Natural Sciences Managers Career Video
Description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields.
Natural sciences managers oversee everything from the manufacture of shampoo, to the design of bigger, better wind turbines, to discoveries that will be written into textbooks. Whether they supervise a team of physicists, chemists, or biologists, natural sciences managers typically have the same objective: develop projects that contribute to society through science. These managers conduct planning for corporate research and development teams. They maintain contact with upper management, sharing project proposals, research findings, and status updates. While about one in four natural science managers work in government, many others work in businesses that depend on research grants. “Working managers” participate directly in scientific research, and tend to have smaller teams. Otherwise, natural science managers are expected to tend to administrative duties, like budgeting, and hiring and managing technicians and staff. Throughout a research project, they check on their staff’s methodologies to make sure lab results are accurate, and consult on technical issues. Most work full time; sometimes more than 40 hours per week. Managers often work in offices, while scientists and working managers work in labs. Almost all have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a scientific field and several years’ work experience as a scientist. Some may obtain additional training in engineering, management, or public administration.