Whether it's inspiring the next generation of scientists by sharing your knowledge in schools or shaping the future of science by working on policies - there is a science career out there for you

Communication and outreach

This is all about sharing scientific knowledge and information with those who are not experts and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand.

Some examples of jobs are:

  • Science writer or journalist - you'll relay science news to the general public through various media outlets and publications.
  • Museum education officer - involves explaining scientific concepts to visitors at museums and science centres such as the Science Museum (London) or the Science and Industry Museum (Manchester).
  • Event manager - employees organise science-related information events or festivals for businesses, students, or the general public.

Your job could also involve presenting scientific findings to the government or visiting schools and universities to promote science-related subjects and activities. Pursuing a career in public relations is also an option.

If you have an undergraduate degree in an unrelated subject, Masters courses in science communication are available at The University of Manchester, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Sheffield, and Imperial College London.

While this type of course is on the rise, the best way to enter the field is through gaining relevant work experience and building industry contacts. Valuable experience includes writing for university publications, joining university science clubs and organising events, volunteering at science museums and entering writing competitions.

Search for postgraduate courses in science communication.

Medical sales

Medical sales representatives work for pharmaceutical companies and sell medicines, medical equipment and prescription drugs to healthcare professionals such as GPs, hospital doctors, pharmacists, nurses and dentists. When starting out you'll earn between £19,000 and £24,000 but with experience salaries can reach £50,000.

The career is open to all graduates but a degree in life sciences, medicine or pharmacy may be particularly useful.

Discover more about the sales sector.


Many scientists who are searching for a career outside of research find that management consulting is an attractive option. It allows them to apply their scientific background and analytical skills to solving client problems. This could include improving the efficiency of manufacturing processes, for example.

Although management consultancy is open to all graduates, a degree in business, economics, engineering or science can be particularly beneficial. You could find work with a general consultancy, such as PA Consulting, or a specialist scientific consultancy such as BMT.

Starting salaries for junior consultants in large firms typically fall between £25,000 and £33,500.

Learn more about consulting graduate schemes.


If you are interested in working for a specialist publisher, you should be aware that jobs in this field are highly competitive. However, you could use the knowledge gained from your scientific degree to your advantage.

Science publishing, both online and in print, tends to focus on the production of books, scientific journals, textbooks and revision guides. The main publishers in this field are based in Cambridge, London and Oxford, and include:

  • Bloomsbury Sigma
  • IOP
  • Springer Nature
  • Taylor and Francis
  • Wiley.

You could find jobs in production, proofreading and editorial. Some employers may accept an undergraduate degree in a science subject, but a postgraduate qualification in publishing will give you an edge due to the competitive nature of the industry. Search for postgraduate courses in publishing.

If you want to gain experience in the field, you could consider writing for university newspapers and science clubs, starting your own science-themed blog or YouTube channel, or interning at scientific publishers. This demonstrates previous experience and a degree of commitment to the industry.

Atwood Tate, a specialist recruitment agency, advertises scientific and medical publishing roles, and The New Scientist also publishes job vacancies.

Discover how to get into publishing.

Intellectual property and patent law

Individuals with a scientific background who are interested in the legal field may want to consider pursuing a career as a patent attorneypatent examinersolicitor, or trade mark attorney. Those with a science degree may find roles as patent attorneys or examiners particularly suited to their skill set.

Patent attorneys evaluate whether an invention is new and innovative, and therefore eligible to be patented. Trainee starting salaries typically range between £27,000 and £36,000. A degree in science, engineering, technical or mathematics-based subjects is usually necessary. Meanwhile, patent examiners use their technical and legal knowledge to assess patent applications.

If you'd like to become a solicitor, you can put your scientific background to good use in areas such as intellectual property and environmental law. See what the law sector has to offer.

Manufacturing and production

The engineering and manufacturing industry provides various career opportunities for those with a science background. You could become a:

  • Health and safety inspector - Science and engineering graduates are at an advantage when entering this highly competitive profession. You will be responsible for ensuring that risks in the workplace are appropriately controlled to protect people.
  • Product/process development scientist - Manufacturing companies require development scientists to understand and manage the processes used to make the final product. As a product/process development scientist, you will work across the manufacturing industry on various products, such as foods, medicines, cosmetics, and paints. A background in engineering or science will be beneficial.
  • Quality manager - Your role is to ensure that the products or services an organisation provides are consistent, fit for purpose, and meet both external and internal requirements.
  • Nuclear engineer - You'll design, build, run, or decommission nuclear power stations. You will collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams to develop technical solutions. Chemistry and physics qualifications are particularly useful in this field.


If you'd like to share your passion for science with future generations, you should consider teaching in schools, colleges or universities. Jobs include:

You'll need to gain additional qualifications to become a teacher, so find out more about the different routes into teaching. Generous bursaries are often available for graduates training to teach a STEM subject, see funding for teacher training for more information.

Funding and administration

If you're interested in staying up-to-date with the latest scientific developments but prefer working in an office environment rather than a lab, then a career in science funding and administration may be a good fit for you. Typically, you would work for organisations such as Research Councils UK, including the BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, and STFC, as well as major funding bodies like the Leverhulme Trust and the Wellcome Trust.

You would use your scientific knowledge to support others' research efforts. Your responsibilities may include administering grant applications and providing guidance to applicants.


Your knowledge of the science industry can be put to good use in the recruitment sector, where you can work as a recruitment consultant and match candidates' skills to the right scientific role. Trainee recruitment consultants start on salaries between £18,000 and £25,000.

You can work for specialist recruitment agencies like CK Science, Network Scientific Recruitment, SRG, and STEM Graduates. Another option is to work as a higher education careers adviser, specialising in science.

Science policy

Jobs in science policy require you to utilise your scientific knowledge and understanding to aid policy formulation. Policy workers can work in various settings across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Some of the typical employers include charities, government departments, non-governmental organisations and public sector organisations such as:

  • the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
  • scientific professional bodies like The Royal Society
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Institute of Physics
  • trade associations.

The work involves identifying and analysing policy issues, gathering information on scientific issues, composing reports, and writing briefing papers.

However, it's worth noting that vacancies are difficult to come by, and most policy officers hold postgraduate qualifications in subjects such as politics, social politics, or policy studies.

The University of Sussex offers a one-year MSc in Science and Technology Policy, while the Wellcome Trust's Graduate Development Programme covers various business areas, including policy.

Find out more

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