Research Scientist

Research Scientist Careers

As the economy is slowly turning around, many of the job opportunities that are present are still unstable in terms of longevity, or minimal in pay grade.  Healthcare in general is still experiencing considerable growth in employment possibilities, and public health careers offer the stability of a municipal job that also has good chanced for advancement.

Public health careers support not only the healthcare industry, but also the community, by presenting quality treatment that is accessible to the population.  The position of research scientist is a high paying career option that supports better and more efficient interventions, and seeks to improve overall welfare with better protocols for treatment and prevention.

What Is A Research Scientist?

A research scientist may investigate the characteristics and lifecycles of organisms that create disease, as well as perform clinical trials for the treatment of the ailments in the population.  This may include studying and culturing microbes in the lab, but it can also include tracking trends in the community, and developing better interventions through the testing of medications and treatments.

Research scientists would have the following expectations as a part of their works:

  •   Study ways the diseases affect the population and consider new method of treatment.
  •   Analyze biological samples and collect data.
  •   Investigate drug standardization in the treatment of illnesses.
  •   Collaborate with other professionals to develop treatment strategies.
  •   Provide reports that outline finding and suggestion for moving forwards.
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These professional skills can also help research scientists perform their job:

  •   Analytical skills:  You will need to formulate theories for treatment based on the information that you have gathered and the observation you have made.
  •   Interpersonal skill:  You will be collaborating with other researchers and healthcare professionals to evaluate findings and consider solutions.
  •   Lab techniques:  Analyzing biological samples will be a great aspect in providing necessary data.
  •   Organization:  While you will need to keep accurate records of testing, trails, and data collection, you may also be working with staff members who must be accountable for the information they provide.

Nature Of The Work

Research scientists may work in labs in a variety of environments.  Some research scientist will work in hospitals and universities, while others may work directly through public health department labs.  This job combines the implementation of clinical trials with the investigation of microbes and illness within the community.  Lab research will help to identify physiological changes that occur in new treatment modalities, and will also consider if a treatment can be potentially harmful.

As a research scientist, you will also need to generate reports on your findings.  These will go over methods an protocols, but will also discuss implications of disease lifecycles and medical interventions.  You may need to present this information to health boards and also share the knowledge with the community.

Education And Training

In order to become a research scientist, you will need to complete your undergraduate degree, your Master’s degree, and also your doctorate.  This will include courses such as biology, chemistry, physical sciences, and math.  Specialization in different fields of research will occur as you pursue your graduate and post graduate degrees.  Some research scientists will even take the path of completing medical school and then attaining a PhD. in research studies.

Along with this extensive school work, you will also need to complete experiential training in order to gain employment.  This may include two or more years of supervised lab work, with a focus on microbiology and pathology.  If the path of medical school is taken, then your residency will be strongly focused on lab techniques and applications.

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Research scientists generally do not require licensing, although specialty certifications are available through examination.  If you are researching pharmaceuticals, or conducting trails in which medication is administered, you will need to be licensed as a medical doctor in order to do so. 

This career path offers a good salary, and has a fairly wide range for advancement.  The median annual wage for a research scientist is around $76,000.  However, even entry level research scientists can make upwards of $46,000 per year.  The top 10% in this field make over $120,000, so moving up in this job is highly advantageous.

Employment opportunities for research scientist are also quite good.  The overall projected increase in jobs over the next decade is estimated at around 73,000 positions, which is a 13% rise.  Entry level positions are expected to see around a 9% increase, which makes choosing the career of a research scientist a stable and fiscally sound choice. 

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