What Can You Do with a Science Degree?
Science is an expansive field and runs the gamut from medical researchers to environmental specialists and economic experts. If you enjoy studying complex systems and want to make an impact by improving the world in which we live, then pursuing a degree in science gives you a multitude of options to create a career out of your passions!
List of the Top 40 Science Careers & Salaries
There are many science-related careers that you can pursue after earning a specialized degree in the field. To give you an idea the breadth of choices, we have put together a list of 40 popular science occupations and their respective median annual salaries.
|Job Title||Job Summary||Median Salary|
|Data Scientist, IT||Mines complex data and provides expert systems-related advice for their company.||$93,146|
|Astronomer||Uses high-tech instruments to create scientific observations about the location and movements of objects in the sky.||$87,500|
|Materials Scientist||Examines the chemical properties of materials to find ways to apply them that meets the needs of their organization.||$82,660|
|Research Scientist, Biotechnology||Conducts laboratory experiments that study the chemical composition and processes of living organisms.||$79,067|
|Research Scientist||Specializes in tasks that gather knowledge and research in order to advance various scientific fields.||$76,600|
|Financial Controller||In charge of the financial departments of an organization and works to ensure that procedures and policies are in compliance.||$76,344|
|Economist||Advises businesses and government organizations in varying aspects of economics.||$74,447|
|Fire Protection Engineer||Works as a fire protection expert who designs fire detection and elimination equipment for businesses.||$73,776|
|Lead Nuclear Medicine Technologist||Prepares radiopharmaceuticals and administers radiation treatments to patients under the direction of a physician.||$73,021|
|Nuclear Medicine Technologist||Provides quality care to patients by performing therapeutic and diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures.||$64,715|
|Epidemiologist||Research scientist who focuses on studying the spread of communicable diseases and the vectors in which they spread.||$63,380|
|Hydrologist||Works for a government agency or company to study water, water availability, and the water cycle.||$62,260|
|Sociologist||Researches and studies humans in groups to analyze how they respond to the world.||$61,825|
|Environmental Protection Specialist||Helps organizations ensure that they are in compliance with environmental standards set by federal, state, and local laws.||$60,879|
|Food Scientist||Performs a variety of tasks related to the production, testing, and consumption of food.||$59,833|
|Geographer||Constructs and interprets maps, researches natural geography, and consults with organizations on the assessment of geographic conditions.||$58,806|
|Geological/Petroleum Technician||Assists scientists and engineers in both data and hands-on tasks involving geological conditions in oil or gas wells.||$58,333|
|Clinical Laboratory Scientist||Typically works in hospitals or medical laboratories to assist in the research of diseases and microorganisms.||$57,528|
|Biochemist||Works with molecules and compounds at a cellular level to create more effective medications and diagnose diseases.||$56,496|
|Survey Researcher||Conducts surveys and collects data to gather research into people’s opinions, preferences, and beliefs.||$53,970|
|Urban Planner||Maps out effective usage of a community’s land and infrastructure by analyzing economic, environmental, and social trends.||$52,410|
|Chemist||Typically works in a lab setting to maintain specialized equipment and analyze scientific data.||$52,365|
|Zoologist||Employed by universities, wildlife agencies, and zoos to conduct habitat surveys and study animal species.||$52,283|
|Political Scientist||Performs research and provides expert advice on political policy and actions.||$51,619|
|Environmental Consultant||Works in a variety of industries to assess the environmental impact of a company and ensure regulation compliance.||$51,583|
|Meteorologist||Makes weather observations and predictions that are passed on to the public or clients in specialized fields.||$51,255|
|Electrician||Maintains and troubleshoots electrical equipment after earning a journeyman electrician’s license.||$50,397|
|Anthropologist||Focuses on answering complex questions that are related to human origins using various scientific fields of study.||$50,000|
|Archaeologist||Supervises archaeological excavations and works to plan, develop, and perform lab and field work.||$49,487|
|Microbiologist||Studies the biology of microorganisms and accurately records research findings in technical reports.||$49,304|
|Environmental Scientist||Generally employed by the government to conduct research on environmental issues.||$48,909|
|Forester||Maintains, studies, and gathers data on natural habitats that include lakes, mountains, and grasslands.||$47,547|
|Soil Conservationist||Conducts research and implements management plans related to soil concerns such as irrigation and flood control.||$47,500|
|Historian||Studies events, politics, ideas, and people from the past by interpreting various historical documents and sources.||$45,385|
|Chemical Technician||Works in industrial facilities that process or deal with chemicals to conduct quality control surveys and maintain equipment.||$44,547|
|Exercise Physiologist||Assists individuals with restoring strength and functioning of their body through customized exercise programs.||$41,049|
|Environmental Technician||Works in the field to examine soil and water in the environment and make recommendations based upon data collected.||$40,409|
|Forensic Science Technician||Works for a police department and supports the forensic science unit with receiving and processing items collected in investigations.||$40,264|
|Biological Science Laboratory Technician||Responsible for a wide variety of tasks related to plant specimen research within a biological laboratory.||$38,194|
|Agricultural Technician||Assists agricultural scientists by performing duties including measuring and analyzing the quality of agricultural products.||$36,480|
*Data provided by Payscale.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What can you do with a Science Degree?
As you can see from the table above, there are several ways to use your science degree to create a rewarding and challenging career. The science field as a whole covers life, physical, and social science, leaving students interested in science-related work with a number of choices for degree specialization. Whether you want to have a part in developing new medical equipment and treatments or enjoy consulting with companies to help them succeed, the options are endless for opportunities to utilize your science degree!
Science graduates earn a respectable annual pay, as shown in the previous table. All of the salaries listed are above the national average across all occupations, and there is ample opportunity to advance within your career field. Like most careers, the salary for science jobs is largely dependent on your amount of schooling and experience, so you may make more or less than the median pay listed above.
What is a Science Degree?
The majority of colleges offer a number of degree programs related to the field of science, giving students a wide range of choices for specialization! Some career paths may only require an associate’s degree or certificate, while top-level science professionals often have completed rigorous graduate degree programs.
The degree that you choose to pursue depends largely on your future goals and interests. For example, if you are interested in studying humanity, then sociology or anthropology may be the right degree program for you. If the medical world interests you, then you can pursue degree paths that involve research, treatment, and diagnosis of new medical technology.
A few of the most popular scientific degrees available include the following:
- Computer Science
- Biology and Biotechnology
- Fire Science
- Nutritional Science
- Veterinary Science
- Geographic Information Systems
With advances in technology, it is now possible to earn many science degrees right from the comfort of your own home! Reputable colleges across the country offer online science degree programs that combine the flexibility of on-demand scheduling with instruction from top experts in scientific fields.
Science Career Outlook
The overall trend for science related occupations is positive, and this is largely due to the development of new technology and advancement of scientific discoveries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is an excellent resource for gathering a variety of data on specific science career paths, including job outlook, annual salaries, and occupational responsibilities.
The BLS shows that careers in life, physical, and social sciences will experience a projected growth of 7% between 2014 and 2024, resulting in an estimated 97,600 new jobs within the field. This growth is on par with the national average across all occupations, and is great news for students looking to pursue a career in the science field.
Earning a degree in science opens the door to a wide range of job opportunities that allow you to make an impact on the world around you. From business to medicine, skilled scientific professionals are in high demand to help our world advance to the society of the future. If this sounds like a career path that matches your goals and interests, then there is no better time than now to start the journey to earning your science degree!