Explore career information by location
In order to become a research scientist, you need to have an undergraduate degree and a master's degree. Most research scientists also have, or are working toward, their doctorate. You'll take courses in biology, physical science, chemistry, and math.
Along with the education, you'll also need to complete training in conducting experiments, including two or more years of supervised lab work. Most positions at colleges and universities require a Ph.D. while jobs in the public sector and private companies will accept candidates who have a master's.
A research scientist has to have excellent analytical skills and patience. They also need flexiblility and the ability to pay meticulous attention to detail. A research scientist must work with a team, but also have the motivation to complete work on their own.
Professionals who have the education and background in research science can work in a number of different professions. They can work as a:
Most research scientists start out as an associate and work their way up to a senior research position and possibly into a supervisory position.