The science and pharmaceuticals sector has a huge number of careers to choose from. From jobs in laboratories and hospitals to those in factories, offices and pharmacies discover which is right for you
Using a range of methods to investigate the chemical composition of substances, you'll identify and understand the substance and how it behaves in different conditions.
You can work in areas such as:
- drug formulation and development
- chemical or forensic analysis
- product validation
Graduate starting salaries are in the region of £18,000 to £25,000, but salaries may be higher if you have a PhD.
Gain an insight into the role of an analytical chemist.
You'll care for animals used in scientific and medical research, such as rats and mice, but other species are used and the different requirements of each mean that working environments vary.
You don't need a degree or HND, as many employers will be more concerned with your interest in animal care. However, these degrees may prove useful:
- animal behaviour/management
Find out more about animal technician salaries.
Carrying out a range of laboratory and scientific tests on tissue samples and fluids, you'll help clinicians diagnose and treat diseases and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.
You can work on medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes or AIDS or carry out tests for emergency blood transfusions.
In the NHS, starting salaries range from £24,214 to £30,112 (Band 5).
You'll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work as a biomedical scientist in the UK.
Learn more about the qualifications you need to become a biomedical scientist.
Clinical scientist jobs
- Clinical scientist, audiology
- Clinical scientist, biochemistry
- Clinical scientist, cardiac science
- Clinical scientist, embryology
- Clinical scientist, genomics
- Clinical science, haematology
- Clinical scientist, histocompatibility and immunogenetics
- Clinical scientist, immunology
- Clinical science, medical physics
- Clinical science, physiological sciences
Working to legal and ethical guidelines you'll be responsible for dispensing and distributing medicine and maintaining and improving people's health. You'll sell over-the-counter medical products and instruct members of the public on the use of medicines and medical appliances.
Salaries for pre-registration trainees range from £16,000 to over £20,000. Starting salaries for community pharmacists are in the region of £30,000 to £35,000, depending on location.
Crime scene investigator
Sometimes known as scenes of crime officers or forensic scene investigators, it's your job to secure and protect crime scenes, and collect evidence from crime scenes, post-mortems and other incidents.
You're also responsible for processing and categorising evidence, so it can be used in criminal investigations.
Find out what to expect from a job as a crime scene investigator.
It's your job to make sure food products are produced safely, legally and to the quality claimed. You'll develop manufacturing processes and recipes of food and drink products, modify foods to create fat-free items and work on existing and newly-discovered ingredients to invent new recipes.
You'll benefit from having a food-related degree such as:
- food, nutrition and health
- food safety and quality management
- food science/technology.
Take a look at what you can earn as a food technologist.
You'll provide scientific evidence to support the prosecution or defence in criminal and civil investigations. You'll search for and examine contact trace material such as blood, hairs and clothing fibres.
To work as a forensic scientist you'll need either a degree in a scientific subject, such as biological sciences or chemistry, or a degree in forensic science.
Salaries for forensic scientists start at £20,000.
Discover more about working a forensic scientist.
You'll discover new drugs, help to create more effective medicines and design and create new pharmaceutically active molecules to combat a particular disease or condition.
There are a range of job titles by which you may be known - such as synthetic organic chemist, (graduate) scientist and research chemist.
To become a medicinal chemist you'll need a degree-level chemistry qualification and to have a good grasp of synthetic and organic chemistry.
Take a look at the responsibilities of a medicinal chemist.
You'll predict the weather and study the causes of weather conditions using information obtained from the land, sea and upper atmosphere.
By understanding microbes, microbiologists aim to solve a range of problems affecting health, the environment, climate and food and agriculture. You can work on the prevention, diagnosis and control of infections and disease, ensuring that food is safe, or on developing green technologies.
You'll need a good honours degree in a relevant subject such as:
- applied biology
- biomedical sciences
- molecular biology.
Read up on what to expect as a microbiologist.
Jobs involve manipulating matter on the nanoscale (one billionth of a metre). You'll develop new materials and equipment as well as drugs and diagnostic tools. Nanotechnology encompasses science, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and computer science.
To enter into research in nanotechnology you'll need a good honours degree as well as either a research-based MSc or PhD.
Take a look at the skills you'll need as a nanotechnologist.
Aiming to understand how medicines work, you'll conduct research to aid drug discovery and development, investigate how drugs interact with biological systems and carry out in vitro or in vivo research to predict what effect certain drugs might have on humans.
You'll need a scientific degree in pharmacology or a related subject such as:
An MSc or PhD in pharmacology or a related subject is advantageous.
Learn more about what you could earn as a pharmacologist.
Research science jobs
- Research scientist (life sciences)
- Research scientist (maths)
- Research scientist (medical)
- Research scientist (physical sciences)
You'll research, write and edit scientific news, articles and features, for business, trade and professional publications, specialist scientific and technical journals, and the general media.
Teaching laboratory technician
Working in educational institutions, you'll support the work of science teachers, lecturers and students.
Discover more about the role of a teaching laboratory technician and read about the three best things about working as a lab technician.
You'll identify, monitor and evaluate the impact of toxic materials, chemicals, potential new medicines and radiation on the environment and human and animal health.
Other responsibilities include planning and carrying out laboratory and field studies.
Relevant degree courses include:
- food, crop, soil and environmental sciences
- forensic, chemical and physical sciences
- medical and veterinary sciences.
Take a look at what you could earn as a toxicologist.
Other science and pharmaceutical jobs
- clinical research associate
- clothing/textile technologist
- colour technologist
- hospital pharmacist
- medical science liaison
- plant breeder/geneticist
- product/process development scientist
- scientific laboratory technician
- water quality scientist