9 science careers from the specialists

  11th March 2019       Laurence Doherty
 Engineering, Science & Space, Employment, Job Seeking Resources

We’re currently in the middle of British Science Week, a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). To celebrate, we’ve asked our specialist Engineering, Science & Space division to provide an insight into some of the careers available within the sector.

Analytical chemist

You’ll need a strong science-based degree along with good technical skills and an eye for detail to become an analytical chemist. Using a diverse range of methods, you’ll be required to investigate the chemical nature of substances. Your aim will be to identify and understand the substance and how it behaves in different conditions.

You can work in areas as diverse as drug formulation and development, chemical or forensic analysis and toxicology.

Typical graduate starting salaries for analytical chemist jobs are in the region of £18,000 to £25,000. It may be possible to start on a higher salary if you have a PhD. With experience, or at a more senior level, salaries range from £25,000 to £40,000. Senior analytical chemists with management responsibilities could earn over £50,000 with extensive experience.

Biomedical engineer

To become a successful biomedical engineer, you’ll need a keen interest in developing and maintaining design systems and products for the medical industry. Biomedical engineers apply engineering principles and materials technology to healthcare.

Job titles vary depending on the exact nature of the work and also include bioengineer, clinical engineer or scientist (in a hospital setting/clinical situation) and design engineer.

You need a degree in biomedical science or engineering, electrical or electronic engineering, mechanical engineering or physics. Salaries range between £21,000 and £45,000 depending on experience and level of responsibility.

Biomedical scientist

As a biomedical scientist, you’ll carry out a range of laboratory and scientific tests on tissue samples and fluids to help clinicians diagnose and treat diseases. You’ll also evaluate the effectiveness of treatments and need strong analytical skills and practical laboratory experience.

Biomedical scientists usually specialise in one of four areas: infection sciences, blood sciences, cellular sciences or genetics and molecular pathology.

Salaries range from £22,128 to £35,577, but as a senior biomedical scientist, you can expect to earn up to £48,514.

Forensic scientist

If you have an enquiring mind and a methodical approach to work, a career as a forensic scientist may be for you. As a forensic scientist you’ll provide scientific evidence for use in courts of law to support the prosecution or defence in criminal and civil investigations.

Job activities depend on the area of forensics in which you work. Chemistry is connected to crimes against property; biology is connected to crimes against people and then there is drugs and toxicology.

To work as a forensic scientist, you’ll usually need either a degree in a scientific subject, such as biological sciences or chemistry, or a degree in forensic science. Degree subjects such as statistics and geology can be useful for entry into specialist areas of forensic science.

Salaries for forensic scientists typically start at £20,000. With experience, this can increase to between £25,000 and £35,000. Salaries at senior levels can exceed £45,000.

Clinical biochemistry

If you have a degree in biochemistry or a related subject and have excellent analytical and communication skills, consider a career as a healthcare scientist specialising in clinical biochemistry. You’ll analyse samples taken from patients’ blood, urine or other bodily fluids to help with the diagnosis, management and treatment of diseases.

To work in clinical biochemistry, you’ll need a degree in a life sciences subject such as biochemistry, biology, microbiology, biomedical sciences or genetics.

Salaries typically start at £28,050. Once qualified salaries range from £33,222 to £43,041. Salaries for principal and consultant scientists range from £42,414 to £102,506, depending on your experience and training.


If you have an interest in genetics, enjoy working in a healthcare setting and are keen to develop your career in an ever-changing field, think about becoming a healthcare scientist working in genomics.

Working in genomics, you’ll examine samples to identify genetic and genomic abnormalities, which may cause inherited or acquired diseases. To get started in Genomics, you will be a graduate with a degree in genetics or a related subject with a genetics component, such as molecular biology or cellular sciences.

Trainee salaries usually start at £26,302. Once qualified, salaries range from £31,383 to £41,373. Salaries for senior and consultants range from £40,028 to £99,437, depending on your experience and training.


Nanotechnologists push the boundaries of interdisciplinary science to create new materials, methods or procedures based on nano-scale particles and interactions. Nanotechnologists manipulate matter on the nanoscale (one billionth of a metre), developing new materials and equipment as well as drugs and diagnostic tools. Nanotechnology encompasses science, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and computer science.

Most employers require candidates to have obtained either a research-based MSc or PhD, or be currently working towards one, particularly for roles in research or development.

Earning potential is between £25,000 to £35,000 once you have completed your PhD. At a senior level, nanotechnologists can earn between £30,000 to £40,000. Salaries at this level vary between sectors.

Product/process development scientist

A background in engineering or science, as well as a logical approach to problem solving, is what you’ll needed to kick-start a career in development science. Manufacturing companies typically need development scientists to understand and control the processes used to make the final product. Development scientists work across the manufacturing industry on a diverse range of products, such as foods, medicines, cosmetics and paints.

Product/process development scientists are recruited from a range of degree subjects as the workload can be varied, requiring a mixture of skills

Starting salaries for product/process development scientists are in the region of £22,000 to £30,000. With experience, development scientists can progress to salaries of £32,000 to £40,000. Senior development scientists with substantial experience working at a high level can expect to earn between £52,000 and £65,000+.


If you have a methodical, scientific mind and enjoy carrying out experiments, a career in toxicology may be for you. As a toxicologist 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.

You need a degree to become a toxicologist. While there are few degree courses specifically in toxicology, there are a number that combine toxicology with other subjects such as biochemistry and pharmacology.

Starting salaries for graduate toxicologists range from around £20,000 to £30,000. The salary range for highly experienced toxicologists can rise to £75,000 and beyond.

Science jobs in Oxford

Oxfordshire boats Europe’s largest concentration of multi-million-pound science research facilities, underpinning our leading position in advanced engineering, manufacturing and life sciences, in addition to being at the heart of the UK’s growing international space cluster.

Across the county, there are over 10,000 employed in scientific R&D and healthcare related manufacturing, which is over four times the national average.

Thankfully, Oxford is where our specialist Engineering, Science & Space division is based, so if you possess any of the skills and experience mentioned in the above roles, get in touch here or call 01865 546046.

Laurence Doherty

Senior Recruitment Consultant

Laurence is an REC CertRP qualified recruitment consultant specialising in the IT, Engineering, Scientific and Education sectors. During his 12 year career, he has developed a deep understanding of recruitment sales, marketing, candidate vetting procedures and account management and understands how to develop lasting relationships with candidates and clients by …

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