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Careers With a Natural Science Degree

Natural science degrees incorporate coursework from a variety of different scientific disciplines, including chemistry, astronomy, physics and biology. While a specific degree in a scientific discipline prepares students for a more specialized career track, a broad degree in natural science gives graduates some flexibility in their job search with the option of adding graduate study in the future for more specialization and career advancement.

Environmental Scientists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a natural sciences degree prepares students for an entry-level job in environmental science. Environmental scientists work to improve and protect the natural environment. Often working either in laboratories or in the field, these professionals rehabilitate polluted areas, try to influence policy markers or act as consultants to companies on projects such as waste management. The 2012 median pay for environmental scientists and specialists was $63,570 per year with an industry growth of 15 percent, which is faster than the national average for all occupations.

Food Scientists

Food scientists work in a variety of occupations related to agriculture and the food industry. Some might work with companies to develop new food products while others might research ways to improve soil quality or crop efficiency. Coursework in chemistry is often a requirement for an entry-level job in this field. With a 2012 annual median salary of $58,610, job seekers will enter a field with average job growth and the opportunity for advancement with continued education.

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

With a natural science degree, animal lovers can pursue a career in zoology or wildlife biology. By studying animal behavior and physical traits, as well as the impacts that humans have on natural ecosystems, these scientists work in the field and in laboratories to gather data and conduct research. The annual median salary for professionals in this field was $57,710 in 2012. While the growth rate of such careers is lower than the national average at 5 percent, specialized opportunities are available for those with a doctoral degree.

Forensic Science Technicians

If you have an analytical mind and an attention to detail, pursuing a job in forensics after graduation may be the right move. Forensic science technicians work with law enforcement to gather and analyze crime scene evidence. With a balance between scientific analysis and writing reports, these individuals often work unusual hours and must travel frequently within their jurisdiction. The 2012 median annual pay for this field was $52,840. Growth is projected at 6 percent, slower than the average for all occupations.



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