Top 20 jobs for science lovers

If you started your mornings with “Bill Nye the Science Guy” as a child, or spent hours in the garden observing snails and earthworms, or dreamed of wearing a lab coat when you grew up, or got to high school and discovered you love chemistry, biology or physics…you’ve got it.

“It” is the tick for science—that curiosity that never dies. Any science is the study of something, and some people are just wired to love asking and answering questions linked to the topic that interests them most.

We worked up a list of the top 20 jobs for science lovers, and even included a surprise bonus for you at the end of the article. Not all are laboratory jobs. Some don’t even require personal protective equipment! But whether you don a lab coat, a wetsuit or a biohazard onesie for your job in science, these careers make science lovers’ dreams come true.

 

Why study science?

There’s a whole world—nay, a universe—of science careers out there that you can pursue. Maybe you’re a medical student counting the days until that white lab coat ceremony. Or maybe you’re in school but studying chemistry or physics. Or maybe you’ve been in the corporate world for years and are reapplying your studies in a new career, or going back for another degree.

Science jobs are inherently cool because they are constantly moving forward. They’re always fresh and interesting. It’s what these fields are designed to do. Working in science, you could end up researching world-changing breakthroughs, solving scientific dilemmas, or making new discoveries.

There’s a science career out there for anyone with the itch. Dive into our top-20 list, and you’ll see how true that really is.

 

1: Firework designer

Firework designers or, to get more specific, pyrotechnic engineers, create new firework displays using explosive and reactive chemicals. Most of these professionals studied chemical engineering or another chemistry-related degree. The most important knowledge or experience to come in with is a deep understanding of how chemicals react. Quite a bit of physics come into play, too, since firework designers also need to create and time controlled explosions. This one is definitely a career that will focus on time in the lab coat with other personal protective equipment in use whenever in the lab.

And if this science job isn’t cool, we don’t know what is!

 

2: Cave diver

OK, this probably wasn’t the first thing you thought of when we said “top jobs for science lovers,” but it’s definitely one of the coolest careers out there for anyone interested in marine biology or environmental anthropology. Cave divers sometimes even have backgrounds in data science, and due to the demands of the job are usually in pretty good physical shape. Whether diving shallow or deep-water caves, coming across animals is generally the least of your worries.

Before embarking on this career, after university there’s typically additional training needed for an extended period of time before a cave diver gets to work.

 

3: Venom milker

If you want to make antidotes to snake venom, you need the venom itself. A venom milker is the science professional who does the job of getting that crucial ingredient. This job is considered extremely dangerous, because venom milkers get venom extracts directly from live snakes before using that venom to develop the antidotes. Many venoms are also used by other chemists and scientists for non-snake related stuff like stroke and tumor treatments. Studies in zoology are usually the first step toward this profession, and nerves of steel are a must.

snake venom milker grasping viper

 

4: Biochemist or biophysicist

Both biochemists and biophysicists work to study the chemical and physical properties of living things. Some focus even more specifically on the chemical and physical properties of biological processes. To say the least, this is one of the higher-paying professions out there thanks to the level of expertise required. To start in this field, entry-level candidates need a degree in biochemistry, biology, or physics.

This career is a classic of classics for lovers of biology!

 

5: Food chemist

To become a food chemist, a degree in chemistry is the natural place to start. The most successful food chemists are also natural problem solvers since the job is built around looking to solutions for problems in the food industry. This is a lab-based career that digs deep into the chemical properties of food to create new foods and improve existing ones.

Cool, huh?

Without a doubt, this labcoat-wearing professional has a very important place in the future of the world with our growing global population.

 

6: Space psychologist

Space psychologists cross the line between super technical science and life science. Specifically, they study the mental health of astronauts. This field touches on how the astronauts cope with their conditions to keep tabs on the mental wear and tear astronauts experience during training and after a long deployment. The world’s advancements in space travel have skyrocketed (quite literally), so space psychologists have become a bigger piece of the puzzle on panels to identify the best-suited astronauts for given jobs.

This job might not require the use of a spacesuit on the part of the psychologist, but be prepared to talk about your analyses in front of panels in your best professional wear or designer lab coat.

 

7: Environmental scientist

Environmental scientists work to identify and reduce—and, thereafter, to eradicate—the different hazards threatening the environment or public health. They’re the scientists fighting pollution. With backgrounds in environmental science, biology, engineering, chemistry or even physics (and at least a master’s degree in one of those), these professionals are playing an increasing role in global health.

If this sounds up your alley, we still need more of these scientists! You’ll look smashing in that white lab coat. Get out there and save the world.

 

8: Forensic scientist

Forensic scientists are crime scene investigators collecting and analyzing physical evidence. Most investigation departments look for applicants with at least a science-related degree and a couple years of specialized training. This career is another classic of classics for science lovers—just don’t expect the daily grind to be like your favorite crime-busting TV shows.

 

9: Animal scientist

Yes, this is a thing! Animal scientists dive deep into research around the genetics, reproduction, growth, development and nutrition of domestic farm animals. Some common things they do include studying the nutritional needs of animals to advise on the value of feed, advising on techniques that can help make farm animals more productive, and preparing reports and presentations around livestock management methods.

 

10: Molecular and cellular biologist

Molecular and cellular biologists are devoted to researching and studying cell function and organization. Some of the common stuff they do includes designing and running molecular and cellular experiments, planning biological research, studying microbiological and chemical structures, and preparing reports to share their findings on all this and more.

 

11: Medical scientist

personal protective equipmentMedical scientists enjoy another one of the higher-paying career choices out there for science lovers. They study the causes of diseases and ways to prevent and cure them. Medical scientists start off with a doctorate in biological science, a medical degree, or both.

 

12: Astronomer

Astronomers focus on the far reaches of space, seeking to understand how everything out there evolves, including planets, stars, galaxies and more. They are specially-trained to use the most powerful telescopes and satellites and to interpret the findings. Astronomers regularly make predictions about the future of the universe. Expect to work your way through a PhD program before getting into this field.

 

13: Chemical engineer

Chemical engineers use chemistry to solve problems and develop the manufacturing processes and equipment needed to mass produce chemical materials. These materials can include everything from fuel to plastics to pharmaceuticals. Chemical engineers are sometimes employed in research labs and sometimes hired directly by factories like processing plants or oil and gas refineries.
science lab coat

 

14: Materials scientist

Materials scientists get their start with an advanced degree in chemistry, physics or biology. They work to understand the properties, structure and performance of materials that can be studied within their area of expertise. This analysis is done with the idea of adapting materials for new uses. And so, these scientists look specifically at how different kinds of processing change materials and how those materials can be combined with other products.

This is definitely one of the most multi-disciplinary science fields out there.

 

15: Pharmacologist

Pharmacologists study how medications affect organs, tissues, and cells. They break down the properties, effects, and therapeutic uses of the compounds under study, which is a list constantly growing with the release of new drugs. This is a lab-based job for the scientist who wants to support the medical field from behind the scenes.

 

16: Computational scientist

Computational scientists create computer models designed to simulate complex physical phenomena. How does that sound for an interesting job? Computational scientists use high-performance computers to further knowledge in other scientific fields. This can mean anything from investigating how cancer affects the mutations of cells to how turbulence affects aircraft flight.

 

17: Biomedical engineer

Biomedical engineers design and build devices and equipment that solve problems in medicine. For example, they use engineering toward an in-depth understanding of biological systems to create a swath of medical devices and artificial organs. Biomedical engineers are who we owe recent developments in surgical lasers to, as well as radiation therapy and so much more.

 

18: Hydrologist

A hydrologist studies the quality, quantity, and—most importantly—the availability of water around the planet. This includes measuring water volume and flow, studying pollution levels and erosion with the impacts of flooding, and looking for ways to manage water supplies to communities. Earth sciences is usually the academic background that points people in the direction of this field.

 

19: Geneticist

Genetics is the study of how biological characteristics and other traits are passed from generation to generation. Geneticists dive deep into the questions around these issues, and also study the role genes play in health and aging, and how those genes are affected by environmental factors. Gene expression is another key area of study. Other geneticists even study and treat people with hereditary conditions.

 

20: Medical lab technologist

Medical lab technologists are the professionals responsible for collecting and analyzing samples for health care professionals who are treating patients. This is another labcoat-focused job where technologists using highly-sophisticated microscopes and lab equipment to examine blood, tissue, and cell samples. To get started in this field, candidates need at least a bachelor’s degree. There are medical lab technicians, also, who can enter the field with just an associate degree. Do bear in mind that this is one science field that often requires local licensing.

 

Hungry for more? Here’s an even longer list of science-based careers…

If you want more options to properly “scratch the itch” of your personal science fascination, check out this fantastic list published on Careers with STEM.

Which science career will suit you best?

 

Biology

  • Aerobiologist
  • Agricultural scientist
  • Archaeologist
  • Bioinformatician
  • Biology researcher
  • Biomechanics engineer
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Biomedical researcher
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Biophysicist
  • Biostatistician
  • Biotechnologist
  • Botanist
  • Cell biologist
  • Conservationist
  • Cryobiologist
  • Cytologist
  • Data analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Earth scientist
  • Ecologist
  • Ecotoxicologist
  • Embryologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Entomologist
  • Forensic psychologist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Gene analyst/geneticist
  • Genomics researcher
  • Immunologist
  • Marine biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Molecular biologist
  • Mycologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Pathologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Toxicologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Virologist
  • Zoologist

 

Chemistrychemistry lab coat while performing experiment

  • Analytical chemist
  • Biochemist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Chemical health and safety regulator
  • Cheminformatics
  • Cosmetic chemist
  • Crystallographer
  • Food technologist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Geochemist
  • Hazardous waste chemist
  • Immunologist
  • Laboratory Analyst
  • Manufacturing chemist
  • Materials engineer
  • Organic/Inorganic chemist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Process chemist
  • Product developer
  • Researcher
  • Toxicologist
  • Quantum chemist
  • Water chemist
  • Water quality scientist

 

Physics

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Acoustician
  • Applied mathematician
  • Astronomer
  • Atomic physicist
  • Architect
  • Astrophysicist
  • Biophysicist
  • Chemical physicist
  • Civil engineer
  • Computational physicist
  • Cosmologist
  • Cryophysicist
  • Data analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Electrical engineer
  • Electromagnetic physicist
  • Fluid dynamics/mechanics physicist
  • Geophysicist
  • High energy physicist
  • High pressure physicist
  • Laser physicist
  • Mechanical physicist
  • Meteorologist
  • Molecular physicist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Nuclear technician
  • Nuclear physicist
  • Nuclear scientist
  • Optical physicist
  • Particle physicist
  • Patent analyst
  • Plasma physicist
  • Quantum physicist
  • Researcher
  • Roboticist
  • Telecommunications technologist
  • Theoretical physicist
  • Thermodynamics physicist
  • X-ray analysis technician

 

Health

  • Bioinformatician
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Biomedical researcher
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Biophysicist
  • Biostatistician
  • Data analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Dietician
  • Doctor
  • Kinesiologist
  • Neurologist
  • Neuroscientist
  • Nurse
  • Occupational therapist
  • Osteopath
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Pharmacologist
  • Physiologist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Speech pathologist
  • Sport scientist
  • Sport psychologist
  • Surgeon
  • Veterinarian

 

Unconventional career ideas

  • Activist
  • Educator
  • Entrepreneur
  • Fireworks chemist
  • Policy advisor
  • Politician
  • Sales representative
  • Science communicator
  • Scientific illustrator
  • Space psychologist
  • Volcanologist

 

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