How to Become a Nanotechnologist

How to Become a Nanotechnologist: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a nanotechnologist, 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 nanotechnologist:


Those who become nanotechnologists typically have a keen interest in science and engineering. They must have excellent hand-eye coordination in order to work with specialized instrumentation, and an excellent attitude towards working with other professionals in the field of nanotechnology. Nanotechnologists must also be extremely patient and persistent individuals, as the desired results of their work may not present themselves in a timely manner.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a nanotechnologist. 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!



Level of Education Needed to Become a Nanotechnologist

Entry-Level Nanotechnologist Jobs


If you want to become a nanotechnologist that works in an entry-level research job such as laboratory assistant, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in nanotechnology, nanoscale engineering, or nanoscience.


Not every university or college offers such programs however, so if you are not able to enroll in them you can become a nanotechnologist by pursuing a bachelor’s degree with a major in any molecular level science or engineering discipline, and having a minor in nanotechnology.


In fact, some say this educational path is equally as effective in terms of nanotechnology career preparation, as working with matter at the molecular level is possible in any field, therefore it can be more beneficial to choose a major linked to your prospective career field, rather than pursuing a general nanotechnology degree.


So if you’re interested in working in food sciences for example, and you’re interested in working to modify and investigate nutrition at the genetic level, you might realize more educational value from an undergraduate major in agricultural sciences with a minor concentration or double major in nanotechnology.


Junior and Senior-Level Nanotechnologist Jobs


If you want to work as a senior-level researcher, you will need to have a graduate degree in nanotechnology. If you want to direct research, or become a faculty member in a university or college, then you will typically need to complete a doctoral degree program in nanotechnology.




Nanotechnologist Job Description

Nanotechnologists are responsible for performing research and work relating to structures at the atomic and subatomic levels. They may work in fields such as energy development, medicine and others in order to discover new applications for nanotechnology, and improve upon existing applications.



Nanotechnologist Job Duties

• Work with structures at the atomic and subatomic levels

• Perform research relating to structures at the atomic and subatomic levels

• Work with materials that range in size from 1 to 100 nanometers

• Use specialized equipment and nanotools to manipulate nanomatter

• Develop new products ranging from more effective sunscreens and more potent medicines, to more durable materials and faster electronic microprocessors

• Create high-performance materials and components by integrating atoms and molecules



Who Hires Nanotechnologists? Where Do They Work?

There are employers from a wide range of industry sectors that are interested in employing people with skills, knowledge and competencies in nanotechnology. Some of these employers include:


• Colleges and universities

• Private research institutions

• Energy services

• Biotechnology companies

• Plastics producers

• Robotics companies

• Medical Device manufacturers

• Agricultural companies





Nanotechnologist Salary: How Much Do They Earn?

The salary level of nanotechnologists can vary depending on a multitude of factors, including their level of education, their level of experience, there are of specialty, where they work, and many others.


The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network has categorized the expected salary level of nanotechnologists by level of education:


Bachelor’s Degree: $40,000 - $65,000 per year                     

Master’s Degree: $50,000 - $80,000 per year

Doctorate Degree: $75,000 - $100,000 per year



Work Environment

Work Conditions: The work conditions of a nanotechnologists can be quite stressful, as workers must be very diligent in order to ensure mistakes are not made, and the work is completed in a timely manner. There may be some exposure to risk in this job, as assistants may have to work around dangerous chemicals and other substances.



Work Schedule: Nanotechnologists usually work a traditional weekday-working schedule, although they may have to work during evenings, weekends and holidays if they are needed to work immediately, or if there are high volumes of work.



Similar Careers 

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Nanotechnologist, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.



Electronics Engineer

Materials Scientist

Molecular Biophysicist

Robotics Technologist




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


Occupations in Alberta:Nanotechnologist.” (March 31, 2019). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 4, 2020.

Education Articles:Nanotechnology Careers - Is a Career in Nanotechnology in your Future?.” (n.d.). National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network website. Retrieved January 4, 2020.

Resources:What is a Nanotechnologist.” (n.d.). website. Retrieved January 4, 2020.



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Scholarships for Becoming a Nanotechnologist

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Nanotechnologist can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.


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 Nanotechnologist: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a nanotechnologist. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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