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Careers Involving Field Research

Learn about some of the careers that involve field research. These careers offer people with different backgrounds and interests the chance to make observations and conduct experiments in a variety of locations.

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Career Options Involving Field Research

Many careers offer opportunities for people who like to get out of the office or lab to conduct research out in the field. This may range from extensive world travel to visiting local research sites to perform different experiments or make observations. Below are some examples of careers that involve field research.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists $60,520 4%
Anthropologists and Archaeologists $63,190 4%
Environmental Scientists and Specialists $68,910 11%
Historians $55,110 2%
Sociologists $79,750 -1%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Careers Involving Field Research

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Zoologists and wildlife biologists study a variety of topics related to different animals and ecosystems, such as animal behavior, characteristics of animals or the impact humans may have on a certain habitat. They often conduct experiments and then report their findings in scientific articles, reports or presentations. A bachelor's degree is required for zoologists and wildlife biologists, but most will need a master's or Ph.D. for advanced positions. These professionals often travel and work outside to observe animals and perform their experiments in the animals' natural habitat.

Anthropologists and Archaeologists

Anthropologists and archaeologists study humans, including their origin, behavior, culture, language and more. They collect information and samples to present their research findings about a particular culture or group of people. Anthropologists and archaeologists must have a master's or Ph.D., as well as experience with fieldwork. These professionals use field research for data collection through interviews and observations, as well as examining and collecting archaeological remains.

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental scientists and specialists work to protect the environment, as well as human health. This involves collecting environmental data from various samples of air, water, soil and more to offer information concerning any environmental hazards and/or health risks. Collecting these samples requires fieldwork at various locations. These workers typically need a bachelor's degree in a natural science.

Historians

Historians are responsible for studying the past to analyze and interpret historical events and time periods. They often conduct their research through historical documents and sources. Most historians need at least a master's degree, but some entry-level jobs may be available for those with a bachelor's degree. Although not as common, some historians may have the opportunity to travel to different historical sites to collect or study artifacts and historical documents.

Sociologists

Sociologists, similar to anthropologists and archaeologists, study humans, but they focus primarily on society and social behavior. This involves examining whole groups, social institutions, cultures and more to study how people interact. Sometimes this may require observing and/or interacting with different groups and cultures in the field, such as a particular religion or political group. Sociologists must hold a master's degree or Ph.D.

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