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Five Types of Careers in Science to Look At

Careers in science offer many rewarding challenges, with a focus on the greater good. Here are five potential paths to consider in this field.


For those in the process of deciding on a career, there are a variety of options available. While careers in science may not be something that immediately springs to mind, there are a variety of options in this field and they can be both rewarding and lucrative. For those thinking of entering the field of science, some of the career opportunities to look at include the following.

Medical Scientist

A medical scientist typically engages in research work that is dedicated to the aim of improving human health. The research typically helps in developing new vaccines, medicines and healthcare treatments, and both laboratory research and clinical trials can be part of the work. Those looking to enter the field will need to study to gain a Ph.D. in a biological science, which is typically the minimum requirement. However many in the industry study to earn a medical degree and then take the decision to enter research rather than practicing medicine. Individuals that gain a medical degree and a Ph.D. are generally considered to have the best opportunities available to them in the field. Salaries and prospects for medical scientists are expected to improve in future years, and average salaries in excess of $70,000 can be achieved in the field.

Environmental Scientist

In recent time the effect of human activity on the environment has been more closely studied and careers in science that cover this type of work include environmental scientists. They typically carry out research into environmental problems such as pollution, with the aim of identifying solutions to these. This can include the study of air, land and water environments to asses the impact on these of any number of human activities such as industry, road building or trash disposal. Most environmental scientists have a degree in the subject, although other degree courses such as geography, earth sciences and physics can gain entry to the field. Typically they work for organizations such as government agencies, engineering companies and also oil and gas companies, with the average pay being around $65,000 to $70,000.

Agricultural Scientist

The job of agricultural scientists is concerned with studies that aim to maintain and improve food supply. This career in science typically involves working with and studying crops and farm animals to develop techniques that will improve the quality or quantity of produce to be gained from them. There are a few fields to choose from within agricultural science and those involved in it can specialize, with animal scientist, plant scientist and soil scientist being some of the options available. Training for the job generally requires achieving a degree in agricultural science. While this is generally sufficient to work in private industry, for those that plan to undertake university research, a Masters or Doctoral degree is typically needed. Salaries of up to around $100,000 can be achieved in the field although average salaries are typically around the $60,000 mark.

Forensic Scientist

Forensic scientists are typically involved in the area of law enforcement and are the individuals that study the evidence collected from a crime scene. Careers in science such as this typically involve physical or chemical analysis of evidence with the aim of using scientific principles to clarify and resolve legal issues. The reports they prepare based on the studies they undertake can be important prosecution or defense documents in a trial. Education required for the job typically involves doing an undergraduate degree in forensic science and there are a number of educational facilities that offer these. However, studying for a degree in chemistry, biology or physics also tends to be acceptable for entry to a forensic science career. In most cases specialization in a particular field of forensic science is not required at the undergraduate degree level, although those that choose to continue their studies may opt to do this. The average salary can be up to $50,000, with future prospects for the career expected to be reasonable.

Material Scientist

A material scientist is typically involved in the study of chemicals and how these can be used to make products that improve life. Two options are available with basic research studying the chemical structure of matter, the laws that govern these and reactions between them. Applied research typically takes the results of basic research and uses it to create new products or improve on those already in existence. A degree in chemistry is generally the minimum requirement, although many looking to enter this field of science will go on to study for Masters and Doctoral degrees. The average salary for material scientists is around $66,000, although it is possible to earn in excess of $100,000.

Careers in science typically cover a wide range of possibilities, and there are plenty of opportunities for those that are considering the scientific field for an occupation. The five jobs shown above are some of the common options, and for those with an interest in science these are something to think about when considering a career path to follow.

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