What Do Natural Sciences Managers Do?
Natural sciences managers are leaders in the fields of life and physical sciences, mathematics, and statistics. You direct and plan programs and activities, and coordinate research and development projects across these fields. These positions are prolific in both business and governmental organizations. Your concentration may be either in an office environment or out in the field performing hands-on studies and projects, or a combination of both. The outlook for this career is very healthy and is expected to rise 6% annually throughout the United States. The total yearly natural sciences managerial job openings average at about 1,370 across the country.
Natural Sciences Managers Skills and Abilities
Familiarity with business and management practices is fundamental to this career. You utilize oral and written communication skills throughout planning and implementation, human resource areas, and general supervision needs. A high degree of knowledge in biology and mathematics is the backbone of the job and provides a base skill set for a range of positons within the many areas of concentration in natural sciences. Customer service and active listening skills provide an advantage to primarily technically minded workers. These additional abilities to communicate well and solve interpersonal problems can advance your career more quickly.
Natural Sciences Managers Duties
The complexity of the natural sciences field requires flexibility to perform numerous types of administrative and technical tasks. Depending on the nature of your specific work, the proportion of time spent with each responsibility could be quite different. Some of the duties you should expect to be involved with include:
- Hiring and supervising researchers, engineers, technicians and other staff
- Planning and development of research projects
- Conducting research in a field of expertise
- Making presentations at business meetings or to the public
- Providing stewardship of habitats or plant and animal resources
- Obtaining patents or other legal requirements
Natural Sciences Managers Tools and Technology
Standard computer skills are essential for this job, but you also will be working with specialized scientific software geared to your specific area of concentration. Laboratory information management software is in common use as well as statistics programs including StatSoft STATISTICA. Photo imaging software like Adobe Photoshop or spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel are important to have familiarity with in project implementation.
Education and Training for Natural Sciences Managers
A college education is typical for entry into this position. The amount of education can differ for natural science managers, depending on the job. The percentage of individuals working in this occupation who have attained a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate is roughly 30% for each respective category. The higher the education received, the more the opportunities arise for a person in this field. Compensation definitely increases with your level of education, as with many other careers. The life and physical sciences cover a large number of areas of study including:
- Animal physiology
- Seismology and geophysics
- Radiation biology
Natural Sciences Managers Salary
As a natural sciences manager, it is not uncommon for your salary to exceed $100,000. This comes with experience but is achieved by many in the field. The median income for this occupation in the United States is a generous $120,000 and can approach nearly $200,000 in certain sectors and locations.
Natural Sciences Managers Jobs by Geography
Many states are expected to increase their natural sciences managerial positions in the coming years by double digit percentages, with California ranking the highest. Georgia and Texas are two states to watch for opportunities in because of their projected growth. With environmental concerns being a top priority all over the nation, businesses and governmental organizations across the country will be seeking new applicants in this field on a continual basis.