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Job Tips for Natural Sciences Managers

Updated on January 30, 2012

Natural sciences managers lead teams of scientists or mathematicians in research and development or other projects. These management jobs generally require a high degree of education and experience in a natural science or math field.

In the typical career path of a natural sciences manager, it is generally expected that someone will have earned at least a bachelor's degree in a natural science and gained experience working in that field. For example, a chemistry major may get a technician job in research and development. This would naturally not be a management job for those with only a bachelor's degree and little to no experience.

While getting experience in the relevant field of natural science (or between jobs), an aspiring manager will enroll in a graduate program of study and earn at least a master's degree. Some natural sciences management personnel have an MBA degree, while others have a graduate degree in the relevant natural science. Of course, getting a dual degree or separately earning these degrees is an even better approach to reaching the goal of becoming a manager for natural scientists or math experts.

However, for many positions, the expected level of education is a Ph.D. Managers in research and development often have a doctorate in the relevant field and may get an MBA to strengthen their knowledge of management and administration techniques.

Managers should always seek opportunities to strengthen their interpersonal skills, as well. They should be looking for chances to engage in public speaking and volunteer at work to lead teams or special projects. As with all managers, building a happy and successful team is just as important as having knowledge in the relevant field of natural science. This is why managers often get an MBA degree, as education in chemistry, math, or other subjects does not generally prepare a scientist to be a leader.

Those who are elevated to the level of a manager earn over $100,000 per year, so the salary is excellent for scientists with the training, experience, and personality to get a management job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 45,920 natural sciences managers in May of 2010, and they were making a salary of about $116,000 on average.


Bureau of Labor Statistics: Natural Sciences Manager Jobs and Salary Data


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      elisif 5 years ago

      A little cursory, but informative.