9 Highest Paying Science Jobs & Careers

One of the several profitable scientific professions may be ideal for you if you are a person who is naturally interested and wants to comprehend the world around you. You may want to develop the newest technological advancement, find the most recent treatment for a fatal illness, or develop a strategy to reduce energy use.

A scientific bachelor’s, master’s, or even doctoral degree may be your best option, regardless of your exact goals.

Science is a broad, expansive, difficult, and inexhaustibly intriguing discipline that calls for effort, commitment, and drive. If you’re going for one of the best-paid scientific professions accessible, the proper education is also necessary.

Highest Paying Science Jobs: The Typical Education

You need a questioning mind that seeks solutions to some of the most difficult issues if you want to work in science or at least enjoy your employment in science. But it would help if you also had tenacity, ingenuity, attention to detail and patience. Another crucial skill is communication since you must clearly explain your hypotheses and conclusions to the general public, decision-makers in government, and corporate executives.

Regardless of your inherent qualities and skills, getting some education would help. Quite simply, a high school certificate won’t go you very far in a job in science. To work in science, however, you also can have a degree. Many of these good careers need a bachelor’s or perhaps an associate’s degree to qualify for.

Associate’s Degree (Two Years of Study)

Some entry-level scientific positions need an associate’s degree, even though most science-based employment—especially those where you call yourself a “scientist”—require at least a bachelor’s degree. Although these are often technical positions that may not include research and scientific advancement, they are nonetheless scientifically related.

For instance, two-year associate’s degrees are needed to apply for jobs such as food science technicians, chemical technicians, or environmental science technicians.

Bachelor’s (Four Years of Study)

Many businesses now consider a four-year college degree the minimum employment requirement. A bachelor’s degree is often the minimum qualification for many employees, including many of the greatest scientific occupations. However, this may alter in the future.

A bachelor’s degree in the sciences may lead to an engaging and intriguing profession while also paying well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an atmospheric scientist, for instance, has a median pay of $99,740 and needs a bachelor’s degree to qualify for the job. Other lucrative careers in science that need a bachelor’s degree include chemists ($79,300), geographers ($85,430), and microbiologists ($84,040).

Master’s (Two Additional Years of Study)

Consider getting a master’s degree if you want to increase your professional earnings and expertise in a certain scientific topic. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree and perhaps a certain GPA to enroll in a master’s program. You’re looking at six years of college study to get your master’s since it will typically take an extra two years.

Once finished, you’ll be qualified for various scientific jobs that pay considerably more. Epidemiology ($74,560), sociology ($86,110), and political science ($125,350) are among the master’s-level careers in science.

Doctorate (Six Additional Years of Study)

A Ph.D. can be the best option if you want to advance your profession to the greatest level. You will become one of the most recognized and well-regarded specialists in science after completing these advanced degrees, which entail extensive, extended, and difficult study. (Plus, you’ll be able to call yourself a “doctor” regardless of your specialty.)

You may apply for some of the most lucrative jobs in science with a Ph.D. For instance, the median pay for physicists and astronomers is $128,950. 

Science Careers: What are the Typical Salaries?

Science is a demanding, intricate, and sometimes frustrating profession that requires a strong dedication to investigation and research. Money won’t keep you motivated through the difficulties of working as a research scientist.

Salary, though, is unquestionably a perk for this line of work.

With only a bachelor’s degree and some work experience, you may enter a broad range of scientific occupations, many of which pay very well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which gives median wages for a wide range of jobs, including scientific careers, is one of the greatest sources of pay statistics. According to their data, seven “Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations” had a median pay above $90,000, including three with wages over $100,000.

Like many sectors, scientific careers have a broad range of salaries that rely on your degree, experience, and—most importantly—personal skills. However, a Ph.D. or master’s degree and at least five years of professional experience are necessary for most of the highest-paying scientific positions. Most occupations need a degree, and the combined median wage for physicists and astronomers is $128,950. A natural science manager must have at least five years of experience to be hired despite requiring a bachelor’s degree.

For scientists employed by the federal government, salaries are often higher. For instance, the median pay for a microbiologist is $84,400. However, the median pay for microbiologists employed by the federal government is $112,940. The average yearly pay for chemists is $79,300, while for those employed by the federal government, it is $116,990. The U.S. government, rather than a private company, is the top employer for scientists (at least in terms of compensation).

In Demand Science Careers

Since science is developing quickly, many of these vocations are anticipated to expand faster than the 4% estimated national average. Many are just somewhat over the national average; chemists and physical scientists are predicted to increase at 5%, while atmospheric scientists are predicted to expand at 6%.

As you may have anticipated, technology and information sciences are seeing the fastest development. The number of computer and information research scientists, who create and evaluate software and computing theories, is predicted to increase by 15%. Even though they are not conventional sciences like biology or chemistry, robots and computers are unquestionably among the top fields for scientific jobs. Technology, computers, or robotics are the greatest possibilities for in-demand scientific occupations.

Most of the usual scientific occupations are predicted to see substantial but modest employment growth. Most of these professions, particularly those involving life sciences like biology, are expected to develop moderately by 4% to 6% during the next several years. Jobs will undoubtedly be available, but they will increase at a different rate than the greater demand for science-focused technological jobs.

The Most Lucrative Entry-Level Science Job

Atmospheric Scientist

Median Salary: $9salary Education: Bachelor’s

 Experience: None

 Growth: 6%

Although some higher-paying scientific occupations don’t need any prior work experience, they often call for postgraduate degrees. It’s challenging to define “entry-level” employment as needing 10 years of post-secondary education. A bachelor’s degree in meteorology or a closely related discipline and no previous experience are all needed to become an atmospheric scientist. Despite having such simple prerequisites, the occupation offers a typical pay of about $100,000!

These scientists research the weather and climate by analyzing circumstances, forecasting changes, and collecting atmospheric information. These significant scientists aid in understanding the weather by conducting temperature measurements and producing visualizations. Their work not only instructs us as to where to go each morning, but it also has the potential to save lives.

This is the most profitable of all entry-level scientific careers because of its high salary, minimal educational requirements, and lack of experience or training.

Popular Pick: Bachelor of Science in Geosciences / Broadcast & Operational Meteorology from Mississippi State University

The Highest Paying Science Career

Natural Science Manager

Median salary: $1salary

 Education: Bachelor’s

 Experience: At least 5 years of professional experience

 Growth: 5%

The managers and executives get the highest incomes across numerous businesses. They are under the greatest pressure, have the most obligations, and are held to the highest responsibility standards. The managers and leaders get the greatest pay in science, similar to other industries. In this situation, managers in the natural sciences often hold the best-paid scientific occupations.

All kinds of scientific disciplines, including chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy, and astronomy, provide jobs based on leadership. They often collaborate with senior executives to set objectives, recruit scientists to help them be reached, examine the technique, and track the development of different initiatives. They perform the same basic duties as ordinary managers, except they are in charge of scientists.

Only a bachelor’s degree is often needed for this profession. However, management-related further education or training would be beneficial. To be considered for one of these leadership roles, you must have at least five years of experience.

Popular Pick: Bachelor of Applied Science in Resources & Technology Management from Troy University

7 Highest Paying Science Jobs

#1 Physicist

Median salary: $1salary

 Education: Doctorate

 Experience: None

 Growth: 7%

Physics has produced several of the most well-known scientists in history. (Biologists seem to be the primary rivals.) Physicists like Newton, Einstein, Tesla, Curie, and Hawking have achieved historical fame. Physicist employment can be ideal if you wish to join their ranks and get outstanding pay simultaneously!

These positions, which rank among the highest-paying ones in the scientific field, need commitment to academic study and professional growth. For any work in research or academia, physicists normally require a Ph.D. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in physics or a closely related discipline is a crucial first step toward this intriguing, intricate, and difficult profession.

Popular Pick: Bachelor of Science in Physics from Liberty University

#2 Computer Research Scientist

Median salary: $1salary

 Education: Master’s

 Experience: None

 Growth: 15%

Computers and other linked gadgets are replacing everyday life in our culture. It is challenging to conceive of an activity that doesn’t include computers in some way, whether for business, staying in touch with family, or purchasing groceries. Not only is this one of the top-paid scientific careers, but it is also one of the occupations for research scientists with the quickest growth rate.

Information technology and computers are always evolving, and it is up to computer research experts to discover the next big breakthrough. Since there is such a strong demand, it is not unexpected that this profession is predicted to rise by 15% between 2019 and 2029. You’ll normally need a master’s degree and proficiency in research, experimentation, data analysis, and other crucial scientific techniques.

Sponsored Pick: Master of Science in Computer Science from Grand Canyon University


#3 Political Scientist

Median salary: $1salary

 Education: Master’s

 Experience: None

 Growth: 6%

A political scientist is a scientist; therefore, don’t misunderstand that. They employ study, experimentation, hypothesis testing, and assessment to arrive at a precise conclusion. Although the focus is not on molecules, planets, animals, or plants, scientific ideas are nonetheless used. Instead, they discuss local, national, and international issues.

Most political scientists need a master’s degree, although certain highly regarded jobs require a Ph.D. You will gain knowledge of research, experimentation, and data analysis throughout your study, but you will also learn about philosophy and political theory, which are often more art than science. (For example, rigorous, data-driven experimentation is hardly used in philosophy.)

Sponsored Pick: Master of Arts in Political Science from American Public University System

#4 Astronomer

Median salary: $1salary

 Education: Doctorate

 Experience: None

 Growth: 7%

You could be the ideal candidate for an astronomer job if you are the person who glances at the stars at night and wonders how they can exist while thinking about the enormous distances between them and us. Given that it includes far-off planets, intriguing celestial bodies, and some of the most cutting-edge technologies now in use by humans, this is one of the most lucrative scientific careers. It’s also one of the most exciting. (To mention a few, lasers, electron microscopes, and particle accelerators.)

Although certain occupations need just a master’s degree, astronomers typically need a Ph.D. in astronomy or a related subject. Astronomers aid in our understanding of the cosmos that surrounds us and often design and carry out experiments that test our understanding of the cosmos and our planet.

Sponsored Pick: Master of Science in Space Studies / Astronomy from American Public University System

#5 Biochemist or Biophysicist

Median Salary: $9salary Education: Doctorate

 Experience: None

 Growth: 4%

Biochemists and biophysicists develop innovations that enhance our everyday lives by researching the fundamental chemical and physical mechanisms that underlie all living things. Biochemists’ research, for instance, may greatly advance medicine. Agriculture, energy, and health may all be improved through these scientific occupations.

A Ph.D. in research and development is often necessary for these advanced positions. A bachelor’s degree in physics, biology, or chemistry makes a superb beginning for this fantastic job.

Popular Pick: Bachelor of Science in Science & Technology Multidisciplinary Studies from California University of Pennsylvania

#6 Geoscientist

Median Salary: $9salary Education: Bachelor’s

 Experience: None

 Growth: 5%

What do researchers do? Some research on the planet!

The Earth is a complicated, dynamic globe that requires experts familiar with scientific methods to study and analyze. We depend on geoscientists, one of the greatest professions and entry-level scientific employment, to accomplish these goals. One of the most sought-after bachelor’s in science professions offers a competitive salary and steady, robust development.

Geoscientists plan and carry out field research that primarily focuses on the Earth. Aerial or satellite photographs, laboratory experiments, fieldwork, and other techniques may all be used in research. A geoscientist may work in a wide variety of science-related fields. Geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and oceanography are examples of specialties. One of the finest scientific occupations with travel prospects is geoscience, which also studies various features of the planet in various places.

Popular Pick: Bachelor of Arts in Geology from the University of Florida

#7 Medical Scientist

Median Salary: $9salary Education: Doctorate

 Experience: None

 Growth: 6%

Medical scientists have one of the most crucial sorts of scientific employment. The next advancement in healthcare and wellness is created by these highly trained specialists, who show us how to better comprehend our bodies and brains.

Some medical scientists also have degrees or other credentials as medical doctors closely tied to a scientific degree (M.D.). Bachelor’s degrees in physical science, math, biology, chemistry, life sciences, and other fields are excellent places for undergraduate students who are interested in entering this interesting field of work to start.

Popular Pick: Bachelor of General Studies / Science, Technology, Health & Society from the University of Arizona