Top 8 Jobs for Science Lovers

Published: Dec 16, 2016

 Top 8 Jobs for Science Lovers December 15, 2016
By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com

Do you love asking questions and solving complex puzzles? Do you find failed experiments just as enjoyable as successful ones? Does spending hours collecting and analyzing data sound like the best day ever? Are you irresistibly drawn to lab coats? If you can answer yes to all of these questions, you may be a science lover—and that’s great news for your career. From biotechnology to pharmaceuticals and from zoos to universities, there are many industries and employers looking to hire professionals with your passion for process, problem solving and discovery. While there are many different positions available for scientists, we’d like to share a few facts and opportunities about the top eight*. Ranking based on salary.

Top 8 Jobs for Science Lovers
NUMBER
JOB
NEW POSITIONS
PROJECTED
RATE OF GROWTH
2015 ANNUAL PAY
EDUCATION
COMPANIES HIRING
1
Chemical Eng.
600
2%
$97,360
Bachelor’s
Integrity EPC, Varo Eng., Amalgamated Research
2
Medical Scientist
9,000
8%
$82,240
Doctorate
UCHealth, abiomed, Biogen
3
Biochemist
2,800
8%
$82,150
Master’s
Celgene, Hunter International, Idexx Labs
4
Chemist
2,400
3%
$71,260
Bachelor's
FMC, eFFECTOR, Sorrento
5
Epidemiologist
400
6%
$69,450
Master’s
General Dynamics, IHRC, CDC
6
Microbiologist
800
4%
$67,550
Bachelor's
AZN Pharma, Dascase Tech, Food Safety Net
7
Animal Scientist
200
5%
$60,390
Bachelor's
Heartland Builders, Merck, Kalmbach Swine Management
8
Biological Tech.
4,100
5%
$41,650
Bachelor's
ASG Renaissance, Advanced Biol. Marketing

1. Chemical Engineer

New positions projected between 2014 and 2024: 600
Rate of job growth: 2 percent
Average annual salary in 2015: $97,360
Education required for entry-level positions: Bachelor’s degree

Chemical engineers utilize their knowledge of chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics to conduct research, develop processes and troubleshoot problems. They may be involved in the production of chemicals, drugs, fuel, food or other products, often working in the laboratories of large manufacturers. The may also be employed in life sciences and biotechnology.

Companies now hiring: Integrity EPC, Varo Engineers, Amalgamated Research LLC

2. Medical Scientist

New positions projected between 2014 and 2024: 9,000
Rate of job growth: 8 percent
Average annual salary in 2015: $82,240
Education required for entry-level positions: Doctorate degree

Medical scientists include toxicologists, serologists, neuroscientists, immunochemists, gerontologists, clinical pharmacologists, research histologists, and cancer researchers. The goal of their work is generally to improve human health through the prevention and treatment of disease or creation of pharmaceuticals and other medical devices. Many are employed in research and development within the physical, engineering or life sciences. Others work at colleges and universities, within hospitals, or for pharmaceutical manufacturing companies or diagnostic laboratories.

Companies now hiring: UCHealth, abiomed, Biogen

3. Biochemist

New positions projected between 2014 and 2024: 2,800
Rate of job growth: 8 percent
Average annual salary in 2015: $82,150
Education required for entry-level positions: Master’s degree

Biochemists study the chemical principles of living things and their biological processes including the development of cells, growth, heredity and disease. They may work in basic or applied research, planning and executing complex research projects, managing teams of technicians, analyzing data, preparing reports and presenting the findings of their studies. The majority work in research and development within physical, engineering and life sciences. Some are employed by colleges and universities or pharmaceutical, medical or chemical manufacturers.

Companies now hiring: Celgene, Hunter International Inc, Idexx Laboratories

4. Chemist

New positions projected between 2014 and 2024: 2,400
Rate of job growth: 3 percent
Average annual salary in 2015: $71,260
Education required for entry-level positions: Bachelor’s degree

Chemists study substances—and interactions between them—at molecular and atomic levels. They may plan and complete complex research projects, write technical reports and present their findings to other scientists, engineers and professionals. Chemists regularly work with the assistance of technicians and may also interact with biologists, physicists, engineers and computer specialists. They may choose to specialize in analytical, inorganic, organic, medicinal or physical chemistry.

Companies now hiring: FMC LLC, eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Sorrento Therapeutics

5. Epidemiologist

New positions projected between 2014 and 2024: 400
Rate of job growth: 6 percent
Average annual salary in 2015: $69,450
Education required for entry-level positions: Master’s degree

Epidemiologists usually work for state or local governments, though some are employed by hospitals, colleges, universities or within research and development in the life sciences. They regularly collect and analyze data to identify the causes of disease and other health issues in human populations. They may choose to specialize in infectious diseases, chronic diseases, preparedness and emergency response, environmental health, occupational health, behavioral health or another area of public health.

Companies now hiring: General Dynamics, IHRC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

6. Microbiologist

New positions projected between 2014 and 2024: 800
Rate of job growth: 4 percent
Average annual salary in 2015: $67,550
Education required for entry-level positions: Bachelor’s degree

Microbiologists study the lives, growth and environmental interactions of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi and microscopic parasites. Depending on where they are employed, they may plan and conduct complex research projects, perform laboratory services to diagnose and treat illnesses, or prepare technical reports, present findings and make recommendations. They are often required to work on teams with technicians and scientists in other fields. Specialized microbiologists include bacteriologists, mycologists, parasitologists, virologists and clinical or industrial microbiologists.

Companies now hiring: AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Dascase Technologies Inc, Food Safety Net Services

7. Animal Scientist

New positions projected between 2014 and 2024: 200
Rate of job growth: 5 percent
Average annual salary in 2015: $60,390
Education required for entry-level positions: Bachelor’s degree

Animal scientists generally work with domestic fam animals, studying their genetics, nutrition, reproduction, development and diseases. Their research is often towards ways to improve food production through crossbreeding, increasing growth rates and decreasing disease and death rates.

They may be employed by colleges and universities; physical, engineering or life science organizations; the agriculture industry; and scientific or technical consulting services.

Companies now hiring: Heartland Builders, Merck, Kalmbach Swine Management

8. Biological Technician

New positions projected between 2014 and 2024: 4,100
Rate of job growth: 5 percent
Average annual salary in 2015: $41,650
Education required for entry-level positions: Bachelor’s degree

Biological technicians typically work in laboratories, assisting biological and medical scientists with conducting experiments and analyzing results. They often work on teams, setting up and maintaining laboratory equipment, gathering and preparing samples, documenting observations and writing reports. Many are employed in research and development within the life sciences, engineering and physical sciences. Some work for in chemical manufacturing or for colleges, universities or the federal government.

Companies now hiring: ASG Renaissance, Advanced Biological Marketing

*Salary and job projection data taken from the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

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