What is a Natural Sciences Manager?

Natural Sciences ManagerIf you have a passion for science and wish to direct research activities for finding the next cutting-edge scientific discovery, then you could be the perfect fit for becoming a natural sciences manager. As the name suggests, natural sciences managers have the responsibility of supervising the development of research, product testing, quality control, production projects, and other scientific studies. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of natural sciences managers will only grow by six percent by 2022, there will still be a need for managers to oversee the research process for developing products and processes that improve our daily lives. The following is a detailed job overview to help you determine whether being a natural sciences manager is the right career goal for you.

What Natural Sciences Managers Do

Natural sciences managers are typically former scientists who have moved into a managerial position to perform administrative duties that coordinate the entire research process. On a typical workday, natural sciences managers may be involved in developing research goals, crafting a budgeting plan, addressing equipment needs, hiring scientists or technicians, reviewing the accuracy of work produced, monitoring research progress, offering technical assistance, and communicating project proposals with executives. Depending on the industry, natural sciences managers may supervise chemists, biologists, physicists, agriculturalists, architects, geoscientists, or other scientists. In smaller organizations, natural sciences managers may both conduct research and fulfill the above administrative roles.

Where Natural Sciences Managers Work

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s around 51,600 natural sciences managers currently employed across the United States to lead scientific research processes. Nearly one in every three natural sciences managers is employed by laboratories owned by a federal, state, or local government agency. Other natural sciences managers work at research development firms, manufacturing companies, universities, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and computer systems design firms. Nearly all natural sciences managers work full-time, but many may work longer to meet scientific goals before a deadline. Traveling may be required as natural sciences managers often need to supervise fieldwork firsthand and attend professional conferences.

How to Become a Natural Sciences Manager

While there are some management opportunities available with a bachelor’s degree, the majority of natural sciences managers complete a master’s or doctoral program in the scientific discipline of their choice. For developing general managerial skills, some may wish to add on to their scientific knowledge with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Public Administration (MPA). It’s best for aspiring natural sciences managers to find a master’s or Ph.D. degree in a natural science that allows elective work in business administration. Before taking on leadership, natural sciences managers usually spend several years working as scientists and gradually are given more managerial responsibility with time.

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Overall, natural sciences managers are highly trained scientists with business acumen and superb communication skills who lead research teams towards success. Whether devising a new manufacturing procedure, inventing a new product, or advancing basic scientific knowledge, natural sciences managers play a prominent role in helping researchers meet their goals from an administrative standpoint. Not only will becoming a natural science manager offer a high average annual salary of $136,450, but it will also lead to the reward of leading a team of researchers towards making discoveries that can better humanity.