0 selections
0 selections

What is a Scientist

Science plays an important role in all our lives. It creates new knowledge, improves education, and increases the quality of our lives. If you like the idea of exploring the world around you and making new discoveries, then you should consider becoming a scientist. If you decide to become a scientist, you could end up working in either the public or private sector. Scientists work in a wide range of settings, including chemical and pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, universities, food and drink manufacturers, hospitals, and environmental agencies.

As part of their job, scientists plan and carry out experiments and then record and analyze the data. They typically specialize in a particular field, such as geoscience, meteorology, or pharmacology. It is crucial that scientists follow the scientific method as a means of ensuring their results are accurate.

Research scientists need a bachelor's degree in a closely related field for most positions. Usually, a master's degree or a PhD is preferred.

What Does a Scientist Do

Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

Learn more about what a Scientist does

How To Become a Scientist

Medical scientists typically have a Ph.D., usually in biology or a related life science. Some medical scientists get a medical degree instead of a Ph.D., but prefer doing research to practicing as a physician.

Education

Students planning careers as medical scientists typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field. Undergraduate students benefit from taking a broad range of classes, including life sciences, physical sciences, and math. Students also typically take courses that develop communication and writing skills, because they must learn to write grants effectively and publish research findings.

After students have completed their undergraduate studies, they typically enter Ph.D. programs. Dual-degree programs are available that pair a Ph.D. with a range of specialized medical degrees. A few degree programs that are commonly paired with Ph.D. studies are Medical Doctor (M.D.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Whereas Ph.D. studies focus on research methods, such as project design and data interpretation, students in dual-degree programs learn both the clinical skills needed to be a physician and the research skills needed to be a scientist.

Graduate programs emphasize both laboratory work and original research. These programs offer prospective medical scientists the opportunity to develop their experiments and, sometimes, to supervise undergraduates. Ph.D. programs culminate in a thesis that the candidate presents before a committee of professors. Students may specialize in a particular field, such as gerontology, neurology, or cancer.

Those who go to medical school spend most of the first 2 years in labs and classrooms, taking courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, microbiology, pathology, medical ethics, and medical law. They also learn how to record medical histories, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses. They may be required to participate in residency programs, meeting the same requirements that physicians and surgeons have to fulfill.

Medical scientists often continue their education with postdoctoral work. Postdoctoral work provides additional and more independent lab experience, including experience in specific processes and techniques such as gene splicing, which is transferable to other research projects.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Medical scientists primarily conduct research and typically do not need licenses or certifications. However, those who administer drugs, gene therapy, or otherwise practice medicine on patients in clinical trials or a private practice need a license to practice as a physician.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Communication is critical, because medical scientists must be able to explain their conclusions. In addition, medical scientists write grant proposals, because grants often are required to fund their research.

Critical-thinking skills. Medical scientists must use their expertise to determine the best method for solving a specific research question.

Data-analysis skills. Medical scientists use statistical techniques, so that they can properly quantify and analyze health research questions.

Decisionmaking skills. Medical scientists must determine what research questions to ask, how best to investigate the questions, and what data will best answer the questions.

Observation skills. Medical scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other health data. Any mistake could lead to inconclusive or misleading results.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (351)
  2. Battelle Jobs (443)
  3. Amazon Jobs (1,314)
  4. Genentech Jobs (123)
  5. Illumina Jobs (82)
Average Salary
$94,940
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
71,339
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Scientist Career Paths

Scientist Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Scientist

Scientists in America make an average salary of $94,940 per year or $46 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $135,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $66,000 per year.
Average Salary
$94,940
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Scientist? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

12 Scientist Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Scientist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Scientist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Scientist Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (351)
  2. Battelle Jobs (443)
  3. Amazon Jobs (1,314)
  4. Genentech Jobs (123)
  5. Illumina Jobs (82)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Scientist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Scientist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Scientist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume
Scientist Resume

Scientist Demographics

Scientist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
57%
Female
Female
43%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Scientists, 43.1% of them are women, while 56.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Scientists is White, which makes up 56.3% of all Scientists.

  • The most common foreign language among Scientists is Spanish at 30.6%.

Job Openings

Find the best Scientist job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Scientist Jobs You Might Like

Scientist Education

Scientist Majors

27.1 %
21.2 %

Scientist Degrees

Bachelors

60.4 %

Masters

18.8 %

Doctorate

16.5 %

Top Colleges for Scientists

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

7. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

8. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

9. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

10. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764
Job Openings

Find the best Scientist job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Scientist Jobs You Might Like

Online Courses For Scientist That You May Like

Become A Master in HPLC Technique - (Liquid Chromatography)
udemy
4.1
(712)

Become A Professional in HPLC From A to Z - Your Comprehensive guideline. The first and the lonely Chemistry HPLC course...

R Programming: Advanced Analytics In R For Data Science
udemy
4.6
(7,499)

Take Your R & R Studio Skills To The Next Level. Data Analytics, Data Science, Statistical Analysis in Business, GGPlot2...

Practical SQL Bootcamp for Data Analysts and Data Scientists
udemy
4.7
(786)

Master One of the Most In-Demand Skills for Data Analysts in 2020!...

Show More Scientist Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Scientist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.8% of Scientists listed Procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Observation skills are important as well.

Best States For a Scientist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Scientist. The best states for people in this position are California, Tennessee, Nevada, and Hawaii. Scientists make the most in California with an average salary of $127,468. Whereas in Tennessee and Nevada, they would average $105,022 and $104,538, respectively. While Scientists would only make an average of $100,545 in Hawaii, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Scientist Jobs:
6,346
Highest 10% Earn:
$185,000
Location Quotient:
2.05
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Scientist Jobs:
115
Highest 10% Earn:
$140,000
Location Quotient:
0.89
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Jersey

Total Scientist Jobs:
1,118
Highest 10% Earn:
$133,000
Location Quotient:
1.33
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Scientists

How Do Scientist Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Scientist? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Scientist?
Rate how you like work as Scientist. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Scientist Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Scientists and discovered their number of Scientist opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Amazon was the best, especially with an average salary of $122,856. Battelle follows up with an average salary of $123,374, and then comes Microsoft with an average of $168,441. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Scientist. The employers include Salesforce, Pfizer, and Sutter Health

Most Common Employers For Scientist

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Scientist SalaryAverage Salary
1$168,441
2$123,374
3$122,856
4$114,464
5$110,865
6$105,780

What are the best companies to work for a Scientist?

Paul Badger Ph.D.

Department Head of Science, Associate Professor, & Science Laboratory Safety Coordinator, Robert Morris University

Some of the best companies to work for are companies or industries with a long history of research and development in the general field of biology. Explicitly speaking, companies associated with the healthcare industry, life sciences, or environmental sciences usually hire graduates with degrees in science fields.

Those jobs are relatively secure with opportunities for advancement over the long term. Another occupation with potential for growth that traditionally hires biology graduates in the field of forensic science. The demand for qualified biology educators has been relatively steady over the years and offers another lot where biology graduates may find employment. Science is the driver for innovation in many areas, from technology to healthcare to agriculture, and design in these areas can lead to market growth and job creation.
Show more

Becoming a Scientist FAQs

Can anyone be a scientist?

No, not anyone can be a scientist. To be a scientist requires rigorous schooling and extensive research experience. In fact, more than 95% of scientists have a Ph.D., which requires at least 8 to 10 years of college.

How many years does it take to become a scientist?

It takes about 8 to 10 years to become a scientist. Depending on the chosen scientific field, a doctorate degree is most often required. To become a scientist usually requires a PhD. in your field, and extensive lab experience.

What qualifications do I need to become a scientist?

The qualifications needed to become a scientist are extensive schooling and research experience within your given field of study. It takes most scientists between 10 to 12 years to become a scientist. A four-year bachelor's degree, however, may be sufficient for some entry-level scientist positions.

Who is a famous scientist today?

A famous scientist today is Jane Goodall. Jane Goodall is a British primatologist known as the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees. She has studied social and family interactions with wild chimps for over 55 years.

Who is the most famous scientist?

The most famous scientist is Albert Einstein. While there are many famous scientists, Albert Einstein is considered one of the greatest revolutionary scientists the world has ever known.

Search For Scientist Jobs

0 selections
0 selections