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What does a Marine Scientist do?

Are you obsessed with all things under the sea? Is a visit to the local aquarium your favorite rainy (or sunny!) day activity? Consider a career as a marine scientist. You could spend your workday interacting with plant and marine life, making vital observations about the environment, and helping to preserve endangered wildlife, all while strengthening your sea legs.

School of thought

The term “marine scientist” can encompass several different careers:

  • Marine biology
  • Oceanography
  • Ocean engineering
  • Aquatic biology
  • Science education

A degree is a must-have for any of these jobs. There are two and four-year programs that can prepare you for an entry level job in these fields. An advanced degree, such a master’s or doctorate, can prepare you for a more specialized role in a specific field. As a student of marine science, you may complete coursework in classes including biology, geology, chemistry, physics, and aquatic sciences.

marine scientist

A watery workplace

Marine science involves the study of saltwater life. As a marine scientist, you might research a particular animal’s behavior or its relationship to its environment or other animals, help develop new medicines that are derived from marine resources, or help design technology that will aid oceanographers in gathering data from the ocean.

You may also be responsible for gathering data about the chemical composition of the ocean, pollution, or fluctuations in the ocean’s temperature or wave patterns. Some marine scientists are employed by museums or aquariums, some by state or federal agencies. You may also be employed by independent labs or organizations.

Treading water

Employment opportunities in the marine sciences can be competitive, but, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment (in the general biological sciences) is expected to grow 21 percent.

Marine biotechnology, in particular, is an emerging field with a growing demand for specialists. However, the popularity of these types of jobs is also growing, so competition can be as fierce as a great white shark. As the world evolves and the preservation of the environment becomes increasingly important, so does the role of the marine scientist. This is a forward-thinking field that gives dedicated professionals the opportunity to make a real impact.

What does a Medical Laboratory Technician do?

What job could be more rewarding than being part of a team that helps detect and diagnose illnesses and diseases in people so they can embark on the proper treatment plans and regain good health? If you are detail-oriented, ambitious, and hope to enter a field with outstanding employment and growth potential, take a closer look at a future career as a medical laboratory technician.

Medical laboratory technicians are essentially medical sleuths, finding answers to a number of various tests per requests from physicians. Using specialized lab techniques and equipment, technicians analyze blood, tissue, and other bodily fluids and then describe the findings so doctors can move forward with treatment strategies, further examination, or continued monitoring of the disease or illness. The information discovered by these professionals is crucial for the entire health care team, especially the patient.

medical laboratory technician

Education and specialization for medical laboratory technicians

Those studying to become a medical laboratory technician are required to have their high school diploma before earning their associate degree in medical laboratory technology, which includes hands-on clinical training. They must then pass the national certification exam given by one of the following:

  • Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists
  • National Certification Agency for Medical Laboratory Personnel
  • American Medical Technologists

Medical laboratory technician students can specialize in hematology, immunology, chemistry, blood banking, or microbiology. A background (high school courses) and deep interest in science and mathematics is a great benefit for anyone studying to enter the field.

Salaries and career potential for medical laboratory technicians

Jobs opportunities are expected to grow by about 14 percent for medical laboratory technicians, which is faster than average for all careers. Employment potential is excellent, especially in hospitals and testing laboratories.

Advancement opportunities for medical laboratory technicians

Medical laboratory technicians often take their experience, ambition, and further education to more advanced positions in the workplace, such as supervisory careers. You can pursue professional certification and degrees in a biological science, chemistry, business management, medical technology, computer science, or another specialized area to increase your chances for job advancement.

Take your scientific mind and desire to help to a new level by becoming part of the medical teams that assist patients with proper diagnoses and treatments.

What does a Scientist do?

A scientist researches phenomena of the natural world, seeking greater understanding and potential applications in areas such as policy making and product development. Scientific research specialties range from atmospheric physics to computing to social interaction.

Scientist careers: an overview

As a scientist, you can expect to advance knowledge in your field by systematically observing, measuring and testing hypotheses–in short, by applying the scientific method. Scientists may work in the field or in a clinical laboratory. In the field, you may be responsible for collecting evidence, observing and measuring outcomes; in the laboratory, you could conduct closely controlled experiments and analyze data.

Science offers a world of specialties and sub-specialties:

  • Biology, including biotechnology and biochemistry
  • Chemistry and materials science
  • Physics
  • Computer science
  • Earth sciences, including environmental science
  • Social sciences

Depending on your chosen specialty, you might work in an array of different sectors: pharmaceuticals, medical devices, high tech R&D, defense, aerospace or government, to name a few.


Training for a career in science

A career in science requires at least an associate or bachelor’s degree in a scientific field. In addition to courses in the scientific specialty, students hone their skills in math and statistics, lab research methods and communication.

  • Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.): The two-year associate degree in applied science leads to entry-level science technician jobs. Science technicians assist a scientist in the lab or field, collecting specimens, maintaining lab instruments and recording experiment results.
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.): The four-year college degree is the minimum qualification if you want to develop experiments, analyze results and publish findings. Bachelor-level scientists often work in applied research, working with engineers to develop products such as pharmaceuticals or high tech devices.
  • Graduate degrees: Scientists with master’s degrees or PhDs have the clout and credibility to raise research grant funds and establish independent research labs. Graduate-level scientists may also teach at the college level.

The rise of online programs in science has made it possible to work your way up the career ladder while you pursue your education. You can complete an online bachelor’s degree while working as a science technician, and then continue on to your master’s while building experience in the lab.

Career outlook

Scientific research and development offers favorable career prospects, according to the Department of Labor. The field as a whole is expected to increase by 25 percent. The main drivers of growth are biotechnology and life sciences research. Advances in information technology may also support a robust job market for computer scientists.

High-growth scientist careers include:

  • Environmental scientists should see 28 percent job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast.
  • Biochemists and biophysicists rank among the top ten fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., reports the BLS, with projected growth of 37 percent.
  • Medical scientists rank as the sixth fastest-growing occupation, with 40 percent growth.

Your earning power generally will increase with education.

Scientists play a critical role in shaping how we see the world and how we live. As a scientist, you can play a part in increasing scientific knowledge, developing innovative products or shaping environmental and social policy.