Careers in Science

There is more in science than you think, not just physics, chemistry and biology. Explore the different careers that you can find in the science sector.
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Lab Technician

New opportunities are created every day in science as we learn more and more about our world. In the UK 20% of the workforce are employed in science roles, a total of 5.8 million people. With over 300 different careers, science jobs are one of the most fast growing and most demanded jobs in the UK and worldwide.

Some interesting science careers

Meteorologist

Meteorology is the branch of science that studies the earth's atmosphere and how it causes changes in weather conditions.

  • The average salary (a year) can be ranged from £20,000 for a starter, up to £60,000.
  • You can get into this job through a university course or training with a professional body.
  • You can work as a forecaster and collect data from satellites, or work as a researcher and study weather patterns and changes of the climate.

Astronomer/ Astrophysicist  

Astronomers study the origin and make-up of the universe, including its planets, stars, galaxies and black holes.

  • The average salary (a year) can be ranged from £15,000 for a starter, up to £60,000.
  • You can get this job through a university course.
  • You can work as an observational astronomer and observe the universe with telescopes collecting data, or work as a theoretical astronomer and create computer models and analyze the results.

Biochemist

Biochemists investigate the chemical processes that take place inside all living things, from viruses and bacteria to people.

  • The average salary (a year) can be ranged from £26,500 for a starter, up to £60,000.
  • You can get this job through a university course, apply for a job after finishing school, getting specialist training with the NHS.
  • You can work in the pharmaceutical industry developing new products, work in a hospital carrying out tests and researches or work in agriculture by genetically engineering plants.

Robotics engineer

Robotics engineers design and build machines to do automated jobs in industries like manufacturing, aerospace, medicine and farming.

  • The average salary (a year) can be ranged from £27,500 for a starter, up to £55,500.
  • You can get this job through a university course a college course, an apprenticeship, apply for as job after finishing school.
  • Your work will be designing and building prototypes, analyzing data, fixing errors and building robots.

This video describes some of the career options available in science, with thoughts from people who work as scientists.

What are the choices you have to make?

There are a large range of careers in science. Some more specific jobs need further education, but if you are looking forward to working in the science sector, this is the way to start:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including Maths, English and a Science.
  • 2 or 3 A levels with good grades including Maths and a Science.
  • Many science careers start with study at a university or college, but there are also apprenticeship routes.
  • You will need a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study and some roles.

Reasons to study science

There are more and more students studying some form of science every year. The reason being that science answers our curiosity, it helps us understand the world around us, from the giant universe to the tiny atoms. All those discoveries are a result of the scientific research and experiments are moving our world forward.

My Personal Opinion:

I was always amazed and curious by the world around me, and I had and still have questions about it. With science I didn’t just answer those questions I understood the process of thinking to find the answer. It doesn’t matter if the question is simple or complex, smart or foolish because they will all have interesting answers. I got interested in science from a silly question that I had and the deeper I was getting the more fascinated I was from its wander. Sure, it might not be the easiest subject, but when you figure it out you will see the world differently, before I went to the observatory I could simply see stars but after I could see the constellations, know where the planets, nebulas and galaxies are, and saw the sky in a different way. For me to know how the tiny atoms, life and the massive stars work, is something worth learning.

Local companies that employ scientists

Diamond Light Source - Be a part of the world-changing science at the UK's National Synchrotron. Diamond Light Source is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world.

European Space Agency - The Careers at ESA page is designed to give our potential future colleagues an introduction to the opportunities and entry points to working at ESA.

Brookes University -Brookes is a university committed to externally recognized world-leading research.

Science Oxford - There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved with Science Oxford; whether it’s as a volunteer, a science business ambassador or as a member of staff with a vacancy.

Abingdon and Witney College - Provides full time science courses through out the year.

Scientists often find that there are good opportunities to get jobs in different towns and even abroad. You can get an idea about the sort of jobs available by looking at SRG which is the UK’s number one market leading sciences, clinical and engineering recruitment agency.

Places offering science work experience?

Work experience is important as you will  learn key skills of the job that you couldn't learn in school and also find out if you enjoy working there. You can see some of the many places that offer science work experiences below:

Science Oxford - STEM experience weeks provide students in year 10 and 11 the chance to experience a range of STEM businesses in one week.

Sheffield University - SUPER is a work experience program for year 10/12 students in a world leading physics and astronomy department. We will give you a week of organized activities that give you a taste of what life as a researcher is really like. 

University of Oxford - Medical sciences division offer formal work experience programmes that give secondary school and sixth form students the chance to experience life in a lab and get a better understanding of some scientific topics. 

Science activities in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire Young Archaeologists Club - We meet 11 times each year. Our aim is to inspire and educate children aged 8-16 about archaeology and history through a series of field trips and meetings held at the Pitt Rivers Museum.

 

Abingdon Astronomical Society - The Society aims to promote public interest in astronomy and the related sciences in southern and western Oxfordshire. The Society organizes a varied program of meetings and observing evenings throughout most of the year .

Getting started

It is never too early to get involved in sciences or start learning about science as a career. Talk to your teachers, visit local museums or find local code and science clubs. It is a whole world to explore.

Alexandros Oikonomou- Work Experience Student

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