Jobs for Former Scientists

Jan 20, 2020

From production to healthcare to communications, there are a range of career options that former scientists could consider pursuing. Former scientists are highly educated and can look for opportunities to utilize their analytical and investigative skills.

Career Options for Former Scientists

Former scientists are highly intelligent and could opt to pursue careers in any field with further studies or training. There are some specific careers, however, that they could consider that would enable them to use their scientific knowledge and the skills they developed through their scientific education.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
Postsecondary Environmental Science Teachers $79,910 6%
Orthotists and Prosthetists $69,120 20%
Genetic Counselors $80,370 27%
Aerospace Engineers $115,220 2%
Power Plant Operators, Distributors and Dispatchers $83,020 -6% (decline)
Lawyers $120,910 6%
Writers and Authors $62,170 0%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Former Scientists

Postsecondary Environmental Science Teachers

Postsecondary teachers prepare their students to become professionals in a number of fields, including environmental science. In order to enter this profession a doctoral degree in environmental science is normally required. Former scientists may find the opportunity to educate aspiring scientists appealing and may also find that an academic career provides opportunities to pursue scientific research when they aren't instructing classes.

Orthotists and Prosthetists

Orthotists and prosthetists create products that enable people to regain normal body functions by replacing missing body parts or helping damaged body parts function properly. They may make a brace for one patient and then produce an artificial limb for another patient. A master's degree and certification are required. Those who have a biological sciences or medical background may be ideally suited to a career in this field.

Genetic Counselors

A career as a genetic counselor may be ideal for individuals with a background in biology. Genetic counselors must have a master's degree in their field and they provide information to patients about health conditions they may be genetically predisposed to. Their work can involve reviewing the results of medical tests and educating patients about their potential genetic health risks.

Aerospace Engineers

Although aerospace engineers usually study aerospace engineering, it's also possible to enter this career field with a science degree related to this field. Aerospace engineers develop different types of equipment that fly in the air or travel to outer space, including helicopters and satellites. These professionals use chemistry and physics in their work so this career may appeal to former scientists.

Power Plant Operators, Distributors and Dispatchers

Power plant operators, distributors and dispatchers do not necessarily need more than a high school diploma or GED, but a background in science will appeal to employers. They oversee energy production and how it is transferred to clients. Individuals with a scientific background will have an advantage in this field because they may understand the processes involved in producing electricity and what potential problems are indicated by the gauges on the equipment they operate.


Lawyers prepare legal documents, provide legal advice and represent the legal interests of their clients. In order to be a lawyer it's necessary to earn a law degree and a law license. Individuals who have a scientific background may find that they are ideally suited to a career specializing in environmental law. Lawyers also spend a lot of time on research and analysis, and these are skills that can be developed through scientific studies and work.

Writers and Authors

Writers and authors produce written materials. They can seek to inform or entertain through their writings and usually need a bachelor's degree and strong writing skills. Former scientists may concentrate on producing scientific textbooks for those studying sciences or they may produce articles about different scientific topics.

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