Summary Report for:
19-1042.00 - Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists
Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation, research and development, or other related activities. Includes physicians, dentists, public health specialists, pharmacologists, and medical pathologists who primarily conduct research.
Sample of reported job titles: Associate Director, Experimental Medicine; Clinical Laboratory Scientist; Clinical Pharmacologist; Investigator; Laboratory Director; Post-Doctoral Fellow; Research Scientist; Scientist; Senior Research Scientist; Senior Scientist
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
- Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation, and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings to the scientific audience and general public.
- Study animal and human health and physiological processes.
- Follow strict safety procedures when handling toxic materials to avoid contamination.
- Write and publish articles in scientific journals.
- Evaluate effects of drugs, gases, pesticides, parasites, and microorganisms at various levels.
- Use equipment such as atomic absorption spectrometers, electron microscopes, flow cytometers, and chromatography systems.
- Prepare and analyze organ, tissue, and cell samples to identify toxicity, bacteria, or microorganisms or to study cell structure.
- Standardize drug dosages, methods of immunization, and procedures for manufacture of drugs and medicinal compounds.
- Investigate cause, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission of diseases or parasites.
- Consult with and advise physicians, educators, researchers, and others regarding medical applications of physics, biology, and chemistry.
- Teach principles of medicine and medical and laboratory procedures to physicians, residents, students, and technicians.
- Confer with health departments, industry personnel, physicians, and others to develop health safety standards and public health improvement programs.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Atomic absorption AA spectrometers — Atomic absorption AA spectrophotometers
- Benchtop centrifuges — Automated centrifuges; Centrifuges; High-speed centrifuges; Tabletop centrifuges
- Beta counters
- Binocular light compound microscopes
- Blood gas analyzers — Blood gas machines
- Calorimeters — Bomb calorimeters
- Chemistry analyzers — Mercury analyzers
- Chromatography tubing — Absorption tubes; Chromatographic tubes
- Coagulation analyzers — Coagulation machines
- Complementary deoxyribonucleic acid cDNA synthesis kits — Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA synthesizers
- Conductivity meters — Electrical conductivity meters
- Deoxyribonucleic sequence analyzers — Automated deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequencers
- Desktop computers
- Dropping pipettes — Pipettes
- Dry baths or heating blocks — Heating blocks
- Dry wall single chamber carbon dioxide incubators — Carbon dioxide CO2 incubators
- Electrocardiography EKG units — Electrocardiography EKG machines
- Electron microscopes
- Electrophoresis system power supplies — Electrophoresis power systems
- Extracting equipment for laboratories — Steam distillation apparatus
- Forced air or mechanical convection general purpose incubators — Incubators
- Fume hoods or cupboards — Fume hoods
- Gamma counters
- Gas chromatographs — Gas chromatographs GC
- Gel boxes — Gel electrophoresis boxes
- Gel documentation systems
- Gel dryers
- Hematology analyzers
- Hematology or chemistry mixers — Peptide synthesizers
- High pressure liquid chromatograph chromatography — High-pressure liquid chromatographs
- Instrumentation for capillary electrophoresis — Capillary electrophoresis equipment
- Ion chromatographs
- Ion selective electrode ISE meters — Selective ion meters
- Laboratory balances — Balances
- Laboratory blenders or emulsifiers — Blenders
- Laboratory evaporators
- Laboratory filtration hardware or accessories — Crossflow filtration systems
- Laboratory flasks — Erlenmeyer flasks; Flasks; Volumetric flasks
- Laboratory funnels — Filter funnels; Powder funnels
- Laboratory graduated cylinders — Measuring cylinders
- Laboratory heaters — Heat lamps
- Laboratory hotplates — Hot plates
- Laboratory mechanical convection ovens — Hot air ovens
- Laboratory sprayers — Spray atomizers
- Laboratory washing machines — Glassware washers
- Laminar flow cabinets or stations — Laminar flow hoods
- Laser printers
- Liquid scintillation counters — Scintillation counters
- Magnetic stirrers
- Mainframe computers
- Manual or electronic hematology differential cell counters — Coulter counters; Differential cell counters
- Mass spectrometers
- Medical computed tomography CT or CAT scanners or tubes — Computerized axial tomography CAT scanners
- Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI scanners — High-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging MRI equipment; Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI equipment
- Medical positron emission tomography PET units — Positron emission tomography PET scanners
- Medical ultrasound bone densitometers — Bone ultrasound densitometers
- Medical ultrasound or doppler or pulse echo or echography units for general diagnostic use — Ultrasound imaging scanners
- Microbiology analyzers — Flow cytometers
- Microcentrifuges — Fixed-angle microfuges
- Microplate readers
- Microplate washers — Plate washers
- Microplates — Thin layer chromatography plates
- Mobile or transportable medical linear accelerators — Cyclotrons
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectrometers — Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopes
- Pasteur or transfer pipettes — Pasteur pipettes
- Personal computers
- Petri plates or dishes — Microdiffusion dishes; Petri dishes
- pH meters
- Photometers — Flame photometers
- Refrigerated benchtop centrifuges — Refrigerated centrifuges; Refrigerated swinging bucket centrifuges
- Robotic or automated liquid handling systems — Liquid handling robots; Microarrayer scanners
- Scanning light or spinning disk or laser scanning microscopes — Confocal microscopes
- Shaking incubators
- Spectrophotometers — Cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometers; Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometers; Recording spectrophotometers; Ultraviolet-Visible UV/VIS spectrophotometers (see all 6 examples)
- Standard fermentation units — Fermenters
- Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Autoclaves
- Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers — Thermal cyclers
- Thin layer chromatography tanks — Developing tanks
- Thinlayer chromatographs — Thin layer chromatography equipment
- Ultra cold or ultralow upright cabinets or freezers — Ultralow freezers
- Ultrasonic disintegrators — Cell disruptors
- Ultraviolet crosslinkers — Ultraviolet UV crosslinkers
- Vacuum or centrifugal concentrators — Speed vacs
- Vacuum or rotary evaporators — Rotary evaporators
- Videoscopes — Microscope/video camera stations
- Vortex mixers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — BioArray Software Environment BASE; SAS ; Waters MassLynx; Waters Q-DIS/QM LIMS (see all 15 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software; FileMaker Pro ; Waters eLab Notebook; Waters Empower 2
- Development environment software — Integrated development environment IDE software ; Microsoft Visual Basic ; National Instruments LabVIEW
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Information retrieval or search software — LexisNexis
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software
- Object or component oriented development software — Python ; R
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Linux ; UNIX
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Detailed Work Activities
- Direct medical science or healthcare programs.
- Plan biological research.
- Monitor operational procedures in technical environments to ensure conformance to standards.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Operate laboratory or field equipment.
- Analyze biological samples.
- Establish standards for medical care.
- Research diseases or parasites.
- Advise others on healthcare matters.
- Establish standards for products, processes, or procedures.
- Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
- Electronic Mail — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 79% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 76% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 86% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Telephone — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 70% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 73% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 47% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 46% responded “Important results.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 41% responded “More than half the time.”
- Time Pressure — 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 41% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 44% responded “High responsibility.”
- Letters and Memos — 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 27% responded “Extremely important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 30% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, surgeons, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: IRA
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$39.54 hourly, $82,240 annual|
|Employment (2014)||108,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||42,400|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Medical scientists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) , 2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22201. Phone: (703) 243-2800. Fax: (703) 243-9650.
- American Society for Microbiology (ASM) , 1752 N St. NW, Washington, DC 20036-2804. Phone: (202) 737-3600.
- Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) , 66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 600, Alexandria, VA 22314. Phone: (703) 299-0200. Fax: (703) 299-0204.