166 Job Titles in the Life Sciences Industry

Smiling woman scientist in lab goggles

Life sciences, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, are very broad and include jobs in chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, toxicology, botany, and so on. And in many ways, you can’t discuss the life sciences these days without including data science, data analysis, and medical devices—which can include engineering, biomedical engineering, computer sciences, and so forth.

Loosely speaking, there are five broad categories of life science jobs: academic, government, industrial, non-profit and miscellaneous. The most common are typically academic, government or industrial—although it would be shortsighted to not include healthcare jobs in the life sciences, which for people with life science degrees will include medical laboratory professionals, nurses, physicians, X-ray technologists, various imaging technologies, and nursing assistants, medical assistants, physician’s assistants and more.

The Balance recently developed a list of 166 job titles in the life sciences industry, which may not necessarily run from A to Z, but does run from A (Analyst) to T (Transportation Project Manager). Odd the list doesn’t include zoologist or zookeeper, both of which would be life science jobs. Anyway, here’s a look at the five categories and specific jobs within them.

1. Academic Jobs
The idea here is that the jobs are in academia, i.e., at colleges or universities, although it should also include educational institutions such as teaching at the middle school and high school level as well (even though The Balance does not). Allison Doyle, writing for The Balance, says, “Jobs in academia generally involve teaching, but sometimes teaching is the core responsibility, while other positions might require active involvement in research. Job titles seldom reflect the distinction. Titles include professor, assistant professor, adjunct professor, and lecture.” In academic research—very common in the life sciences—there are numerous support positions for professional researcher’s work, including research assistants and research technicians, field researchers, and internships.

An example of an open position at the higher level is a posting for a Tenure Track Faculty Position at the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) at the University of Michigan. It is a position of Assistant or Associate Professor in any research area, with special consideration given to scientists using chemical approaches to address important biological questions. In addition to the LSI appointment, the individual will have a tenure-track or tenured instructional appointment at one of the University of Michigan’s schools and colleges, such as the Medical School, the School of Public Health or others.

2. Government jobs
The U.S. federal government is the single largest employer in the country, with 1.6 million full-time, permanent jobs. Life science jobs are common in the NIH, various divisions of the Department of HHS, including the CDC. Less obvious areas for life science jobs are the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the NISH, the NASA.

A quick search of “biology” at www.usajobs.gov gives a listing of 246 currently open jobs. An example includes:

Fish Biologist with the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The position is located in the Washington Office. The job is to analyze moderately complex data on marine and freshwater resident and anadromous fish, fish passage, water quality, instream flow and related aquatic biology matters as they relate to the construction, modification, operation, and maintenance of hydropower projects. The position calls for one full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-9 level or have completed requirements for a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or three full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.

3. Industrial jobs
Broadly, industrial refers to biopharmaceutical jobs. This can range from research at small biotechnology companies to large multinational pharmaceutical companies. These will include technician jobs—even with high school diplomas at the pharmaceutical manufacturing end—to post-doctoral positions.

An example includes: Research Assistant for Biolog in Hayward, Calif. This individual will perform nutritional and chemical sensitivity assays using cultured mammalian cells, and maintain, program and run both Tecan Aquarius and Genesis robots for Phenotypic MicroArray (PM) research, as well as other duties. The job calls for a Bachelor’s Degree in biochemistry, microbiology, biology, molecular biology, genetics or cell biology, along with good laboratory experience and technique.

4. Nonprofit jobs
Doyle writes, “Non-profit organizations, especially those in the environmental or medical fields, also employ scientists in research, education, or to help interpret current research to draft organizational policy.” Examples of nonprofits include The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, March of Dimes, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A career example includes: Postdoctoral Scientist-Tuberculosis and Human Innate Immunity with the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. There are actually two positions here, looking for PhDs in immunology, microbiology, cell biology or a related discipline, with extensive experience in tissue culture and various molecular techniques. The research focuses on investigating the interaction between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and human innate immune cells. Because the work will take place in a BSL3 laboratory, the individuals for these positions must pass a basic FBI background check.

5. Miscellaneous jobs
Doyle writes, “There are a large number of positions that involve science but do not fit into any of the above categories. These include science teachers, research librarians, science writers, science journalists, and science educators.” Similarly, if one is interested in life science research jobs ranging from technician to principal investigator, healthcare institutions such as the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center or Henry Ford Health System employs hundreds of people with life science degrees involved in grant-funded research.

Although this position also falls under the non-profit category, it doesn’t necessarily fit neatly into most of the institutional categories described above. It is:

Curator of Biological Anthropology for the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York. This position is in Biological Anthropology with a specialization in paleoanthropology (human origins). It is a tenure-track position. Candidates should have a strong background and evidence of documented or potential international leadership in paleoanthropological research. Candidates should have completed a Ph.D.

Life science, as a term, is extremely broad. And increasingly, Silicon Valley firms such as Google, Apple, Facebook and many others, are turning their attention to healthcare and life sciences with the notion of applying their data collection and analysis resources to solving today’s biggest healthcare problems. This makes plenty of jobs for computer scientists, data scientists, engineers, project managers, mathematicians, statisticians and others finding positions related to the field.

Here’s a list of 166 science job titles that can be used to aid in your job search.

A - D
• Analyst
• Analytical Lab Technician
• Analytical Services Chemist
• Assay Development Specialist
• Assistant Field Technician
• Assistant Technician
• Associate Professor
• Bioanalytical Scientist
• Biochemist
• Bioinformatics Research Scientist
• Biology Professor
• Business Analyst
• Business System Analyst
• Cell Biology Scientist
• Cell Line Development Manager
• Chemical Engineer
• Chemical Technician
• Climate Data Analyst
• Clinical Data Research
• Clinical Pharmacology Professor
• Clinical Pharmacy Assistant
• Clinical Research Associate
• Clinical Research Coordinator
• Clinical Research Director
• Compliance Technician
• Computational Chemistry Manager
• Computer Programmer
• Computing Consultant
• Conservation Technician
• Development Technologist
• Drug Evaluator
• Drug Regulatory Affairs Manager

E - L
• Environmental Data Analyst
• Environmental Emergencies Assistant
• Environmental Emergencies Planner
• Environmental Health Scientist
• Environmental Project Analyst
• Environmental Research Assistant
• Environmental Scientist
• Environmental Services Representative
• Environmental Specialist
• Exploration Director
• Field Applications Specialist
• Field Technician
• Financial Analyst
• Forensic Chemist
• Forensic Scientist
• Gene Editing Manager
• Genetic Counselor
• Grants/Proposal Writer
• Groundwater Technician
• Hardware Designer
• Health Research Assistant
• Health Technology Assistant
• Hospital Accounting Analyst
• Hospital Research Assistant
• Human Factors Engineer
• Immunology Scientist
• Industrial Designer
• IT Support Staff
• Institutional Research Director
• Insurance Representative
• Intranet Specialist
• Intranet Support
• Junior Analyst
• Laboratory Assistant
• Laboratory Instructor
• Laboratory Manager
• Laboratory Technician

M - R
• Market Access Analyst
• Market Access Associate
• Marketing Consultant
• Medical Communications Director
• Medical Physics Researcher
• Medical Research Assistant
• Medical Research Technician
• Medical Scientist
• Medical Services Assistant
• Molecular Biologist
• Molecular Scientist
• Oncology Researcher
• Operations Clerk
• Operations Research Analysis Manager
• Operations Section Manager
• Operations Supervisor
• Operations Team Leader
• Operations Unit Manager
• Organic Lab Research Assistant
• Organic Lab Worker
• Pharmaceutical Assistant
• Pharmaceutical Marketing Assistant
• Pharmaceutical Research Analyst
• Pharmaceutical Research Assistant
• Pharmaceutical Research Technician
• Pharmaceutical Technician
• Pharmacovigilance Supervisor
• Pharmacy Affairs Assistant
• Pharmacy Assistant
• Pharmacy Innovation Assistant
• Power Regulator
• Process Engineer
• Process Inspector
• Process Research Manager
• Product Engineer
• Product Test Specialist
• Production Team Leader
• Production Test Supervisor
• Professional Programs Assistant
• Project Manager
• Public Health Specialist
• Quality Assistant
• Quality Assurance Manager
• Quality Assurance Technologist
• Quality Control Analyst
• Quality Control Manager
• Quality Control Supervisor
• Regulatory Affairs Associate
• Regulatory Affairs Director
• Regulatory Officer
• Rehabilitation Engineering Assistant
• Reimbursement Analyst
• Research Assistant
• Research Chemist
• Research Team Leader
• Research Technician
• Research and Development Associate
• Research and Development Chemist
• Research and Development Director
• Research and Development Manager
• Research and Development Supervisor
• Research and Development Technician
• Research and Development Tester
• Research and Innovation Manager
• Research Scientist
• Researcher
• Retail Analyst
• Safety Data Specialist
• Sales Analyst
• Satellite Data Analyst
• Science Technician
• Scientific Artist
• Scientific Programmer
• Scientific Project Manager
• Scientific Writer
• Senior Pharmacy Student
• Software Developer
• Software Engineering Assistant
• Solid Waste Field Technician
• Special Projects Coordinator
• Statistician
• Stem Cell Researcher
• STEM Career Advisor
• Structural Biologist
• Structural Engineer
• Systems Analyst

T - Z
• Technical Application Specialist
• Technical Support Technician
• Technical Writer
• Technology Research Analyst
• Technology Research Manager
• Technology Specialist
• Therapeutic Director
• Total Quality Management Director
• Total Quality Manager
• Toxicologist
• Transportation Project Manager

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