Science Job Titles: Academia, Government, and Industry

Scientist analyzing medical sample in laboratory
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Science jobs are growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment in life, physical, and social science jobs are expected to increase 5% between 2019 and 2029—faster than the average for all occupations.

Science Career Options

These jobs also offer solid salary potential. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for science occupations was $68,160 in May 2019, when the most recent data was calculated. For comparison, the median annual wage for all occupations that same month was $39,810.

Depending on your background, skills, and interests, you may find jobs in academia, government, or private industry.

Just be aware that there is a wide range of educational requirements. A technician, lab assistant, or field assistant might need to acquire intensive training and certification only in the specialized tasks that the job entails.

For many regulatory or industrial jobs, a masters’ degree is a standard requirement. Professorships require a doctorate in the subject.

Academic Jobs

Jobs in academia usually involve teaching, but some positions are focused on research projects. The actual job title seldom reflects the distinction.

However, tenure-track jobs of any kind in academia are on the decline. According to data analysis by the American Association of University Professors, tenure-track teaching positions accounted for only 27% of instructional jobs in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available.

Titles include professor, assistant professor, adjunct professor, and lecturer. Technicians, assistants, field researchers, and interns also belong to academia if they work for professors. Such positions are usually filled by graduate students, who may or may not be paid.

Government Jobs

Many science jobs in government involve working for regulatory agencies at the federal, state, or even local level. These science job titles include ecologist, water resource specialist, and aquatic animal health inspector.

Some government agencies, such as the military or the National Park Service, conduct their own scientific research. Titles for these positions often include military or civil service rank. For example, a GPS specialist might also be a GS-10 National Park Service ranger.

Industrial and Non-Profit Jobs

Businesses in fields such as pharmaceuticals, engineering, wetland remediation, logging, mining, and fossil fuels employ scientists of various specializations.

Non-profit organizations, especially those in the environmental and medical fields, employ scientists as researchers or educators, to help interpret current research and to draft organizational policy.

Miscellaneous Science Jobs

Many jobs requiring scientific knowledge do not fit into any of the above categories. These include science teachers, research librarians, science writers and journalists, and science educators.

For some scientists, a career path that begins in the field winds up in management or administration, or even politics. Thus, there are fully qualified scientists who have job titles such as director of outreach and member services or vice president of alumni relations.

Science Job Titles

This comprehensive list of job titles in the science industry can help you narrow down your career interests. It will certainly give you an appreciation of the breadth of the field.

A - D

  • Analyst
  • Analytical Lab Technician
  • Analytical Services Chemist
  • Assay Development Specialist
  • Assistant Field Technician
  • Assistant Technician
  • Associate Professor
  • Bioanalytical Scientist
  • Biochemist
  • Bioinformatics Research Scientist
  • Biology Professor
  • Biological Technician
  • Business Analyst
  • Business System Analyst
  • Cell Biology Scientist
  • Cell Line Development Manager
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Chemical Technician
  • Climate Data Analyst
  • Clinical Data Research
  • Clinical Pharmacology Professor
  • Clinical Pharmacy Assistant
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Clinical Research Director
  • Compliance Technician
  • Computational Chemistry Manager
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computing Consultant
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Conservation Technician
  • Contact Tracer
  • Development Technologist
  • Drug Evaluator
  • Drug Regulatory Affairs Manager

E - L

  • Environmental Data Analyst
  • Environmental Emergencies Assistant
  • Environmental Emergencies Planner
  • Environmental Health Scientist
  • Environmental Project Analyst
  • Environmental Research Assistant
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental Services Representative
  • Environmental Specialist
  • Exploration Director
  • Field Applications Specialist
  • Field Technician
  • Financial Analyst
  • Forensic Chemist
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Gene Editing Manager
  • Geoscientist
  • Genetic Counselor
  • Grants/Proposal Writer
  • Groundwater Technician
  • Hardware Designer
  • Health Research Assistant
  • Health Technology Assistant
  • Hospital Accounting Analyst
  • Hospital Research Assistant
  • Human Factors Engineer
  • Hydrologist
  • Immunology Scientist
  • Industrial Designer
  • IT Support Staff
  • Institutional Research Director
  • Insurance Representative
  • Intranet Specialist
  • Intranet Support
  • Junior Analyst
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Laboratory Instructor
  • Laboratory Manager
  • Laboratory Technician

M - R

  • Market Access Analyst
  • Market Access Associate
  • Marketing Consultant
  • Medical Communications Director
  • Medical Physics Researcher
  • Medical Research Assistant
  • Medical Research Technician
  • Medical Scientist
  • Medical Services Assistant
  • Molecular Biologist
  • Molecular Scientist
  • Oncology Researcher
  • Operations Clerk
  • Operations Research Analysis Manager
  • Operations Section Manager
  • Operations Supervisor
  • Operations Team Leader
  • Operations Unit Manager
  • Organic Lab Research Assistant
  • Organic Lab Worker
  • Pharmaceutical Assistant
  • Pharmaceutical Marketing Assistant
  • Pharmaceutical Research Analyst
  • Pharmaceutical Research Assistant
  • Pharmaceutical Research Technician
  • Pharmaceutical Technician
  • Pharmacovigilance Supervisor
  • Pharmacy Affairs Assistant
  • Pharmacy Assistant
  • Pharmacy Innovation Assistant
  • Power Regulator
  • Process Engineer
  • Process Inspector
  • Process Research Manager
  • Product Engineer
  • Product Test Specialist
  • Production Team Leader
  • Production Test Supervisor
  • Professional Programs Assistant
  • Project Manager
  • Public Health Specialist
  • Quality Assistant
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Quality Assurance Technologist
  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Quality Control Manager
  • Quality Control Supervisor
  • Regulatory Affairs Associate
  • Regulatory Affairs Director
  • Regulatory Officer
  • Rehabilitation Engineering Assistant
  • Reimbursement Analyst
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Chemist
  • Research Team Leader
  • Research Technician
  • Research and Development Associate
  • Research and Development Chemist
  • Research and Development Director
  • Research and Development Manager
  • Research and Development Supervisor
  • Research and Development Technician
  • Research and Development Tester
  • Research and Innovation Manager
  • Research Scientist
  • Researcher
  • Retail Analyst
  • Safety Data Specialist
  • Sales Analyst
  • Satellite Data Analyst
  • Science Technician
  • Scientific Artist
  • Scientific Programmer
  • Scientific Project Manager
  • Scientific Writer
  • Senior Pharmacy Student
  • Software Developer
  • Software Engineering Assistant
  • Solid Waste Field Technician
  • Special Projects Coordinator
  • Statistician
  • Stem Cell Researcher
  • STEM Career Advisor
  • Structural Biologist
  • Structural Engineer
  • Systems Analyst

T - Z

  • Technical Application Specialist
  • Technical Support Technician
  • Technical Writer
  • Technology Research Analyst
  • Technology Research Manager
  • Technology Specialist
  • Therapeutic Director
  • Total Quality Management Director
  • Total Quality Manager
  • Toxicologist
  • Transportation Project Manager

Article Sources

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations.” Accessed
    Dec. 14, 2020.

  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations.” Accessed Dec. 14,
    2020.

  3. American Association of University Professors. “Data Snapshot: Contingent Faculty in US Higher Ed.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2020.

  4. U.S. Army. “Careers & Jobs.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2020.

  5. National Park Service. “Science and Research.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2020.