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Become A Natural Science Curator

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Working As A Natural Science Curator

  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Make Decisions

  • $112,112

    Average Salary

What Does A Natural Science Curator Do

Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.

Duties

Natural sciences managers typically do the following:

  • Work with top executives to develop goals and strategies for researchers and developers
  • Budget resources for projects and programs by determining staffing, training, and equipment needs
  • Hire, supervise, and evaluate scientists, technicians, and other staff members
  • Review staff members’ methodology and the accuracy of their research results
  • Ensure that laboratories are stocked with equipment and supplies
  • Monitor the progress of projects, review research performed, and draft operational reports
  • Provide technical assistance to scientists, technicians, and support staff
  • Establish and follow administrative procedures, policies, and standards
  • Communicate project proposals, research findings, and the status of projects to clients and top management

Natural sciences managers direct scientific research activities and direct and coordinate product development projects and production activities. The duties of natural sciences managers vary with the field of science (for example, biology or chemistry) or the industry they work in. Research projects may be aimed at improving manufacturing processes, advancing basic scientific knowledge, or developing new products.

Some natural sciences managers are former scientists and, after becoming managers, may continue to conduct their own research as well as oversee the work of others. These managers are sometimes called working managers and usually have smaller staffs, allowing them to do research in addition to carrying out their administrative duties.

Managers who are responsible for larger staffs may not have time to contribute to research and may spend all their time performing administrative duties.

Laboratory managers need to ensure that laboratories are fully supplied so that scientists can run their tests and experiments. Some specialize in the management of laboratory animals.

During all stages of a project, natural sciences managers coordinate the activities of their unit with those of other units or organizations. They work with higher levels of management; with financial, production, and marketing specialists; and with suppliers of equipment and materials.

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How To Become A Natural Science Curator

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. Natural sciences managers typically have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a related field, such as engineering. Some managers may find it helpful to have an advanced management degree—for example, a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), or a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Education

Natural sciences managers typically begin their careers as scientists; therefore, most have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a closely related field, such as engineering. Scientific and technical knowledge is essential for managers because they must be able to understand the work of their subordinates and provide technical assistance when needed. 

Natural sciences managers who are interested in acquiring postsecondary education in management should be able to find master’s degree or Ph.D. programs in a natural science that incorporate business management courses. A relatively new type of degree, called the Professional Science Master’s (PSM), blends advanced training in a particular science field with business skills, such as communications and program management, and policy. Those interested in acquiring general management skills may pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Some natural sciences managers will have studied psychology or some other management-related field to enter this occupation.

Sciences managers must continually upgrade their knowledge because of the rapid growth of scientific developments.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. While employed as scientists, they typically are given more responsibility and independence in their work as they gain experience. Eventually, they may lead research teams and have control over the direction and content of projects before being promoted to an administrative position.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not typically required to become a natural sciences manager, many relevant certifications are available. These certifications range from those related to specific scientific areas of study or practice, such as laboratory animal management, to general management topics, such as project management, and are useful to natural sciences managers regardless of the organization being managed.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to communicate clearly to a variety of audiences, such as scientists, policymakers, and the public. Both written and oral communication are important.

Critical-thinking skills. Natural sciences managers must carefully evaluate the work of others. They must determine if their staff’s methods and results are based on sound science.

Interpersonal skills. Natural sciences managers lead research teams and therefore need to work well with others in order to reach common goals. Managers routinely deal with conflict, which they must be able to turn into positive outcomes for their organization.

Leadership skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to organize, direct, and motivate others. They need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their workers and create an environment in which the workers can succeed.

Problem-solving skills. Natural sciences managers use scientific observation and analysis to find solutions to complex technical questions.

Time-management skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to do multiple administrative, supervisory, and technical tasks while ensuring that projects remain on schedule.

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Natural Science Curator Typical Career Paths

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Natural Science Curator Demographics

Gender

Male

48.1%

Female

48.1%

Unknown

3.7%
Ethnicity

White

49.4%

Asian

17.5%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Black or African American

10.9%

Unknown

9.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Japanese

50.0%

Spanish

50.0%

Natural Science Curator Education

Schools

Rice University

5.0%

University of Florida

5.0%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

5.0%

Lindenwood University

5.0%

University of Texas at Austin

5.0%

Miami University

5.0%

Northwestern University

5.0%

Hampshire College

5.0%

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

5.0%

North Carolina State University

5.0%

Appalachian State University

5.0%

Jacksonville University

5.0%

Arizona State University

5.0%

South Dakota State University

5.0%

Colorado State University

5.0%

University of Puerto Rico - Humacao

5.0%

University of Houston - Downtown

5.0%

Saint Olaf College

5.0%

Inter American University of Puerto Rico San German

5.0%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.0%
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Majors

Biology

15.4%

Environmental Science

11.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

7.7%

Anthropology

7.7%

Zoology

7.7%

Botany

3.8%

Management

3.8%

Natural Sciences

3.8%

School Counseling

3.8%

Agricultural Production Operations

3.8%

Fine Arts

3.8%

Microbiology

3.8%

Food Science

3.8%

Civil Engineering

3.8%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

3.8%

Mathematics

3.8%

Education

3.8%

Biomedical Engineering

3.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

61.5%

Masters

23.1%

Other

7.7%

Doctorate

3.8%

Certificate

3.8%
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