How to Become a Science Advisor: Career Path Guide
If you want to become a science advisor, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a science advisor:
Those who become science advisors are strong in academics and are emotionally stable, as this is required to complete short and long-term tasks. They must not be easily frustrated, as the advice they give is not always utilized. They must be interested in natural sciences, have excellent written and oral communication skills, and be comfortable communicating their ideas to others.
Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a science advisor. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!
Education Needed to Become a Science Advisor
Science advisors must be experts in a specific field of science in order to offer qualified and competent advise to policy makers within their organization.
Although specific educational requirements may vary by employer, you typically need a Master’s or Doctoral degree in your field of expertise in order to become a science advisor.
Science Advisor Job Description
A science advisor, also known as a scientific advisor, is responsible for providing the leadership of their organization with information on technical and scientific issues. The organizations they work for have science as an important and central function to their operations and success.
Science advisors also serve on a broad range of boards and commissions pursuant to the oversight of key scientific initiatives, research efforts, and ongoing programs devoted to science and technology issues.
Science Advisor Job Duties
• Gather information by conducting research and observation in the field
• Provide organizational leadership with information that helps shape research and development policies
• Assist organizational leadership in making decisions that are based on sound science
• Prepare detailed reports regarding procedural recommendations
Who Hires Science Advisors? Where Do They Work?
Science advisors are hired on a part-time, full-time, or consultancy basis by both public and private organizations that have ongoing programs dedicated to science and technology issues, and require knowledgeable individuals who can help them make informed decisions. These organizations include:
• The armed forces
• Federal, provincial/state and municipal government departments
• Colleges and universities
• Private corporations
Find Science Advisor Job Postings
Science Advisor Jobs - Canada
Science Advisor Jobs - United States
Science Advisor Salary: How Much Do They Earn?
The salary level for science advisors can vary depending on several factors, including:
• Which organization they work for
• Whether they work in the public sector or the private sector
• Their level of education
• Their level of experience
• The specific job responsibilities
It’s difficult to determine the specific salary levels for science advisors, as reliable data for this occupation is not readily available. We can however get a decent idea of what their salary level is by looking at the salary numbers from closely related occupational groups.
Science Advisor Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Biologists and Related Scientists occupational group (includes those who work as science advisors) earn an average wage from $26.73 to $62.00 per hour. The average wage for this group is $39.83 per hour.
Science Advisor Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of workers in the Biochemists and Biophysicists (which includes those who work as science advisors) occupational group is $79,390 per year. The lowest 10 percent of salaries in this group are less than $43,050, and the top 10 percent are more than $142,420 per year.
Careers Similar to Science Advisor
Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to that of Science Advisor, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.
References: How to Become a Science Advisor
Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a science advisor.
Alberta Learning and Information Service website: alis.alberta.ca
U.S Navy - Office of Naval Research website: www.onr.navy.mil
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov
Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development website: business.utah.gov
Scholarships for Becoming a Science Advisor
Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Science Advisor can be found on the following pages:
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!
Becoming a Science Advisor: Applicable Majors
Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a science advisor. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!