connect with peers, access resources, and stay updated on industry trends and developments.
  • Seek Career Opportunities: Look for entry-level positions in regulatory affairs, regulatory compliance, quality assurance, or related areas within regulated industries. Gain experience and gradually progress to roles with increasing responsibilities and leadership opportunities. Be proactive in seeking out mentorship, professional development opportunities, and continuous learning to advance your career in regulatory affairs.

In the field of regulatory affairs, obtaining industry-recognized certifications can validate your expertise, enhance your credentials, and demonstrate your commitment to professional development. Some common certifications for regulatory affairs professionals include:

  • Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC): Offered by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), the RAC is a globally recognized certification that demonstrates expertise in regulatory affairs. There are multiple RAC certifications available, including RAC-US (United States), RAC-EU (European Union), RAC-JP (Japan), and others, which focus on specific geographic regions or regulatory domains.
  • Certified Regulatory Affairs Professional (CARA): Offered by the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AIPM), the CARA certification is designed for professionals working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. It covers a broad range of regulatory topics, including drug development, registration, compliance, and post-market surveillance.
  • Certified Professional in Medical Affairs (CPMA): Offered by the Medical Affairs Professional Society (MAPS), the CPMA certification is specifically tailored for professionals working in medical affairs roles within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. It validates expertise in medical affairs practices, regulations, and compliance requirements.
  • Certified Medical Affairs Specialist (CMAS): Offered by the Medical Affairs Professional Society (MAPS), the CMAS certification is designed for professionals seeking to demonstrate their proficiency in medical affairs practices and regulations. It covers topics such as medical science liaison (MSL) roles, medical communications, and compliance in medical affairs.
  • Certified Quality Auditor (CQA): Offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the CQA certification is suitable for professionals involved in quality assurance and compliance roles across various industries, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology, and manufacturing. It demonstrates expertise in auditing principles, practices, and regulatory requirements.
  • Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP): Offered by the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA), the CCRP certification is geared towards professionals working in clinical research roles within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. It validates expertise in clinical trial regulations, ethics, and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines.