19 Fascinating Careers in Science (With Salaries and Duties)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 3 September 2022 | Published 1 November 2021
Updated 3 September 2022
Published 1 November 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A science career is a great option if you're looking for a role that's varied, rewarding and challenging. A career in science allows you to improve people's lives and develop your knowledge and understanding of people, nature and the world. Learning about careers in science can help you find one that suits your interests and professional goals. In this article, we explore 19 careers in science, including the primary responsibilities for each role and the average salary, for you to consider when choosing a career path.
19 fascinating careers in science
Here are 19 exciting careers in science for you to explore:
National average salary: $2,219 per month
Primary duties: A laboratory technician helps physicians diagnose and treat diseases. Some of their primary responsibilities include performing tests on blood, tissue and other body fluids, and designing and executing lab testing according to procedures. They may also conduct research experiments on specimens to learn more about certain conditions and how they affect people.
National average salary: $2,739 per month
Primary duties: A horticulturist is a scientist who specialises in the cultivation of plants. They have advanced knowledge of different plants, such as flowers and shrubs, which they use to grow healthy plants and educate others on plant care. Some horticulturists work in nurseries or garden centres helping customers choose plants, while others work for landscape design firms, creating concepts for lawns and gardens.
National average salary: $3,291 per month
Primary duties: An optometrist is a health care professional who examines their patients' eyes, evaluates their vision and treats minor conditions. Optometrists, sometimes called eye doctors, focus on the general health and functionality of the eyes. They may prescribe glasses or contact lenses, perform basic eye tests and prescribe medications, such as medicated eye drops. Optometrists refer their patients who require surgery or advanced treatment for an eye condition to other medical specialists, such as ophthalmologists.
National average salary: $3,472 per month
Primary duties: A chemist is a scientist who studies chemistry, or the study of chemical substances and how they interact with one another. Their primary responsibilities include preparing test solutions, compounds and reagents and analysing organic and inorganic compounds. They may also develop and customise products, formulas and analytical methods and write technical papers and reports.
National average salary: $3,478 per month
Primary duties: A geologist studies the earth's processes, such as landslides, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to survey the land and create safe building plans. They investigate metals and minerals and look for natural gas, water, oil and methods for extracting them. Their primary responsibilities include investigating the structure and evolution of the earth, surveying and mapping sites, collecting and recording samples, analysing data, preparing reports and advising managerial and technical staff.
National average salary: $4,150 per month
Primary duties: A pharmacist is a health care professional who specialises in dispensing medication. They fill prescriptions sent to them by doctors, provide the medications to the patient, advise the patient on how to properly store and use the medications and answer the patient's questions. Pharmacists may also offer treatment advice for minor illnesses and injuries by recommending medications and products.
Read more: How To Become a Pharmacist in 3 Steps
National average salary: $4,191 per month
Primary duties: A metallurgist is an engineer who studies metals like aluminium, iron and copper to determine their components and how to use them. Metallurgists can choose between three specialities. Chemical metallurgists extract metal from ores, physical metallurgists test metals to determine how they react to specific circumstances, and process metallurgists design and shape metal parts.
National average salary: $4,369 per month
Primary duties: A robotics engineer is an engineer who specialises in creating robots and other types of artificial intelligence systems. They create robotic machinery to perform tasks that are challenging or impossible for humans to complete on their own. Their designs help improve efficiency in industries such as medicine, manufacturing and transportation.
National average salary: $4,392 per month
Primary duties: A psychologist is a scientist who specialises in the study of the human mind and how it functions. Clinical psychologists evaluate patients for mental health conditions, treat them using therapy and monitor their progress so they can adjust their treatment plans accordingly. Research psychologists typically work at universities, where they conduct research on issues and trends within their discipline so they can make contributions to their field.
National average salary: $4,645 per month
Primary duties: A biologist is a scientist who specialises in the study of living things. They study animals, humans, plants or bacteria to develop knowledge and understanding of living processes. While their specific responsibilities can vary depending on the specific field of study they work in, some of their primary duties include conducting research, performing tests and experiments, collecting samples and measurements and reporting their findings.
National average salary: $4,697 per month
Primary duties: A physiotherapist is a health care practitioner who helps patients with their physical rehabilitation needs. They typically work with patients who have recently had surgery or an injury by evaluating their condition and developing a customised treatment plan that includes specific exercises. Physiotherapists assist their patients in completing these exercises to help them increase mobility, decrease pain and improve balance or motor skills.
National average salary: $5,116 per month
Primary duties: An epidemiologist is a health researcher who investigates the causes of disease and injury in humans. Their primary responsibilities include overseeing public health programs, investigating diseases and parasites, planning and directing studies and planning and evaluating health safety standards and programs. Epidemiologists aim to use their research to reduce the occurrence and severity of illness and disease.
National average salary: $6,657 per month
Primary duties: Research scientists design and analyse information collected from controlled laboratory investigations, trials and experiments. Their primary responsibilities include planning and conducting experiments, doing fieldwork, recording and analysing data, presenting results to key stakeholders and writing papers and reports. Many research scientists also educate university students and the scientific community on their findings.
National average salary: $6,777 per month
Primary duties: A veterinarian is a health care professional who specialises in providing medical care to animals. They consult with pet owners, evaluate their patients, provide preventive care services such as vaccines, identify and diagnose illnesses or injuries and treat their patients to improve their health. Veterinarians may work with domesticated animals, wildlife, exotic animals or livestock.
National average salary: $7,695 per month
Primary duties: A surgeon is a doctor who specialises in performing operations to help improve their patients' health. Surgeons assess their patients to ensure they meet the criteria for a surgical procedure, answer their patients' questions and prepare them for surgery and perform operations to treat injuries and diseases. Surgeons may perform surgery on patients who need emergency care or require a hospital stay, or they may perform outpatient operations for common or minor conditions.
National average salary: $8,019 per month
Primary duties: A cardiology physician is a doctor who specialises in heart treatment. Cardiology care for patients with heart concerns, such as heart disease or irregular heartbeat. They conduct laboratory, electrical and imaging tests on patients to identify and diagnose their conditions and develop treatment plans. Cardiology physicians communicate with their patients to explain their conditions and respond to questions, monitor their patients' progress and refer patients to other medical specialists as needed.
17. Senior scientist
National average salary: $8,306 per month
Primary duties: A senior scientist designs and conducts studies to investigate human diseases. Some of their primary responsibilities include preparing and analysing samples and data to investigate the causes and treatment of diseases, standardising drug potency and doses, developing programs to improve health and writing research grant proposals. Senior scientists often lead research teams at universities, health care organisations and pharmaceutical companies.
National average salary: $10,494 per month
Primary duties: A forensic scientist helps to investigate crimes by collecting and analysing evidence. Forensic scientists usually specialise in laboratory analysis or crime scene investigation. Their primary duties include documenting and preserving evidence found at scenes of crimes and accidents, performing tests, analysing the evidence and reporting their findings in a written report for investigators and prosecutors.
National average salary: $12,274 per month
Primary duties: A meteorologist is a scientist who studies the weather and climate. They study data from satellites and radar images to forecast the weather, identify trends or changes in the climate and determine how weather and climate concerns may affect people and the environment. Meteorologists sometimes work for media outlets, such as television or radio stations, to broadcast expected temperatures and chances for precipitation.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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