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Science and Engineering

Research Scientist

Career data updated last on 10/10/2014
Research Scientist Research scientists use methods to study countless aspects of our world. Researchers who specialize in health and medicine research study diseases, drugs, microorganisms, genetics and many other areas of human and animal health. They can help develop new treatments or new understanding of diseases and environmental hazards. The medicines we take today, the inoculations that protect us from infectious diseases and the processes that preserve our food were all developed by research scientists.
Salary $52.77/hourly- $109,770 annually
Significant Points Doctoral degree holders face considerable competition for independent research positions; holders of bachelor's or master's degrees in biological science can expect better opportunities in non-research positions.
Specializations Research scientists may specialize in many different areas of health and medicine,which include:
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physics
  • Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathology
  • Toxicology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
Work Environment Research scientists usually work in research laboratories at universities, in private industry and at government agencies.
High School Prep General college preparation is recommended: three courses in math including algebra I, algebra II and geometry, or a higher level math course for which algebra II is a prerequisite; three science courses including biology and chemistry, one physical science and one lab course; four English units and two social studies units, including one in U.S. History; and two years of a second language.
Academic Requirements The minimum educational requirement is a baccalaureate degree. However, a master's or doctorate is required to conduct advanced research and to be eligible for many jobs at university and industrial research laboratories. Civil service examination may be required for employment at governmental agencies. Students entering college with an interest in research should establish a major in one of the physical, mathematical or health sciences.

Schools/Organizations

University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus
Doctoral Degree Doctoral
University of Colorado-Boulder
Doctoral Degree Doctoral
Masters Degree Master's

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