20 Science Careers In Demand

Updated January 17, 2023

There are many professional fields and industries that are classified as science, making science one of the most diverse and plentiful career paths. Knowing the science industries that are in demand and the roles you can pursue in each industry allows you to tailor your job search to career paths that have the most job growth. In this article, we explore some of the most in-demand science jobs, including their average salary, responsibilities and job outlook, to help you determine the best science career path for you.

Top science fields in demand

In-demand science careers and fields are based on the job growth percentage, or the number of new jobs that are likely to appear. Job outlook is determined by how many employers are looking for or are soon to look for certain roles as well as by the industries that are growing the most. Here are some of the top science fields in demand (in alphabetical order):

  • Biology

  • Biomedical engineer and technology

  • Chemistry

  • Computer and software engineering

  • Geology and petroleum technology

  • Medical sciences

  • Nuclear engineering and technology

  • Psychology

  • Research and development

Best science careers in demand

Here are 20 science jobs in high demand that you can pursue:

1. Clinical technician

National average salary: $35,771 per year

Primary duties: Also referred to as a clinical lab technician, these science professionals analyze organic samples using specialized equipment to identify abnormal signs of disease, infection or other medical conditions. They also log the results of the tests for physicians to review with patients, making them a vital part of a patient care team.

2. Forensic science technician

National average salary: $50,143 per year

Primary duties: Forensic science technicians collect evidence and specimens from crime scenes to assist detectives in solving cases. At crime scenes, they take photos of evidence, log notes of their findings, make sketches and catalog items for effective management of the case. They may also work in laboratories where they test evidence for organic materials or chemicals, identify DNA samples and compare samples to databases to help law enforcement make connections in cases.

3. Microbiologist

National average salary: $65,786 per year

Primary duties: A microbiologist is a type of research scientist who analyzes and reports on microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. They may be responsible for designing research projects, collecting and organizing samples, using specialized research equipment to observe and test specimens, reporting their findings and publishing research. Depending on where they work, their research may be to help develop vaccines, improve medical processes or create better crops.

4. Chemist

National average salary: $75,897 per year

Primary duties: A chemist is a research scientist who studies the reactions and interactions of organic and inorganic substances. They may be responsible for testing chemicals in certain conditions, mixing chemicals, using and developing processes with managing and testing chemicals and reporting their findings. Depending on the organization they work for, they may develop products, medications or chemical processes for healthcare organizations or manufacturers.

5. Biologist

National average salary: $81,281 per year

Primary duties: A biologist studies organisms to understand how organisms are impacted by their environments and how various elements impact organisms. Biologists typically specialize in a type of biology, such as wildlife biology. These professionals may study organisms in a lab or under a microscope, conducting tests and recording observations. Depending on where they're employed, they may test medications, processes and environmental changes on organisms to improve products, medications or tests.

6. Researcher

National average salary: $81,851 per year

Primary duties: A researcher is a scientist who focuses on developing and testing hypotheses, creating experiments and publishing findings for their employing organization or the public. They can work in any scientific field, which can determine the research focus and purpose of their projects.

7. Biomedical engineer

National average salary: $85,142 per year

Primary duties: A biomedical engineer uses engineering processes and medical sciences to develop equipment and medical devices for healthcare practitioners. They're responsible for studying the chemical and biological function components of the human body, designing devices like artificial organs or medical examination equipment, testing equipment and improving the processes related to these devices. In addition, some biomedical engineers may also publish their findings, train medical personnel on how to install devices or operate examination equipment or write technical reports.

8. Epidemiologist

National average salary: $87,352 per year

Primary duties: These medical scientists study the patterns and factors of disease and injury and public educational papers to inform the public and medical communities. They may be responsible for developing research projects around public health and safety concerns, observe people in hazardous environments, theorize and evaluate the impacts of circumstances on disease spread and collect and analyze data on risk factors. Epidemiologists typically work for government organizations, medical institutions or universities.

9. R&D engineer

National average salary: $98,387 per year

Primary duties: Also referred to as a research and development engineer, this professional designs new products and improves current products. R&D engineers are typically team leads who supervise a team of product engineers and designers, develop project plans, conduct research and tests and create prototypes and mockups. Depending on where they work, the products they test, improve and develop may include software, manufactured goods and technology.

10. Robotics engineer

National average salary: $99,575 per year

Primary duties: A robotics engineer combines both mechanical engineering and computer engineering to design, create prototypes of and test robots that automate manufacturing processes. Their goal is to create user-friendly, cost-effective machines that can replace human employees in hazardous or mundane work environments.

11. Psychologist

National average salary: $104,922 per year

Primary duties: A psychologist studies the emotional, intellectual and social patterns in humans to diagnose conditions, identify mental health trends or psychological abnormalities and improve the lives or people with mental health disorders. The specific duties may depend on a psychologist's specialty, such as clinical psychology, developmental psychology, forensic psychology or industrial-organizational psychology. In general, they're responsible for interviewing and observing people, analyzing responses, conducting tests, identifying patterns, developing a treatment plan for individuals and publishing reports on their findings.

Related: Learn About Being a Psychologist

12. Physician assistant

National average salary: $106,427 per year

Primary duties: A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who observes, diagnoses and treats patients under the supervision of a physician. PAs can work in hospitals, private practices and clinics seeing patients, ordering tests, analyzing test results, identifying signs of disease or injury, developing tailored treatment plans, resetting fractures or treating wounds, prescribing medication and following up with patients to revise treatment as necessary.

Related: Learn About Being a Physician Assistant

13. Software developer

National average salary: $107,948 per year

Primary duties: A software developer is a computer science professional who designs, creates prototypes of, tests, launches and repairs software applications. Some software developers may lead teams of designers, developers and engineers by reviewing client or company needs for an application, monitoring development progress, delegating tasks and conducting quality assurance.

Related: Learn About Being a Software Developer

14. Nurse practitioner

National average salary: $116,529 per year

Primary duties: A nurse practitioner assesses, diagnoses and treats patients under the supervision of licensed physician. They're responsible for reviewing patient records, identifying signs of injury or disease, creating a tailored treatment plan, prescribing medication, providing education to patients on their conditions, medication and overall wellness and following up with patients.

Related: Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioners

15. Clinical research scientist

National average salary: $124,293 per year

Primary duties: A clinical research scientist conducts experiments on diseases to identify the causes, signs and other variables to improve the processes for diagnosis, testing and treatment. Some of their responsibilities include collecting and analyzing infectious samples, following proper hazmat protocols for handling and disposing of samples, testing samples in various conditions and reporting their findings to inform healthcare professionals and the public. These science professionals can work in hospitals, universities, government agencies or private laboratories.

16. Infectious disease physician

National average salary: $137,902 per year

Primary duties: This type of physician specializes in studying the signs or patterns of and microorganisms that cause infectious diseases. They typically handle the most complex medical cases by conducting and ordering many specialized tests, analyzing test data and collaborating with general physicians in diagnosing conditions and creating treatment plans. They may also collaborate with other medical personnel and clinical scientists to develop new tests for identifying diseases, devices and medical equipment for treating diseases and publishing research for government, public and healthcare agencies.

17. Dentist

National average salary: $236,080 per year

Primary duties: A dentist is a type of doctor who specializes in treating diseases and injuries related to people's teeth and gums. They're typically responsible for analyzing X-rays of teeth, identifying abnormalities like cavities and improperly aligned teeth, spotting signs of gingivitis or other diseases related to the teeth and make recommendations for procedures to straighten, remove or otherwise treat teeth. They also collaborate with dental hygienists is cleaning teeth and providing information on how to improve dental hygiene. They may also collaborate with orthodontists or orthodontic surgeons for more complex procedures or treatments, like braces.

Related: Learn About Being a Dentist

18. Orthodontist

National average salary: $242,314 per year

Primary duties: An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in realigning people's teeth and jaws, especially in severe cases. These specialized dentists review X-rays, communicate with patients about their dental needs and may install, adjust and remove braces, headgear and retainers in patients of all ages for a variety of issues.

Related: Learn About Being an Orthodontist

19. Oncologist

National average salary: $255,791 per year

Primary duties: An oncologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer. They can specialize in:

  • Medical oncology: This type of oncologist treats diagnosed cancer with chemotherapy.

  • Surgical oncology: A surgical oncologist performs surgery to remove suspicious tumors to be biopsied and tested for cancer and remove cancerous tumors and other affected tissue.

  • Radiation oncology: This oncologist uses radiation to target cancerous cells.

  • Gynecological oncology: This type of oncologist specializes in diagnosing and treating patients with uterine, cervical or ovarian cancers.

  • Pediatric oncology: Pediatric oncologists treat children and teenagers with cancer.

  • Hematology-oncology: This oncologist treats cancers of the blood in people of all ages.

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