People interested in science aren’t limited to one career path. Instead, a science background trains you for a variety of professions. Fortunately for job seekers, many science professions are experiencing rapid job growth, which is expected to continue for the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Advances in technology fuel the need for qualified workers with science training and knowledge.
Biological scientists study the living world and how it works by conducting medical research and examining animals, humans and plants and their relationship to the environment, according to the Stanford School of Medicine. Biological scientists usually specialize in an area of biology and study a specific type of organism. There are nearly a dozen types of jobs, including botanists who study plants and their environments, marine biologists who examine saltwater organisms and microbiologists who study the growth and characteristics of microscopic organisms such as algae, bacteria and fungi, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS notes that a Ph.D. is usually required for independent research, but a bachelor's degree is sufficient for some jobs in applied research or product development. The profession is projected to grow 21 percent over the 2008-18 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS. The salary range differs depending on the specialization. For example, the median annual wages of biochemists and biophysicists were $82,840 in May 2008, while zoologists and wildlife biologists earned an average of $55,290 per year.
Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians analyze and examine body fluids and cells. Their work plays an important role in detecting, diagnosing and treating diseases, according to the BLS. The type of work depends on the kind of technologist. For example, clinical chemistry technologists analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids and prepare specimens. Cytotechnologists prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells microscopically for abnormalities that may signal the beginning of a cancerous growth. Usually, a bachelor’s degree with a medical technology major or one of the life sciences majors is enough for a clinical laboratory technologist, and an associate degree or certificate is proper training for a clinical laboratory technician. The BLS reports that jobs for clinical laboratory workers are expected to grow by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wages of medical and clinical laboratory technologists were $53,500 in May 2008.
Geoscientists and Hydrologists
Simply, geoscientists and hydrologists study the earth. They examine the planet’s composition, history, physical aspects and structure, according to the BLS. Geoscientists often work in fields such as geology, geophysics and hydrology. Hydrologists study the circulation, distribution, physical properties and quantity of water and the water cycle. Job growth of 18 percent is expected for geoscientists and hydrologists between 2008 and 2018. Median annual wages of geoscientists were $79,160 in May 2008, and hydrologists’ median annual wages were $71,450. Geoscientists and hydrologists need a master's degree for most jobs, while a Ph.D. is usually needed for college and research teaching openings.