Science technicians apply the principles and theories of science and mathematics to solve problems in research and development. Through their work scientists in these fields help invent and improve products and processes that help lower the costs and increase the safety for end consumers. Because they are more practically oriented than those of rote scientists, job opportunities for science technicians are projected to steadily expand through 2014.
Job opportunities are expected to be best for graduates of applied science technology programs. These candidates are well trained on equipment used in industrial and government laboratories and facilities. Following increasingly development of more complex techniques used in
industrial research, development, and production, employers seek candidates with highly developed technical, computer and communications skills.
Labor forecasters anticipate tremendous investment in scientific, biotech and medical research. The increased demand for science technicians will expand in step with this increased demand.
The increase in the demand for biological technicians in particular will be bolstered, as the growing number of agricultural and medicinal products developed with the use will increase demand in this highly specialized field. In addition, stronger competition among pharmaceutical companies combined with an aging population will contribute to the market for more innovative, effective and cheaper drugs will further spur the need for biological technicians. Pharmaceutical research and development will see the fastest employment growth for biological technicians. Read more at http://www.phrma.org/.
Job growth for chemical technicians is the only scientific industry sector projected to see slower than average job expansion over the next decade. The chemical manufacturing industry is anticipated to experience a decline in job demand as companies downsize and turn to outside contractors for specialized services. However, the good news is chemical technicians will find their services in high demand by the growing pharmaceutical industry. As mentioned, the job demand in “Big Pharma” is expected to skyrocket in response to a copious consumer drugs drug market. To meet this demand, pharmaceutical manufacturing firms are expected to continue to invest more money into research and development, either through in-house teams or, increasingly, through contracting work to professional, scientific, and technical services firms, spurring employment growth of for chemical technicians in that industry. An increasing focus on quality assurance will spur an even greater demand for process and chemical technicians, further stimulating demand in both fields.
Employment of environmental scientists and protection technicians will remain, on average, steady with current rates. Environmental scientists are in charge of regulating waste products in the air, water and soil. They collect and measure pollutant levels, monitor compliance with government standards and oversee clean up of contaminated sites.
Agricultural and food science technicians
Employment of agricultural and food science technicians will keep pace with current levels. The most promising opportunities will be in specific segments of the food-processing industry and in agricultural biotechnology. Demand will be especially high in the fields of scientific research and development.
Biotechnological research will be increasingly important to establish a balance between greater agricultural output demands and protection of natural resources. Specific research will focus on developing strategies to combat insects and diseases as they further adapt to existing pesticides. Drawing a balance between addressing these threats while preserving soil fertility and water quality will be the chief challenge of this research.
Just behind biotechnology, jobs in forensic science are expected to increase dramatically in coming years. Crime scene technicians, who work for State Public Safety Departments, will find abundant employment prospects. However, recruiters will give priority to job candidates with a 4-year degree in forensic science over those with only a 2-year associate’s degree.
Geological and petroleum technicians
As oil and gas extraction and mining industries continue to downsize, job demand for geological and petroleum technicians will inevitably decline. However, the exodus of many veteran scientists in this field combined with the highly specialized field of geological and petroleum technicians, job seekers and recent graduates should find little competition for these positions. This is especially true for energy-related fields. Demands for consultants in this field is expected to increase and qualified geological and petroleum specialists are already being recruited by professional, scientific, and technical service providers where their specialized expertise is needed to assist companies in meeting environmental policy mandates, such as those requiring lower sulfur emissions.