What do Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other Do?
Professions in this field can be broken into three main groups: precision agriculture technicians, quality control analysts and remote sensing technicians. The three separate jobs have many similarities but their differences will be emphasized when necessary. In general these are jobs that offer career level compensation for technical work that mostly consists of gathering and analyzing scientific data.
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other Skills and Abilities
All of the related fields will require competence with math and computers, as well as in-depth understanding of the related sciences. Other skill sets will vary depending on the science being analyzed.Precision agriculture technicians will rely on the following skills and abilities:
- Detailed knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips and other electronic equipment and applications
- Mathematical prowess in statistics, algebra, calculus, geometry and arithmetic
- Biological knowledge of tissues, cells, functions and interdependenceQuality control analysts will need skills and abilities including:
- Knowledge of chemistry including chemical composition, structure, property of substances, production techniques, danger signs and disposal methods
- Test methods to evaluate the quality or performance of products, services and processes
- Strong communication skills including excellent written and oral comprehensionRemote sensing technicians will need to be able to:
- Describe land, air and sea masses, including physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships and distribution of living organisms
- Perform systems analysis to determine how variables will affect outcomes and expectations
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other Duties
All three groups will be required to take detailed logs of their data and perform analysis of the collected data. They will all work closely with computers to perform these tasks. Each group will also have specific tasks that differentiate them.Precision agriculture technicians will have tasks including but not limited to:
- Collecting soil samples and data
- Creating maps showing detailed agricultural data
- Dividing agricultural regions into zones based on soil characteristics and production yields
- Recommending crop varietiesQuality control analysts can expect to perform the following duties:
- Evaluate the quality of materials and products
- Interpret research to recommend products or tests
- Conduct analysis of raw materials, environmental samples and finished productsRemote sensing technicians will often need to:
- Collect data using aerial photography, light and radio wave systems, digital satellites or thermal energy systems
- Verify other data contained in existing systems
- Merge or process scanned images using imaging software
- Operate remote sensing equipment
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other Tools and Technology
As a science technician you will use analysis software and other related programs. The main variance between the different categories of technicians will be in data gathering tools and the specific software needed for analysis.Precision agriculture technicians will use controlling devices such as land leveling systems, auto steering and lightbar guidance systems. You will also need to become comfortable with conductivity meters, fertilizer spreaders and sprayers. As for software, some of the specific application you will use include map creators, Farm Works Site Pro and other agriculture analysis programs.As a quality control analyst, you will need to use force and torque sensors, spectrophotometers, tension testers and ultrasonic examination equipment. On the software side, specific programs in your occupation consist of program testing software and laboratory analytical software.Remote sensing technicians are going to use web servers, digital cameras, infrared sensors and radar surveillance. The software you work with will be mostly CAD programs and map creation tools.
Education and Training for Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other
The education and training for all three specialties is roughly the same. Most hirees have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in an applicable field. Science technicians are frequently hired with no experience, and experience levels have minimal impact on starting wages.
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other Salary
The pay is comparable in all three sciences, ranging from $25,400 to $74,700 annually. Median pay hovers at $44,700 across the nation. One of the largest factors in starting pay is geographical. New Mexico, Alaska and the District of Columbia pay the highest while Alabama, Michigan and Puerto Rico show the lowest starting salaries.
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other Jobs by Geography
Annual job growth sits at 10 percent, creating over 3,000 jobs each year. The states with the most openings are California, New York and Texas respectively. The states reporting the highest growth are Texas, California and Connecticut