Careers using Science
Good at sciences?
There are a huge range of career opportunities that have a strong basis in science.
Science is about understanding; sometimes this understanding can help us to improve the world we live in. It relates to just about every aspect of our lives; our working environment, leisure time, and our health.
Biology, chemistry, physics, and maths are the basis of scientific careers and there are plenty of opportunities to specialise. Qualifications in science can lead to opportunities in fields such as medicine, the pharmaceutical industry, teaching, and environmental work.
Would any of the following appeal to you?
- investigating new, sustainable energy sources
- developing materials for the aerospace industry
- taking water samples to monitor pollution levels in rivers
- doing quality control on a new range of dips for a food manufacturer
- researching new drugs for cancer treatment
- inventing new products
- working with athletes to improve their performance
- developing environmentally friendly clothes
- using telescopes to discover previously unseen parts of space
- researching ways of protecting crops through biological control
- analysing the results of stem cell experiments in mice
- designing new knee replacement joints.
All of these things (and many more) are done by scientists working in the fields of healthcare, the environment, space science, technology, and so on.
For science based careers, as well as being good at science and technology, you’ll need to;
- have good communication and teamwork skills
- have good problem solving skills
- to be reliable and conscientious, paying attention to detail
- show sensitivity, tact, and understanding (for those in patient contact)
Jobs using science with a focus on caring for patients include;
|Nurse and midwife||Operating department practitioner|
|Dietician||Speech and language therapist|
|Clinical psychologist||Occupational therapist|
|Other therapists, including Art therapists||Optician|
|Radiographer||Dental nurse / hygienist|
|Range of technician and supporting role, including therapy assistants||Dental technician|
|Prosthetist and orthotist||Management roles|
|Dentist||Health promotion work|
There are plenty of other science based careers. These include:
|Biomedical scientist (a variety of jobs)||Sports scientist|
|Environmental scientist||Medical illustrator|
|Chemical engineer||Food scientist|
Getting started and progressing
For entry to most scientific careers, two science GCSEs are a minimum requirement. If you are serious about a career in science, you should try to take as many science courses as possible to keep your options open.
You can get into a basic scientific job with GCSEs or the equivalent. Most scientific jobs at GCSE/A-Level entry standard involve doing routine support jobs. Once working at technician level, it may be possible to go on to higher levels of work by taking part-time further or higher education courses.
However, with science and technology continually advancing, most opportunities require qualifications at degree level or above.
There are many more opportunities open to you with a degree. This is the minimum level you need to enter professional scientific work. To be a doctor, chartered chemical engineer, science teacher, or NHS healthcare scientist, for example, you will need to continue studying beyond your degree. Some of these careers require postgraduate study, and all will need you to undergo continuing training and development.
For a lot of health based science jobs, entry to degree courses is really competitive. To make yourself stand out, activities such as voluntary work or relevant work experience can help give you the edge.