Most science jobs, including the best-known and most popular, fall into three broad categories: academic, government, and industrial. Academic positions include professors and the technicians and researchers who work for them. Government scientists are often researchers or regulators. Industrial scientists work for businesses or some non-profits. Some science jobs, however, don’t exactly fit any of those categories. Here are five possible careers you haven’t considered.
A taxidermist preserves and mounts dead animals to display them. Many taxidermists start out as hobbyists who make displays for friends who hunt. At this level, the taxidermist doesn’t need training or certification. If they want to prepare displays for a science museum, however, they will need to go to a taxidermy school and earn certification. Taxidermists need to know the anatomy of their subjects so they can produce the most life-like mount possible. They also need to have good eye-hand coordination and an artistic flair.
2. Essential Oil Research & Production
Essential oils come from plants, and many have therapeutic properties. They can be used in aromatherapy to relieve stress and/or improve mood, and some can be used as antiseptics. Companies like doTERRA thus often hire scientists to help make or study essential oils. Some scientists, for example, will test the effectiveness of doTERRA products. Others help develop new products. These scientists need to have at least a Master’s degree in a relevant field like pharmacology.
A paleoartist paints or sculpts reconstructions of prehistoric animals, most commonly dinosaurs. They can illustrate books or create museum murals or displays. Paleoartists need to know both anatomy and paleontology to produce the most accurate and life-like reconstructions. As they also need to know the necessary art techniques, many go to art school.
4. Forensic Science
A forensic scientist helps investigate the physical evidence found at a crime scene. They can take DNA samples from hair or blood, and they can analyze various chemicals. Forensic science is a broad field that encompasses several scientific disciplines including toxicology, chemistry, and biology. A forensic scientist needs at least a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, and they also need certification.
A cartographer maps and measures the surface of the Earth. They also collect and analyze geographic data taken from airplanes, satellites, and surveys. A cartographer needs at least a Bachelor’s degree in geography, cartography, computer science, or some other relevant discipline. Many states also require a cartographer to have a surveyor’s license. Cartographers who specialize in GIS or remote sensing may also need certification in these areas.
As the above list shows, many possible science jobs don’t require a Ph.D. Some jobs, like paleoartist or taxidermist, are at least as much art as they are science. It will take some looking, but somebody seeking an unconventional career in science should be able to find a job that strikes their fancy.