How to Become 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 your journey into this profession. 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!



Required Education

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 work in this field. 




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 Them? 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




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 specific salary figures for this occupation, 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.



Similar Fields of Work

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.



Environmental Analyst

Environmental Consultant

Natural Resource Policy Analyst

Science Writer




Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a science advisor.



Blog Post:How to become a science adviser for films and TV shows.” Julie Gould (July 3, 2014.) Nature Jobs website. Retrieved January 13, 2020.

Science Advisors to the Fleet:Become a Science Advisor.” (n.d.). Office of Naval Research website. Retrieved January 13, 2019.



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Relevant Scholarships for Becoming a Science Advisor

Scholarships in our database that our relevant to this occupation can be found on the following pages:


Biochemistry Scholarships

Biology Scholarships

Chemistry Scholarships

Environmental Science Scholarships


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!



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!


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