Natural Sciences Managers
Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields.
Sample of reported job titles: Analytical Services Manager, Chemical Engineer Supervisor, Chemical Process Exploration Manager, Environmental Program Manager, Lab Manager (Laboratory Manager), Natural Sciences Manager, Research Administrator, Research and Development Director (R and D Director), Research Manager, Water Team Leader
Also see: Clinical Research Coordinators, Water Resource Specialists
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Hire, supervise, or evaluate engineers, technicians, researchers, or other staff.
- Design or coordinate successive phases of problem analysis, solution proposals, or testing.
- Plan or direct research, development, or production activities.
- Review project activities and prepare and review research, testing, or operational reports.
- Confer with scientists, engineers, regulators, or others to plan or review projects or to provide technical assistance.
- Develop client relationships and communicate with clients to explain proposals, present research findings, establish specifications, or discuss project status.
- Determine scientific or technical goals within broad outlines provided by top management and make detailed plans to accomplish these goals.
- Prepare project proposals.
- Develop or implement policies, standards, or procedures for the architectural, scientific, or technical work performed to ensure regulatory compliance or operations enhancement.
- Recruit personnel or oversee the development or maintenance of staff competence.
- Prepare and administer budgets, approve and review expenditures, and prepare financial reports.
- Conduct own research in field of expertise.
- Develop innovative technology or train staff for its implementation.
- Make presentations at professional meetings to further knowledge in the field.
- Provide for stewardship of plant or animal resources or habitats, studying land use, monitoring animal populations, or providing shelter, resources, or medical treatment for animals.
- Advise or assist in obtaining patents or meeting other legal requirements.
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- Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics ; SAS ; StataCorp Stata; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 6 examples)
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint
- Data base management system software — Oracle DBMS
- Data base reporting software — SAP Business Objects
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access ; Structured query language SQL
- Development environment software — Integrated development environment IDE software
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software
- Geographic information system — ESRI ArcGIS software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; Graphics software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Process mapping and design software — Microsoft Visio
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
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- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
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- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Evaluate employee performance.
- Hire personnel.
- Supervise employees.
- Develop organizational methods or procedures.
- Direct organizational operations, projects, or services.
- Develop operating strategies, plans, or procedures.
- Manage operations, research, or logistics projects.
- Analyze data to inform operational decisions or activities.
- Prepare operational progress or status reports.
- Coordinate operational activities with external stakeholders.
- Communicate organizational information to customers or other stakeholders.
- Establish interpersonal business relationships to facilitate work activities.
- Develop organizational goals or objectives.
- Prepare proposals or grant applications to obtain project funding.
- Develop organizational policies or programs.
- Implement organizational process or policy changes.
- Approve expenditures.
- Manage human resources activities.
- Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
- Prepare operational budgets.
- Recruit personnel.
- Conduct employee training programs.
- Present information to the public.
- Advise others on legal or regulatory compliance matters.
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- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 68% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 71% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 58% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 52% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 56% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 56% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 45% responded “More than half the time.”
- Contact With Others — 58% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 47% responded “Very important results.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 40% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Level of Competition — 35% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Deal With External Customers — 33% responded “Very important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 58% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 45% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Letters and Memos — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 32% responded “Extremely serious.”
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|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: EI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$66.32 hourly, $137,940 annual|
|Employment (2020)||79,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||6,000|
|Top industries (2020)||
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Association of Petroleum Geologists
- American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
- American Chemical Society
- American Fisheries Society
- American Geophysical Union
- American Industrial Hygiene Association
- American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- American Society for Microbiology
- Controlled Release Society
- National Ground Water Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Natural sciences managers
- Parenteral Drug Association
- Professional Science Master’s
- Society for American Archaeology
- Society of American Foresters
- Wildlife Society
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