Life, Physical, and Social Sciences Careers

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The life, physical and social sciences sectors provide a wide variety of interesting careers. The sectors provide administrative, management, technician and research jobs.

Many of the life, physical and social sciences careers require at least a bachelor degree, however many of the careers require a graduate degree, specific training and experience. In the life sciences sector over 50 percent of medical and other life scientists have a doctoral degree.

Most scientists work in the private sector, about 27 percent of scientists work for federal, state and local government agencies.

Life sciences careers typically involve study living organisms. Physical science careers typically involve the study and application of the principles of chemistry and physics.

Professionals with social sciences careers examine human society and relationships of individuals. Social sciences careers may involve performing research or other professional or scientific work in one field or a combination of social sciences fields. The social sciences sector also includes a variety of administrative and management positions.

TheBestSchools provides important information about a variety of life, physical and social science careers including employment growth, education, training, salary and much more.

After you read this page on careers in Life, Physical, and Social Sciences, keep browsing our website's extensive career guide for more information on job options, education requirements and salaries.

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Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

Education and Certifications Agricultural and Food Science Technicians Need

Agricultural and food science technologists generally need an Associate in Animal Science degree or an Associate in Food Science degree or an associate degree in a related field. Some schools offer an Associate in Agricultural Technology Food Science degree.

Many schools offer internships, cooperative education and other experiential programs for food technologists.

People who choose food science careers but have only a high school diploma usually undertake an extensive training program that can last a year or more.

Food technologists don't need a license or certification.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Life and Agricultural Sciences Programs in the World Today

What They Do

Various marketing campaigns urge people to think about farmers when they enjoy fresh food, but in all fairness they should probably give a thought or two to agricultural and food science technicians. These men and women, working under the supervision of scientists, measure and analyze the quality of food and agricultural products.

An agricultural technician career involves setting up or maintaining lab equipment and collecting samples from crops or animals. An agricultural technician career also involves preparing specimens and recording data to help biologists or other scientists with experiments in the life sciences.

A food technologist career includes performing standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine food or beverage products' physical or chemical properties.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $39,910
2016, Number of Jobs 27,500
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 6%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $62,740
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $26,350

 

Agricultural and Food Scientists

Education and Certifications Agricultural and Food Scientists Need

People need at least a bachelor's degree in agricultural science, biology, chemistry or physics to begin an agricultural science career or a food scientist career. Botany, chemistry and plant conservation degrees provide good preparation for soil and plant science work.

Organizations such as the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists certify agricultural scientists and food scientists recognized for expertise in this field. While not required, the agriculture and food science industry recognizes the value of certification. Some states do require licensing for soil scientists.

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What They Do

The safety of the fresh farm-grown food people eat rests largely with those who work as agricultural and food scientists. The work of agricultural and food scientists also helps ensure there's enough food to feed the nation's ever-growing population.

Those who choose an agricultural scientist career or a food scientist career may also work in product development and research. Through basic research, they seek to understand the biological and chemical processes by which crops and livestock grow. Through applying research, a food scientist or agricultural scientist discover ways to improve the quality, quantity and safety of what we eat.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Agricultural and food scientists who earn a doctoral degree may go into research, working in genetics, animal production and biotechnology. Others earn a veterinary medicine degree.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $62,910
2016, Number of Jobs 43,000
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 7%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $116,520
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $37,890

 

Anthropologists and Archeologists

Education and Certifications Anthropologists and Archeologists Need

Candidates need a master's degree to pursue an anthropology career or an archeology career. Leadership roles and jobs requiring more technical expertise may necessitate a doctoral degree; especially true when it comes to anthropology or archeology projects outside the country. Those who have a bachelor's degree may find lab or field work.

Many colleges and universities offer a Master in Cultural Anthropology degree, a Master in Physical Anthropology, a Ph.D. in Anthropology or a graduate forensic anthropology program.

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What They Do

Anthropologists and archeologists study the origin, development and behavior or human beings, often studying the way of life, language and physical characteristics of people all across the world. An archeology career involves recovering and examining tools, pottery and other artifacts which remain from past human cultures.

An anthropologist career involves researching the physical, social, language and cultural development of humans. An anthropology career includes studying the behavior of past cultures and their organizations and institutions.

Anthropologist careers include evaluating and helping establish public policy.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Anthropologists and archeologists with doctoral degrees often become professors or museum curators.

Essential Career Information

2011 Median Pay $57,420
2011, number of jobs 6,100
Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020 21 percent
Entry-level education requirements Master's degree
2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage $74,620
2011, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage $42,570

 

Atmospheric Scientists and Meteorologists

Education and Certifications Atmospheric Scientists and Meteorologists Need

Most positions as a meteorologist or atmospheric scientist require a bachelor's degree in atmospheric science or related discipline. Candidates who want to work for the government should make sure their school offers courses required for government jobs in atmospheric science.

Atmospheric scientists who want to perform research need a master's degree, at minimum, with some employers preferring doctoral degrees. A master's degree can make it easier to find a job, open the door to better pay, and improve advancement potential for those who choose a meteorologist career or atmospheric scientist career.

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What They Do

Atmospheric scientists and meteorologists have the answer to one of the most asked questions in day-to-day life: What's the weather going to be like tomorrow? What's more, atmospheric scientists and meteorologists understand why storms and other weather patterns come our way.

An atmospheric scientist career involves studying weather, climate and other aspects of the atmosphere to develop forecasts from their analyses of the data they collect.

Atmospheric scientist careers involve using surface and air stations, weather balloons, sensors, satellites and radar. The information atmospheric scientists collect contributes to the understanding of air pollution, drought, the depletion of the ozone layer and other problems.

Those who choose an atmospheric science career or a meteorology career help solve problems in commerce, energy, transportation, agriculture and the environment.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Atmospheric scientists and meteorologists with doctoral degrees can qualify for work teaching at the college or university level.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $92,070
2016, Number of Jobs 10,400
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 12%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $138,250
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $50,180

 

Biochemists and Biophysicists

Education and Certifications Biochemists and Biophysicists Need

Those pursuing a biochemist career or a biophysicist career need a doctorate in Biochemistry or a doctorate in Biophysics to work in independent research and development.

Most biochemists and biophysicists begin their careers in temporary research positions, lasting two or three years. Bachelor's and master's degree holders can qualify for some positions in product development, inspection or applied research.

Many schools provide a Bachelor in Biochemistry degree program but just a small number of schools provide a Bachelor of Biophysics degree program. Some schools offer a Master of Biochemistry degree program or a Master of Biophysics degree program.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Life and Agricultural Sciences Programs in the World Today

What They Do

Remember what you saw when you looked through a microscope in biology and chemistry class? If it was a cell or living organism, you have some idea what the work of biochemists and biophysicists focuses on.

A biochemist career and a biophysicist career include studying cells and organisms' physical principles, their electrical and mechanical energy and related phenomena. A biochemist career and a biophysicist career include conducting research to further the understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth and heredity.

Most biochemists and biophysicists work in teams and use electron microscopes, lasers and other lab equipment to carry out their research. Biochemist careers and biophysicist careers include using advanced technologies to conduct experiments and analysis.

Biochemists and biophysicists conduct basic research to expand human knowledge and apply research to solve a particular problem. Those who choose a biochemist career or a biophysicist career may determine the effects of food, drugs, serums, hormones and other substances on tissues and the vital processes of living organisms.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Biochemists and biophysicists typically take on greater responsibility, including leading research teams, as they gain experience. Some who choose a biochemistry career or a biophysicist career take on managerial roles or go on to teach at the university level.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $91,190
2016, Number of Jobs 31,500
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 11%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Doctoral or Professional Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $48,410
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $117,840

 

Chemical Technicians

Education and Certifications Chemical Technicians Need

People seeking a chemical technician career need an Associate in Applied Science degree or an Associate in Chemical Technology degree. Most chemical lab technicians receive on-the-job training.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Chemistry Programs in the World Today

What They Do

The more complicated your work, the more likely you'll need an assistant. Chemical technicians fill that role for scientists. Chemical technicians conduct laboratory tests to help make qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids and gaseous materials for research and development, quality control, maintenance of environmental standards, and other work involving experimental, theoretical or practical application of chemistry and related sciences.

Most chemical technicians work on teams, with chemists or chemical engineers directing their work and evaluating their results. The duties of chemical techs often depend on where they work.

Chemical lab technician careers typically involve conducting experiments and analyzing compounds produced through complex chemical processes.

A chemical lab tech career may include analyzing samples of air and water to monitor pollution levels. A chemical lab tech career also usually includes setting up and maintaining lab equipment and instruments.

Another type of chemical technician, a processing technician, monitors the quality of products and processes at chemical manufacturing facilities. They also test product packaging to ensure they're designed to hold up well and won't harm the environment.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $47,280
2016, Number of Jobs 67,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 4%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $78,350
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $28,960

 

Chemists and Materials Scientists

Education and Certifications Chemists and Materials Scientists Need

Typically, a Bachelor of Chemistry degree is the minimum requirement for an entry-level position as a chemist or material scientist, although most research positions require at least a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Less common, but sometimes acceptable, degrees for entry-level positions include a Bachelor of Material Science degree, Bachelor of Physics degree, or Bachelor of Engineering degree.

Chemists and materials scientists often gain experience through a college or university laboratory or through internships, fellowships, or work-study programs.

Chemists and materials scientists don't need specific certifications or licenses.

Find the best school for you:
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What They Do

Chemists and materials scientists, the superheroes of the science world, study properties and substances of materials in order to develop better products, processes, and materials for the world. Chemists and materials scientists design products ranging from plastics and cleaners, to drugs, among thousands of other items.

A chemist career and a materials scientist career involve planning and leading technicians, scientists, and other workers in complex research projects developing, analyzing, and testing new materials.

Chemists and materials scientists instruct their teams on proper chemical processing and testing procedures, including mixing times, operating temperatures, and preparing solutions, compounds, and reagents.

Chemist careers and materials scientist careers include testing materials and substances for quality and safety.

Most materials scientists work in applied research, studying the structures and chemical properties of materials in an effort to improve an existing material.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Chemists and materials scientists tend to gain more responsibility and autonomy at work as they gain experience. Career advancement opportunities also become more available with the addition of further education. Chemists and materials scientists may move into management positions as a natural sciences manager.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $76,280
2016, Number of Jobs 96,200
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 7%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $130,560
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $42,960

 

Conservation Scientists and Foresters

Education and Certifications Conservation Scientists and Foresters Need

Conservation scientist careers and forester careers sometimes begin with a Bachelor of Forestry degree from a program accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Other degrees that relate to these professions include a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree, a Bachelor of Rangeland Management degree, or a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree.

Foresters have some type of credentialing process in some states. Alabama, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire have specific licensing laws, while Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina have registration laws.

Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and West Virginia have voluntary registration laws for foresters.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Life and Agricultural Sciences Programs in the World Today

What They Do

Conservation scientists and foresters have an irreplaceably important job; they keep our forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources healthy and protected to ensure they continue on into the future.

Conservation scientist careers and forester careers include creating the management plans for forest lands and resources, as well as ensuring forestry and conservation activities comply with government regulations.

Conservation scientists and foresters work together to evaluate forest and soil quality, assess forest damage from logging and fires, and work on fire suppression.

Conservation scientists focus on protecting, maintaining, and improving the overall health of natural resources. They most commonly work with landowners, federal, state, and local governments. A conservation scientist career includes advising farmers, farm managers, and ranchers on how to control erosion and improve their land for conservation purposes.

Foresters may do anything from developing plans to regenerate forested lands and supervising tree harvests to devising ways to protect forests from disease, parasitic insects, and harmful wildfires.

Foresters are experts in when, where, and how far apart to plant new trees in a reforesting project, as well as how to determine which trees to sell to sawmills and which trees can be removed with minimal environmental damage.

Conservation scientists and foresters may specialize in one of the following: procurement forester, urban forester, conservation education forester, range manager, soil and water conservationists.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

Conservation scientists and foresters may advance in their career to managerial duties or conduct research or work on policy issues. An advanced degree helps conservation scientists and foresters advance in their career.

Certification, such as provided by the Society of American Foresters or the Society for Range Management helps a conservation scientist or a forester advance in their career.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $60,970
2016, Number of Jobs 34,600
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 6%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $97,490
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $33,740

 

Economists

Education and Certifications Economists Need

Although a few entry-level economist jobs may require just a Bachelor of Economics degree, the majority of economist positions require a Master of Economics or a Ph.D. in Economics.

Some economics Ph.D. programs accept a variety of bachelor degrees, but candidates typically need a strong math background.

Employers seek economists with work experience, as well as a Ph.D. in Economics. An economist may gain work experience through an internship or in working in fields such as business or finance.

Economists don't need a license or a certificate.

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What They Do

If you are exceptionally good with numbers and don't mind making decision with large amounts of money riding on them, consider an economist career. Individuals, governments, and businesses from a variety of fields rely on economists to make accurate forecasts regarding the economy. They also provide professional advice about how to deal with economic issues and changes.

The average economist's workload consists of analyzing current and historical economic data, mathematical models, charts, spreadsheets, software programs, database management programs, and statistical techniques in order to create predictions regarding the economy.

In order to gain some of their current data, economists conduct interviews and surveys. An economist career includes creating charts, tables, and reports for presentations, as well as writing and publishing articles in academic journals.

The areas of work for economists vary greatly. Many economists work for the government, collecting and analyzing U.S. economy data, as well as advising policy makers on how laws may affect the economy. Some economists work for corporations and explain how the economy will affect the business. A smaller percentage of economists work for think tanks, regularly publishing informative articles.

Some of the common economist specialties include: econometricians, financial economists, industrial organization economists, international economists, labor economists, macroeconomists, monetary economists, microeconomists, public finance economists.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $102,490
2016, Number of Jobs 21,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 6%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Master’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $172,580
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $56,400

 

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

Education and Certifications Environmental Science and Protection Technicians Need

Employers generally prefer an environmental science tech with an Associate of Natural Science degree, or a science-related technology degree, for entry-level positions.

Some technical and community colleges also offer degrees in environmental studies, remote sensing, or geographic information systems (GIS). Many schools also offer internships and cooperative-education programs, which aid students when job seeking.

Environmental science and protection technicians usually receive on-the-job training from a more experienced technician. The training varies depending on the new technician's level of previous training and education.

In some states for certain types of environmental and health inspections, environmental science and protection technicians may need a license.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Life and Agricultural Sciences Programs in the World Today

What They Do

Environmental science and protection technicians play a key role in the effort to keep the environment as clean from pollution as possible. They find and investigate sources of pollution or contamination.

Environmental science and protection technicians collect air, water, and soil samples and set up equipment, such as outdoor sensors, to monitor pollution levels. Environmental science and protection technicians also inspect businesses and other public places to ensure they are safe from environmental, health or safety hazards.

Environmental science tech careers involve placing the results of their field tests into presentations, charts, and reports in order to explain their findings to clients.

Environmental science technicians commonly work under the direction of environmental scientists and specialists, and on teams with scientists, engineers, and technicians from other fields.

Generally, environmental science technicians either work for state and local governments or for private consulting firms. Environmental science and protection technicians working for the government enforce regulations that protect the environment and human health. An environmental science tech working for a private consulting firm help the firm remain in compliance with government regulations.

Most environmental science and protection technicians work either for state or local government or for private consulting firms.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

An environmental science tech can advance to an environmental scientist position after obtaining an appropriate bachelor's degree.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $49,490
2016, Number of Jobs 34,600
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 12%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $77,960
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $28,230

 

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Education and Certifications Environmental Scientists and Specialists Need

An environmental specialist career or an environmental scientist career may begin with a Bachelor of Environmental Science, a Bachelor in Environmental Studies or a Bachelor of Natural Science degree. A Bachelor degree in biology, chemistry, or geosciences may also apply.

Some colleges and universities offer a Master in Environmental Studies degree or a Master in Environmental Science degree.

Students studying to become an environmental scientist or environmental specialist greatly benefit from internships and classes that teach them to work with computer modeling, data analysis, and geographic information systems.

Environmental scientists and environmental specialists don't need specific certifications or licenses.

Find the best school for you:
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What They Do

Environmental scientists and environmental specialists valiantly work toward protecting and preserving the environment. Their work minimizes health hazards to human health and the environment.

Environmental scientist careers and environmental specialist careers include collecting environmental data through air, soil, water, food, and other material samples. The samples are analyzed to determine if they contain any hazardous material and if so, to what degree.

An environmental scientist career and an environmental specialist career may involve advising government officials, businesses, and the general public about environmental hazards. They also create a plan to correct the damage or to restore land.

Environmental scientists and environmental specialists meticulously record their research, data and findings to create a report or presentation explaining their conclusions and suggested resolution.

Some environmental scientists and environmental specialists work with governments developing laws and regulations for environmental protection, while other environmental scientists and specialists work with businesses, helping them comply with government environmental regulations.

Some examples of environmental specialists include: environmental health specialists, environmental protection specialists, and environmental chemists.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

After acquiring work experience, environmental scientists and environmental specialists may advance from a field analyst, research assistant, or technician position in laboratories to a supervising technician or other scientist position. They can also advance in their career to a project leader, program manager or another type of management or research position. Some environmental scientists and environmental specialists may advance to working as faculty at a college or university.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $69,400
2016, Number of Jobs 89,500
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 11%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $122,510
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $122,510

 

Epidemiologists

Education and Certifications Epidemiologists Need

An epidemiologist career begins with a Master of Epidemiology degree, or a related degree, from an accredited university. Some epidemiologists obtain a Ph.D. in Epidemiology, and others have a professional background and obtain a dual degree in epidemiology.

Epidemiologists don't need a license. The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology provides certification which offers epidemiologists a way to demonstrate mastery and dedication to the field. Certification must be renewed every five years.

Find the best school for you: The 25 Best Bachelor's in Health Sciences Degree Programs

What They Do

Epidemiologists strive to keep the general public healthy from disease outbreaks and bioterrorism. The public depends heavily on epidemiologists to not only determine where a disease came from, but also to devise a plan on how to treat it and prevent it from spreading in the future.

An epidemiologist career includes working with the public, communicating their findings and tapping the public for data collection through interviews, surveys, and samples of various bodily fluids. Epidemiologists also discuss their findings with health practitioners and policymakers.

An epidemiologist career typically includes planning and managing public health programs. Epidemiologists often monitor their progress, analyze the data collected within the programs, and develop ways to improve them.

Research epidemiologists, typically found working at universities, and applied epidemiologists, typically working for governments, both work on infectious diseases as well as public health issues.

Epidemiologists working in the private industry usually work for health insurance or pharmaceutical companies, while those working for non-profit companies usually perform advocacy work.

Local government epidemiologists study at least one of the following: infection diseases, bioterrorism/emergency response, maternal and child health, chronic diseases, environmental health, injury, occupational health, substance abuse, or oral health.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $69,660
2016, Number of Jobs 6,100
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 9%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Master's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $113,560
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $42,810

 

Forensic Science Technicians

Education and Certifications Forensic Science Technicians Need

A forensic science technician career typically begins with a Bachelor of Forensic Science degree or a Bachelor of Biology or Chemistry degree. Forensic science technicians also often receive a lot of on-the-job training upon hire.

Some forensic science technicians who investigate crime scenes are also police officers who already met the education requirements for admittance to the police academy.

Forensic science technicians don't need specific licenses or certifications.

Find the best school for you:
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What They Do

If using science to help solve a crime sounds intriguing, a forensic science technician career may be right up your alley. Forensic science technicians collect and analyze physical evidence from crime scenes in an effort to help resolve the crime.

Typically, forensic science technicians specialize in either crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis. Those who investigate crime scenes determine the best ways to collect evidence. Evidence can be anything from weapons, to fingerprints, to bodily fluids. Forensic science techs sometimes attend autopsies.

A forensic science tech takes photographs and creates sketches of the crime scene. A forensic science technician career involves keeping highly detailed reports describing the scene and position of all evidence found.

Forensic lab technicians specialize in lab analysis use scientific analysis to identify and classify collected evidence. A forensic lab technician career includes working with experts in related fields to help analyze their findings. The information helps to recreate crime scenes.

Forensic science technician careers include thoroughly recording all findings and processes used, as they must be able to explain their findings to lawyers, detectives and law enforcement officials. Forensic scientist technicians often testify in court regarding their findings.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $57,850
2016, Number of Jobs 15,400
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 17%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $95,600
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $33,880

 

Forest and Conservation Technicians

Education and Certifications Forest and Conservation Technicians Need

A conservation technician career and a forest technician career both begin with an Associate of Forestry degree, or related degree, from a program accredited by the Society of American Foresters. All states have accredited programs.

Forest technicians, forestry technicians and conservation technicians don't need specific licenses or certifications.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Life and Agricultural Sciences Programs in the World Today

What They Do

Forest technicians, forestry technicians and conservation technicians focus on improving the quality of forest, rangelands, and other natural areas; they help keep the land beautiful and protected.

Forest technicians, forestry technicians, and conservation technicians work together, under the supervision of foresters or conservation scientists, gathering data on natural lands. Forest technicians, forestry technicians, and conservation technicians measure water and soil quality, disease, insect damage to trees and plants, and conditions related to fire hazard.

A forest tech, forestry tech, and a conservation tech sometimes deal with trees and timber. For example, they evaluate forest areas, determine species, quality and amount of standing timber, they help select which trees can or need to be cut down, and they monitor logging activities. Forest and conservation technicians also train seasonal workers who plant seedlings.

Camping is a favorite American family pastime, but someone must maintain those trails, campsites, and recreational facilities; those people are often forest technicians, forestry technicians, and conservation technicians. They also track wildlife in order to protect both the animals and people in an area.

Forest technicians, forestry technicians, and conservation technicians play an important role in fire suppression and control.

Some Forest techs, forestry techs, and conservation techs work in urban forestry, managing trees and plants within cities, suburbs, and towns.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $27,650
2016, Number of Jobs 14,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 -2%
Entry-Level Education Requirements High School Diploma or Equivalent
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $48,600
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $20,650

 

Geographers

Education and Certifications Geographers Need

A small percentage of entry-level geographer positions only require a Bachelor of Geography degree, as long as an individual also has previous experience with geographic information systems (GIS). The majority of geographer careers, however, begin with a Master of Geography degree and usually previous work experience.

Geographers may obtain certification as a GIS professional through the GIS Certification Institute. Although certification is voluntary, it is highly recommended, as most employers prefer applicants with GIS knowledge and experience.

Find the best school for you: The 5 Best Online Bachelor in Geography Degree Programs

What They Do

Geographers study the land and features that make up the planet, collaborating information people must know in order to keep the planet alive and functioning properly. Geographer careers also include studying people, and political and cultural structures as they connect with geography.

A geographer career includes gathering data in a variety of ways, including field observations, maps, photographs, satellite imagery, censuses, surveys interviews, focus groups, and statistical analysis. A geographer career includes working with geographic information system (GIS) technology to collect data. They also frequently teach others how to use GIS.

Occasionally geographers combine geographic data with data from another field, such as economics, health, the environment, or politics. Geographer careers include creating maps, graphs, diagrams, and other visuals representing the data, as well as writing reports detailing their findings and conclusions.

A variety of specialties exist for people interested in a geographer career, including: physical geographers, human/cultural geographers, economic geographers, environmental geographers, medical geographers, political geographers, regional geographers, and urban geographers.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $76,860
2016, Number of Jobs 1,500
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 7%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $104,710
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $48,020

 

Geological and Petroleum Technicians

Education and Certifications Geological and Petroleum Technicians Need

A geological technician career or a petroleum technician career begins with an Associate of Geosciences or Associates of Petroleum degree. Similar two-year degrees that may apply include mining or a related technology like geographic information systems (GIS). Students may also obtain internships and cooperative-education programs, which offer a way to gain work experience while simultaneously earning a degree.

Geological technicians, geology technicians, and petroleum technicians also receive on-the-job training, lasting from two months to two years, from a more experienced technician.

Geological technicians, geology technicians, and petroleum technicians don't need specific certifications or licenses.

Find the best school for you:
The 5 Best Online Bachelor in Geography Degree Programs
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What They Do

Much of the world runs on natural resources, such as minerals, oil, and natural gas, and geological technicians, geology technicians, and petroleum technicians play a large part in locating these resources.

Geological technicians, geology technicians and petroleum technicians support scientists and engineers in exploring and extracting natural resources by installing and maintaining laboratory and field equipment, compiling information, and gathering geological data and samples, such as rocks and soil. Geological and petroleum technicians prepare and test the collected field samples, defining what they are composed of.

Geological techs, geology techs and petroleum techs use tools from small hand tools, to mapping software and geographic information systems (GIS), to seismic instruments and gravity-measuring devices.

Geological and petroleum technicians also create sketches, maps, and notes demonstrating the geological characteristics of a piece of land. They also prepare reports and presentations documenting their investigations and conclusions.

Geological techs, geology techs and petroleum techs may work with a variety of professionals, from teams of prospectors and surveyors to scientists and technicians in other fields.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $54,190
2016, Number of Jobs 15,000
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 16%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $108,420
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $27,010

 

Geoscientists

Education and Certifications Geoscientists Need

People interested in a geoscientist career need at least a bachelor's degree in geosciences or a bachelor degree in a relevant field and experience with computer modeling, digital geologic mapping and data analysis. However, a Ph.D. is mandatory for many research and university teaching positions and some states may also require licensing.

Most employers highly encourage laboratory and field experience. Summer programs help future geoscientists gain necessary field experience. These hands-on field opportunities allow students to work closely with teachers to gain valuable experience in data collection and mapping.

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What They Do

Ever wonder what the earth is made up of? Ask a geoscientist. They know the answers to the earth's internal mysteries. A geoscientist career, a highly analytical and scientific career, appeals to people interested in the earth's composition, conducting research, mathematics, physics and technology.

A geoscientist career involves studying the structure, composition and other physical aspects of the earth to truly understand its history; its impact in the present as well as its role in the future.

A typical day for a geoscientist involves traveling to survey sites to conduct research on many different areas of exploration such as drilling for oil, searching for gas or looking for underground water. After conducting different methods of research, geoscientists collect, analyze and conduct tests on the samples collected in the field.

Geoscientist careers include designing maps and charts and writing reports. After careful review of research conducted, geoscientists present their findings to colleagues and write reports and publications.

The tools geoscientists use range from simple hand gadgets to complex radar and technological equipment. Geoscientist careers include using sensing equipment to gather data and using software to analyze data. They also work in different specialty areas such as oceans, natural resource development, environmental protection, and atmospheric research.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $89,850
2016, Number of Jobs 32,000
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 14%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $184,130
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $48,850

 

Historians

Education and Certifications Historians Need

Historians need a Master's degree, which takes about 2 years to finish, to begin working in their field. However, a Ph.D. is required for many teaching positions and research positions.

Many historians have a Master in History degree or a Master in Public History degree. Many schools provide a Ph.D. in History degree program.

Ph.D. programs typically specialize in a specific area, culture or period of history or in a field such as political or cultural history. Most programs offer degrees in areas such as museum studies and archival management. Many colleges have onsite working programs incorporated into the course work.

Many students benefit from volunteering or employment in entry-level positions to gain experience. Positions are often available at museums, historical societies, government agencies and other institutions.

Find the best school for you: The 25 Best Online Bachelor's in History Degree Programs

What They Do

Historians wear many hats. From researching specific periods, people and places for national documents and educational purposes to helping shape important legislation in Congress, historians truly help us prepare for our future through investigating and reporting on the past.

A historian career encompasses analyzing, researching, archiving, and interpreting the past. Historians study a multitude of historical documentation ranging from books, periodicals and government records to photos, newspapers and film.

Historian careers include performing vast amounts of detailed research from gathering historical data, fact checking, and tracing historical developments to reviewing, archiving and maintaining artifacts in national sites, museums, and historical centers. After careful review of research conducted, historians present their findings to colleagues and write detailed reports, theories, books and publications as well as showcase exhibits and educational programs to the public.

A historian career may include teaching and presenting historical lectures at universities, museums, historical societies and at other locations.

Historians provide advice on historical accounts and issues as well as preservation topics.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $59,120
2016, Number of Jobs 3,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 6%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Master's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $107,330
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $28,540

 

Hydrologists

Education and Certifications Hydrologists Need

Hydrologists typically need a master's degree, however some employers only require a bachelor's degree to begin working in the field. In addition, for research and teaching jobs most universities and institutions require a Ph.D. Also, in some states hydrologists need a license.

Unfortunately, most universities do not offer degrees in hydrology; instead, many schools offer related concentrations in areas such as geosciences or engineering programs. In addition, experience with technology and specific software programs related to hydrological study increase the chances of entering a hydrologist career upon graduation.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Life and Agricultural Sciences Programs in the World Today

What They Do

Hydrologists research answers and solutions to some of the world's most complex water issues. A hydrologist career appeals to highly analytical people interested in researching the earth's hydrologic composition, mathematics, physics, geography and technology.

A hydrologist career includes researching the composition, occurrence, movement, distribution and physical properties of underground and surface waters.

A typical day for a hydrologist involves different types of research and study such as traveling to different sites to collect water and soil samples to test for pollution levels, finding ways to improve water treatment and conservation, using technology to predict future water supplies and pollution issues and evaluating the importance of water-related projects such as hydroelectric power plants.

After careful review of research conducted, hydrologists present their findings to colleagues and write reports.

Hydrologists hold research and teaching positions, however, a Ph.D. is normally required for employment in university or institutional settings.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $79,990
2016, Number of Jobs 6,700
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 10%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Master's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $122,870
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $50,900

 

Medical Scientists

Education and Certifications Medical Scientists Need

People interested in a medical scientist career typically need a doctoral or professional degree such as a medical degree. A Ph.D. program or a joint M.D. / Ph.D. program are the two main paths medical scientists take to obtain a degree.

A doctoral degree can take about 6 years to complete and culminates in a thesis presented to a professorial committee. A dual doctoral-medical degree program can take up to 8 years to finish and combines both scientific research and medical studies.

In order for medical scientists to interact with patients medically, they need a medical degree and become a licensed physician, which can take up to 7 years to complete.

Students who look forward to a biomedical science career typically need a bachelor's degree in a biological science. Humanities courses in areas such as grant writing are also beneficial before entering a medical scientist career.

Many medical scientists publish various research and medical articles for scientific journals as well as work for federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.

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What They Do

A medical scientist is literally a lifesaving profession. Medical scientists use clinical investigations to find answers and solutions to complex diseases. They conduct research to improve overall human health and wellbeing.

A medical scientist career appeals to people interested in understanding human diseases, intensive lab work, biochemistry, and human anatomy. A biomedical science career attracts some medical scientists.

Medical scientists work in different areas such as the federal government, research universities and private industries such as pharmaceutical companies.

A typical day for a medical scientist involves different types of research, clinical trials and investigative studies to find answers and solutions for various human diseases.

A medical scientist career includes researching and developing preventive measures to ward off diseases, following safety methods to avoid contamination, preparing and analyzing laboratory samples to pinpoint and identify microorganisms and cell structure, performing data analysis and formalizing and structuring drug dosages for medical drugs.

Medical scientist careers involve working with teams of other professionals such as professionals in health departments and physicians to improve health safety standards. Medical scientist careers also involve preparing scientific grant proposals to acquire funding from government institutions.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $82,090
2016, Number of Jobs 120,000
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 13%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Doctoral or Professional Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $160,520
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $45,120

 

Microbiologists

Education and Certifications Microbiologists Need

People typically need a Bachelor in microbiology degree or a closely related degree to begin a microbiologist career.

Classes in microbial physiology are important to take as an undergraduate to understand the more complex studies in virology. Other courses such as statistics and computer science are also extremely beneficial for advanced laboratory work and data analysis.

Laboratory internships during college play a large role in helping microbiologists attain employment in areas such pharmaceutical research after graduation.

For more intensive research positions most universities and institutions require a Ph.D. It can take up to 6 years for a student to attain a doctoral degree in microbiology. Upon completion, postdoctoral students attain research positions where they develop a greater understanding of their specialized field as well as publish research findings.

Microbiologists with faculty positions at universities and colleges need to publish materials.

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What They Do

Microbiologists make major scientific discoveries based on the smallest of microbes, giving new light to the saying “big things come in small packages.” Microbiologists investigate the structure, growth and development of microorganisms such as bacteria and algae.

A microbiology career appeals to people interested in microorganisms, intensive laboratory work, mathematics and biology.

Microbiologist careers involve different types of intricate research and laboratory study such as developing new drugs to fight major infectious diseases, monitoring the effects microorganisms have on the environment, organizing microorganisms and bacterial cultures for different studies, as well as pinpointing and classifying microorganisms found in humans, water and other sources.

Microbiologist careers involve reviewing current scientific journals and attending conferences as well as presenting research findings to colleagues and other scientists.

Technological and laboratory equipment also play a major role in a microbiology career. Microbiologists use different types of equipment and specialized software to collect and research microorganisms from powerful electron microscopes to electrophoresis units.

Microbiologists work with other scientific teams such as technicians, biochemists and other scientists.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

For advanced microbiologist career opportunities, microbiologists can attain a Ph.D. to conduct advanced research and laboratory work for publications and presentations. A doctoral degree and published research are necessary to hold most university and faculty positions.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $69,960
2016, Number of Jobs 23,200
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 8%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $129,560
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $40,540

 

Natural Sciences Managers

Education and Certifications Natural Sciences Managers Need

After several years of experience and training on research teams, scientists can advance in their career to natural sciences manager positions. Natural sciences managers typically have a bachelor's or higher-level degree such as a masters or doctorate in a scientific discipline or a related field. A Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is also helpful when looking to advance into a general scientific management career.

A solid background in scientific and technical training is paramount for professionals seeking a natural sciences manager career. Natural sciences managers need to understand all of the work their staff provides in order to provide training and assistance when necessary.

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What They Do

Ever wonder who manages large scientific expeditions into the Alaskan wild to research global warming trends? Or who coordinates research and development of leading edge cancer research? A natural sciences manager is the leader of these extremely rewarding and demanding projects; they plan and supervise research, production and testing activities for teams of physicists, chemists and scientists.

Natural sciences manager careers involve working with teams of high-level executives to develop specific scientific goals in carrying out major research and development projects.

A natural sciences management career includes organizing budgets and deciding all equipment, training and employee requirements, reviewing the goals of the project and making sure all staff members are using sound testing methods and providing accurate information.

A natural science management career involves preparing reports, hiring and evaluating scientific staff, establishing scientific protocols and procedures and reporting research findings to top level executives.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $118,970
2016, Number of Jobs 56,700
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 10%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $208,000
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $62,080

 

Nuclear Technicians

Education and Certifications Nuclear Technicians Need

People typically need an associate degree in nuclear science, an associate degree in nuclear technology or an associate degree in a nuclear-related technology as well as security clearance and many years of on-site training to begin a nuclear tech career. The intensive nuclear technician training can take up to two years to complete.

Nuclear technician trainees work under skilled nuclear scientists to understand all of the operational equipment, safety measures and regulatory procedures before working independently. Nuclear techs take advanced educational and training courses to remain current on the latest in nuclear technology.

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What They Do

A nuclear technician painstakingly monitors, maintains and provides quality control for nuclear testing and equipment as well as radiation levels. A nuclear technician career appeals to people interested in nuclear energy and laboratory work. Nuclear technicians help meet precise safety measures on many different levels and at all times.

There are two main types of nuclear technicians; nuclear operating technicians and nuclear protection technicians. Nuclear operating technicians use computers and other equipment to monitor the operations of a nuclear plant under the supervision of nuclear scientists. Nuclear protection technicians monitor radiation levels for workers, facilities and the surrounding environment.

Nuclear technician careers involve following policies and procedures which ensure high safety measures, monitoring different instruments and gauges used in nuclear research and experiments as well as meticulously calculating and monitoring radiation levels at all times during nuclear experiments and other forms of testing.

A nuclear technician career involves collecting gas, air, water and soil samples to detect radioactive contamination, teaching personnel correct safety procedures and use of equipment, especially in the event of an emergency, and performing laboratory experiments under the supervision of nuclear physicists and nuclear engineers as well as other scientists.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

For advanced career opportunities, nuclear technicians can obtain a bachelor's degree to become a nuclear power reactor operator or a nuclear engineer or they can further their studies and obtain a Ph.D. to become a nuclear physicist.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $80,370
2016, Number of Jobs 6,900
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 1%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $112,390
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $48,110

 

Physicists and Astronomers

Education and Certifications Physicists and Astronomers Need

Physicists and astronomers need a Ph.D. to work in the field of astronomy and physics. A Ph.D. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Astronomy can each take up to 7 years to complete. Before seeking a doctorate, candidates typically take courses such as computer science, calculus and linear algebra to ease the transition into graduate work and analyzing data and performing research.

Students with a Master in Physics degree usually find work in applied research in industries such as healthcare. Those who choose to only obtain a bachelor's degree in physics or astronomy are not qualified to perform independent research; however, they can gain employment as research assistants or technicians in related fields.

Many individuals begin their physicist career or astronomer career in a postdoctoral research position working under experienced scientists. These jobs can last up to three years and usually result in published research and theories.

Physicists and astronomers seeking to enter governmental jobs in areas such as nuclear energy need U.S. citizenship and major security clearances.

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What They Do

Ever wonder about the secrets of the universe or how medical technology can save the lives of millions? Physicists and astronomers have been studying and finding answers to these questions and many others for many years. Physicists and astronomers study all aspects of the universe and develop new technologies and innovative theories based on years of intensive research.

Together, physicists and astronomers often overlap in research contributions and scientific theories. People in both occupations perform experiments and research studies, discover matter and energy properties, write research grants and conduct mathematical formulations to understand data.

A physicist career includes developing and designing scientific equipment and computer software used to analyze information, write and publish scientific papers and articles, teach at universities and present theories and research findings at conferences and lecture series.

Physicist careers include studying and creating methods with the use of certain laws that dictate space, matter and energy

An astronomer career includes researching celestial phenomena and other properties of galaxies. Both occupations conduct this research to increase knowledge and solve everyday problems.

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Career Advancement Opportunities

With time and dedication, physicists and astronomers can work towards earning managerial jobs, greater independence in their respective positions, tenure in professorial positions, and larger budgets.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $117,220
2016, Number of Jobs 19,900
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 14%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Doctoral or Professional Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $165,280
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $54,110

 

Political Scientists

Education and Certifications Political Scientists Need

People typically need a master's degree such as a Masters of Public Policy (MPP) or Masters of Public Administration (MPA) or a doctoral degree in political science or related major to begin a political scientist career.

A Ph.D., mainly a research degree, typically includes subspecialties such as international relations. Both master's degree and Ph.D. graduates can acquire teaching positions in colleges and universities.

Internships are important; many students hold intern positions on congressional staffs, in research organizations or political campaigns.

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What They Do

If studying every form of government, political history and learning about vital issues such as health legislation, economic policies and international affairs sounds interesting, then a political science career is in your future. A political scientist researches and studies the structure, origin, and operation of political trends and political systems in all regions of the world.

A political scientist career may include researching political ideologies and systems, gathering and analyzing information from sources such as political opinion polls and election results and developing theories through qualitative and quantitative sources and methods.

A political science career may include predicting political trends, and monitoring current events as well as social and political trends. Political scientists also present their findings in research papers, academic journals and through presentations.

Political scientists also use research theories to analyze data to understand relationships between a particular political system and a certain outcome. For example, they may study issues such as U.S. political parties and globalization.

Political scientists also work as analysts for many organizations that have a stake in policy, such as labor organizations. A political science career may involve gathering information to help organize and implement policies.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $115,110
2016, Number of Jobs 7,300
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 8%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Master's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $161,890
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $56,150

 

Psychologists

Education and Certifications Psychologists Need

Psychologists typically need a master's, specialist or doctoral degree to enter the field as well as licenses or certifications, especially if practicing in schools. Psychologists usually attain a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree. A Ph.D. in psychology is primarily a research degree and a Psy. D. is a clinical degree.

Professionals with a specialist degree, called an Ed. S. degree, or a master's degree in psychology can work in areas such as school psychologist or industrial-organizational psychology. Master's or specialist degree graduates can also work in areas such as counseling and research, but only under the direct supervision of doctoral psychologists.

In certain areas of psychology, students are required to complete an internship as part of their training.

In most states, practicing psychologists, especially in clinical and counseling areas, need licensure or certification and those who practice independently need a license in all states.

Psychologists must have a minimum of 60 graduate school hours, 1200-hour internship, and pass the National School Psychology Exam to become nationally certified.

To obtain a license, psychologists need to meet certain criteria in one or more of the following areas: some form of supervised experience before or after attaining a doctorate; an internship or completion of a residency program. In addition, attending continuing education seminars and courses are a must for all practicing psychologists to keep their licensure.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Online Bachelor's in Psychology Degree Programs

What They Do

If studying human behavior, helping individuals work through difficult issues and developing treatment plans sounds interesting, then a psychology career is in your future. A psychologist observes, evaluates and diagnoses a patient's mental or emotional disorder and provides clinical treatment.

A typical day for a clinical psychologist involves interacting with patients and conducting sessions that will ultimately help them to gain insight, define long term goals, and form action plans that provide essential personal, social and occupational development.

Psychologists identify specific mental, behavioral, social and emotional disorders and collaborate with physicians to formulate treatment plans for many of these issues.

Clinical psychologists spend several hours gathering information through observation, interviews, tests and other clinical methods and use this information to help patients find trends that will help them understand and change certain behaviors.

Psychologists provide clinical services for a large variety of individuals and group sessions including but not limited to school and work programs, law enforcement and government agencies, sports teams, child, couple and family counseling groups.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $77,030
2016, Number of Jobs 166,600
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 14%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Master’s or Doctoral Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $124,520
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $42,330

 

Sociologists

Education and Certifications Sociologists Need

Sociologists typically need a master's degree (Master of Science, MS) or Ph.D. to enter the field. There are two paths in sociology master's degree programs: traditional programs and clinical or professional programs. Traditional paths allow students to enter a doctoral program. Clinical and professional programs prepare students for professional employment.

Many programs in the field of sociology offer internships in research and analysis to better prepare people seeking a sociology career. Ph.D. graduates typically become teachers and professors and many enter research positions in areas such as business, nonprofit and government.

If a student decides not to pursue a master's degree, they can still have a sociology career in areas such as assistants in research, administration, social services and management.

Find the best school for you: The 25 Best Online Bachelor's of Sociology Degree Programs

What They Do

If learning about how issues such as race, religion, class, gender and sexuality play a role in shaping people's lives and experiences, then a sociology career is in your future.

Sociologists give “people watching” a whole new meaning. They study human behavior and society through researching groups and social organizations. A sociologist career may include examining many religious, political and social organizations and the interactions and influence of these groups both historically and in present day situations.

Academics in this occupation truly promote a greater understanding of human behavior and relationships through spending their entire sociologist career doing the following work: organizing and completing research projects that test theories about social issues; gathering and analyzing data through interviews, surveys and other sources and drawing important conclusions from the information collected; and presenting their findings to other sociologists and social scientists through presentations and conferences.

A sociology career may include working with policy makers, clients and other special groups to advise them on present day sociological issues.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $79,650
2016, Number of Jobs 3,500
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 1%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Master's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $141,450
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $38,710

 

Survey Researchers

Education and Certifications Survey Researchers Need

Employers hire survey researchers for entry-level positions with a variety of different bachelor degrees, such as a Bachelor of Business degree, Bachelor of Psychology degree, or Bachelor of Political Science degree. Many technical research positions, however, require an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Social Sciences, or a Ph.D.

It's highly recommended survey researchers obtain work experience through internships while still studying.

Survey researchers don't need certification, however certification is highly recommended for people interested in a survey researcher career. Survey researchers can obtain the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) through The Marketing Research Association. Survey researchers need to renew their certification every two years and take continuing education courses.

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What They Do

If you've always enjoyed participating in surveys and found studying their results interesting, a survey researcher career may be right up your alley. Survey researchers are the masterminds behind the surveys we see and participate in daily; they design, conduct, and analyze surveys intended to collect a plethora of information ranging from employment or salary information, to people's opinions and beliefs on subjects, to market research purposes.

A survey researcher career includes designing surveys conducted in the form of interviews, questionnaires, or focus groups via the Internet, mail, telephone or in-person interviews.

Survey researcher careers include researching background information on survey topics in order to best design the survey. Before distributing their surveys to the intended audience, survey researchers test their questions to assure they're easy to understand.

After conducting and collecting a survey, survey researchers account for anyone who did not respond to the survey, then use statistical software and techniques to analyze the results.

Survey research careers involve creating and using tables, graphs and fact sheets while analyzing results. In addition to reviewing the answers given on a survey, survey researchers must also look for ways to improve the survey for the future.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $54,270
2016, Number of Jobs 14,600
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 2%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Master's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $100,660
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $27,000

 

Urban and Regional Planners

Education and Certifications Urban and Regional Planners Need

Both a professional urban planning career and regional planner career require a Master of Urban Planning degree and at least one to two years of work experience in a related field such as architecture, public policy, or economic development. Some colleges and universities offer a Master of Urban Planning degree or a Master of City Planning degree. Many schools allow students to specialize in a specific area of interest.

New Jersey is the only state currently requiring licensure of urban and regional planners, although Michigan does require planners to register in order to use the title “community planner.”

Through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), urban and regional planners may earn a professional AICP Certification. This certification is not required, but recommended to help provide an edge when job seeking.

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What They Do

Land is a limited resource, so urban and regional planners certainly have a large responsibility in determining how best to develop land and accommodate growth by creating communities on limited land space. Both an urban planner career and a regional planner career include revitalizing existing facilities and areas such as updating a building, trying to attract more businesses, adding a park, or adding a homeless shelter.

Urban and regional planners must research and consider a lot before determining how best to use land. Both an urban planning career and a regional planning career involve collecting, studying, and considering economic and environmental studies, censuses, and market research data, as well as conducting field investigations, analyzing factors affecting land use.

Urban and regional planners must be able to communicate and work with a variety of people such as public officials, developers, and the public while working on various projects. They also make project presentations to officials and planning commissions.

Both an urban planning career and a regional planning career involve reviewing site plans submitted by developers. They may or may not recommend the approval of a project. Part of their determining process includes whether plans adhere to current building codes and environmental regulations.

Some urban and regional planners specialize in areas or topics, such as land use and code enforcement planners, transportation planners, environmental and natural resources planners, economic development planners, and urban design planners.

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Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $71,490
2016, Number of Jobs 36,000
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 13%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Master's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $108,170
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $44,680

 

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Education and Certifications Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists Need

A zoologist career or a wildlife biologist career typically begins with a Bachelor of Zoology or Bachelor of Wildlife Biology degree. A Bachelor of Ecology degree is also often acceptable for entry-level zoologist and wildlife biologist positions. Higher level zoologist or wildlife biologist positions require a master's degree, and independent research positions require a Ph.D.

Zoologists and wildlife biologists don't need specific licenses or certifications.

Find the best school for you: The 50 Best Life and Agricultural Sciences Programs in the World Today

What They Do

It's hard to watch one of those nature documentaries without becoming completely immersed and fascinated by the living things on this planet – but have you ever stopped to think what it would be like to be a zoologist or wildlife biologist, the individuals paid to study these fascinating creatures?

Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals: where they live, how they live, and how they interact with one another. Both a zoologist career and a wildlife biologist career involve conducting scientific experiments with animals in controlled or natural environments, as well as collecting data and specimens for further analysis.

Knowing as much about an animal as possible helps a zoologist and a wildlife biologist more accurately estimate wildlife populations and determine the level of influence human activity has on specific animals.

Zoologist careers and wildlife biologist careers include writing about experiments, studies, and conclusions and sharing the information with others through published reports, papers, and scholarly articles.

Zoologists and wildlife biologists commonly work together and with other professionals, such as environmental scientists and hydrologists, in a research team.

Zoologists and wildlife biologists may specialist by species, such as entomologists, herpetologists, ichthyologists, mammalogists, ornithologist, Marine biologists, limnologists, ecologists, or evolutionary biologists.

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What can I do with a Chemistry degree?

Career Advancement Opportunities

Zoologists and wildlife biologists traditionally advance in their career through years of experience and additional education obtained. Zoologists and wildlife biologists with a Ph.D. often lead research teams and determine the overall goals and pace of a project.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $62,290
2016, Number of Jobs 19,400
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 8%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $99,700
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $39,620

* Salary, number of jobs and employment growth provided by
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