The duties of a field scientist depend on one's line of work or industry of employment. In general, their responsibilities typically include conducting studies and scientific research, visiting various sites to observe and gather samples, performing laboratory analyses and experiments, maintaining records of all operations, and coming up with conclusions from the research findings. When it comes to employment opportunities, a field scientist may work for learning institutions, government agencies, and private companies, where they usually work together with other scientists and experts.

Field Scientist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real field scientist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage sample inventory via in-house laboratory information management system (LIMS) and implement additional systems for sample and chemical organization.
  • Collect groundwater samples following EPA low-flow sampling procedure.
  • Conduct large scale aviary EPA list species and wildlife survey for change of land use project.
  • Perform wetland delineations with GPS unit.
  • Create GIS maps for publications, flyers, and use for colleagues.
  • Translate GIS networks into the InfoNet asset database to better characterize hydraulic system for the PWSA.
  • Assign to conduct subsurface soil and groundwater investigations.
  • Characterize and optimize yield improvement of drug substance and collaborate with process chemistry & process engineering to select cost effective routes.
  • Authore, review and revise client QA procedures as environmental-industry procedures and technology advance over time.
  • Review environmental plans and procedures to operate the plant within the regulatory approve permit and within regulatory compliance.
Field Scientist Traits
Problem-solving skills is the way that one is able to effectively solve a problem in a timely manner.
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.

Field Scientist Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a field scientist does, you may be wondering, "should I become a field scientist?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, field scientists have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of field scientist opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 7,000.

On average, the field scientist annual salary is $60,982 per year, which translates to $29.32 an hour. Generally speaking, field scientists earn anywhere from $32,000 to $114,000 a year, which means that the top-earning field scientists make $82,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a field scientist, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a technical fellow, environmental service technician, water quality analyst, and environmental technician.

Field Scientist Jobs You Might Like

Field Scientist Resume Examples

Field Scientist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 28% of Field Scientists are proficient in Data Collection, Water Quality, and Asbestos. They’re also known for soft skills such as Problem-solving skills, Analytical skills, and Communication skills.

We break down the percentage of Field Scientists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Data Collection, 28%

    Managed field crew data collection efforts and inspections of sanitary and storm wet weather infrastructure.

  • Water Quality, 9%

    Water quality monitoring on Klamath lake.

  • Asbestos, 9%

    Completed oversight and air monitoring during mold and asbestos abatement projects.

  • R, 6%

    Designed R-statistical algorithms and wrote R codes to develop numerical regression.

  • EPA, 6%

    Certified NPDES Inspector contributing inspections on Granular Activated Carbon Systems to insure they are in compliance with DEQ and EPA regulations.

  • GPS, 6%

    Ensured precision of log book pages in congruency with photographs and GPS collected data on a daily basis.

"data collection," "water quality," and "asbestos" aren't the only skills we found field scientists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of field scientist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a field scientist to have in this position are problem-solving skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a field scientist resume, you'll understand why: "environmental scientists and specialists try to find the best possible solution to problems that affect the environment and people’s health." According to resumes we found, problem-solving skills can be used by a field scientist in order to "assisted epa in planning and implementing these investigations, responses and solutions. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform field scientist duties is the following: analytical skills. According to a field scientist resume, "environmental scientists and specialists base their conclusions on careful analysis of scientific data." Check out this example of how field scientists use analytical skills: "perform water quality monitoring collecting data on ph , turbidity, dissolved oxygen , and temperature. "
  • Communication skills is also an important skill for field scientists to have. This example of how field scientists use this skill comes from a field scientist resume, "environmental scientists and specialists may need to present and explain their findings to audiences of varying backgrounds and write technical reports." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "conduct phase i environmental site assessments which include site inspections, due diligence inquires and communication with state and local officials. "
  • See the full list of field scientist skills.

    Before becoming a field scientist, 82.1% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 8.2% field scientists went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most field scientists have a college degree. But about one out of every nine field scientists didn't attend college at all.

    The field scientists who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied environmental science and biology, while a small population of field scientists studied geology and physics.

    Once you're ready to become a field scientist, you should explore the companies that typically hire field scientists. According to field scientist resumes that we searched through, field scientists are hired the most by Terracon, Danaher, and ICF. Currently, Terracon has 8 field scientist job openings, while there are 2 at Danaher and 2 at ICF.

    View more details on field scientist salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a field scientist include Pfizer, Merck & Co., and GlaxoSmithKline. These three companies were found to hire the most field scientists from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The industries that field scientists fulfill the most roles in are the professional and manufacturing industries. But the highest field scientist annual salary is in the health care industry, averaging $98,803. In the government industry they make $80,098 and average about $78,478 in the professional industry. In conclusion, field scientists who work in the health care industry earn a 45.3% higher salary than field scientists in the construction industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious field scientists are:

      What Technical Fellows Do

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take technical fellow for example. On average, the technical fellows annual salary is $33,490 higher than what field scientists make on average every year.

      Even though field scientists and technical fellows have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require r, epa, and gps in the day-to-day roles.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a field scientist responsibility requires skills such as "data collection," "water quality," "asbestos," and "diagnostic tests." Whereas a technical fellow is skilled in "new technologies," "sql," "intellectual property," and "photoshop." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Technical fellows really shine in the professional industry with an average salary of $135,553. Whereas field scientists tend to make the most money in the health care industry with an average salary of $98,803.

      On average, technical fellows reach higher levels of education than field scientists. Technical fellows are 6.2% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 32.8% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of an Environmental Service Technician?

      An environmental service technician is an employee who works in a hospital or healthcare facility to maintain cleanliness and a healthy environment within the premises. Environmental service technicians are involved in traditional janitorial tasks as well as proper handling and disposal of biological waste. Although not responsible for laundering them, they are required to distribute linens and keep track of the linens used per department. Environmental service technicians must also refill toilet papers and other paper products to rooms when needed.

      The next role we're going to look at is the environmental service technician profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $32,275 lower salary than field scientists per year.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, field scientist responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "data collection," "water quality," "asbestos," and "r." Meanwhile, a environmental service technician might be skilled in areas such as "environmental services," "customer service," "common areas," and "floor care." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, environmental service technicians earn a lower salary than field scientists. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, environmental service technicians earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $28,862. Whereas, field scientists have higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $98,803.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, environmental service technicians tend to reach lower levels of education than field scientists. In fact, they're 19.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 32.8% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Water Quality Analyst Compares

      Let's now take a look at the water quality analyst profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than field scientists with a $7,803 difference per year.

      By looking over several field scientists and water quality analysts resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "water quality," "diagnostic tests," and "epa." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a field scientist is likely to be skilled in "data collection," "asbestos," "r," and "gps," while a typical water quality analyst is skilled in "laboratory equipment," "water chemistry," "environmental compliance," and "ph levels."

      When it comes to education, water quality analysts tend to earn higher education levels than field scientists. In fact, they're 5.1% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Environmental Technician

      An environmental technician is responsible for identifying, evaluating, preventing, and controlling contamination of the environment. They study how it affects human health with the supervision of environmental engineers and environmental scientists. Environmental technicians work by monitoring the environment and look for possible sources of pollution and contamination that can possibly affect public health. They make sure that environmental violations are prevented. In addition, an environmental technician also investigates any complaint that is related to water quality, air quality, and food safety.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than field scientists. On average, environmental technicians earn a difference of $24,525 lower per year.

      While both field scientists and environmental technicians complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like data collection, water quality, and asbestos, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "r," "diagnostic tests," "aerial photographs," and "safety plans" are skills that have shown up on field scientists resumes. Additionally, environmental technician uses skills like facility, osha, customer service, and heavy equipment on their resumes.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The pharmaceutical industry tends to pay more for environmental technicians with an average of $42,125. While the highest field scientist annual salary comes from the health care industry.

      In general, environmental technicians reach lower levels of education when compared to field scientists resumes. Environmental technicians are 12.4% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 2.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.