Science Careers

Science Careers Overview

Science Careers Overview

Careers in science require a keen intellect, natural curiosity and creative problem-solving. Regardless of the field of concentration, scientists primarily focus on formulating and testing hypotheses. Scientists usually work in labs or offices in academia, corporations, pharmaceutical firms, clinics and so on. Here are the typical duties of a few of the most popular science careers:

  • Chemists study substances and their reactions with one another at the molecular and atomic levels
  • Microbiologists study organisms like bacteria, fungi and viruses to better understand how they work
  • Biochemists and biophysicists study the physical and chemical properties of living things and processes
  • Food science technicians help food scientists and agriculturalists measure and assess the quality of food
  • Epidemiologists study the trends and causes of illness and injury in humans

Science Career Education

The educational requirements of various science jobs will depend on the complexity of the position. Many technician, technologist and lab assistant positions in science disciplines only require brief post-secondary education that takes a year or two. On the other hand, the majority of science positions require at least a bachelor's degree and sometimes more. For example, epidemiologists usually must have a master's degree in public health or a related discipline, while some other jobs in the life sciences, such as medical scientist, demand a doctoral-level professional degree. Some careers also require graduation from an accredited program and certification and licensure to enter the profession.

Science Career Job Market

In the health sciences field, growth is promising due to the aging population and rising demand for sophisticated medical solutions and pharmaceuticals. Here are Canada's growth predictions for popular science jobs in the next decade:

  • Chemists will see 1.1 percent job growth in coming years, which is slightly faster than the 0.7 percent national average
  • Biologists will also experience 1.1 percent job growth over the next decade
  • Physicists and astronomers will see 1 percent employment growth from 2012 to 2022
  • Economists will also see 1 percent growth in their sector
  • Geochemists, including hydrologists, will experience much faster than average employment growth of 1.6 percent

Science Career Salaries

The salary of science careers will depend on the employer, location, experience and education. Here are the average salaries for 2011 for some common science positions:

  • Geologist - C$66,900
  • Chemical engineer - C$72,700
  • Psychologist - C$55,099
  • Biologist - $56,406
  • Biological technologists and technicians - C$39,113
  • Chemical technologists and technicians - C$47,408
  • Forensic science technicians - C$58,000