Life, Physical, and Social Science career paths: Qualifications, Salary, and more

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  • Psychologists

    Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments. They use their findings to help improve processes and behaviors.

  • Associate's degree

  • Nuclear Technicians

    Nuclear technicians assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production. They operate special equipment and monitor the levels of radiation that are produced.

  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

    Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting public health.

  • Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

    Agricultural and food science technicians assist agricultural and food scientists by performing duties such as measuring and analyzing the quality of food and agricultural products.

  • Chemical Technicians

    Chemical technicians use special instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes.

  • Geological and Petroleum Technicians

    Geological and petroleum technicians provide support to scientists and engineers in exploring and extracting natural resources, such as minerals, oil, and natural gas.

  • Bachelor's degree

  • Chemists and Materials Scientists

    Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyze the ways in which the substances interact with one another. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods.

  • Hydrologists

    Hydrologists study how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust. They use their expertise to solve problems in the areas of water quality or availability.

  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

    Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems. They study the physical characteristics of animals, animal behaviors, and the impacts humans have on wildlife and natural habitats.

  • Agricultural and Food Scientists

    Agricultural and food scientists research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of agricultural establishments and products.

  • Geoscientists

    Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth, such as its composition, structure, and processes, to learn about its past, present, and future.

  • Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists

    Atmospheric scientists study the weather and climate, and examine how those conditions affect human activity and the earth in general. 

  • Biological Technicians

    Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

  • Forensic Science Technicians

    Forensic science technicians aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. Many technicians specialize in various types of laboratory analysis.

  • Geographers

    Geographers study the Earth and the distribution of its land, features, and inhabitants. They also examine political or cultural structures and study the physical and human geographic characteristics of regions ranging in scale from local to global.

  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters

    Conservation scientists and foresters manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources.

  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists

    Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health. They may clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with industry to reduce waste.

  • Microbiologists

    Microbiologists study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites. They try to understand how these organisms live, grow, and interact with their environments.

  • Master's degree

  • Anthropologists and Archeologists

    Anthropologists and archeologists study the origin, development, and behavior of humans. They examine the cultures, languages, archeological remains, and physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world.

  • Historians

    Historians research, analyze, interpret, and write about the past by studying historical documents and sources.

  • Sociologists

    Sociologists study society and social behavior by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions, and processes that develop when people interact and work together.

  • Economists

    Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues.

  • Epidemiologists

    Epidemiologists are public health professionals who investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans. They seek to reduce the risk and occurrence of negative health outcomes through research, community education, and health policy.

  • Political Scientists

    Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. They research political ideas and analyze governments, policies, political trends, and related issues.

  • Urban and Regional Planners

    Urban and regional planners develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.

  • Survey Researchers

    Survey researchers design and conduct surveys and analyze data. Surveys are used to collect factual data, such as employment and salary information, or to ask questions in order to understand people’s opinions, preferences, beliefs, or desires.

  • Doctoral or professional degree

  • Medical Scientists

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

  • Biochemists and Biophysicists

    Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes, such as cell development, growth, heredity, and disease.

  • Physicists and Astronomers

    Physicists and astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact. Theoretical physicists and astronomers may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe. Some physicists design and perform experiments with sophisticated equipment such as particle accelerators, electron microscopes, and lasers.