Natural Sciences Managers
Also called: Chemical Process Exploration Manager, Environmental Program Manager, Natural Sciences Manager, Research and Development Director (R and D Director)
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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.
What they do:Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields.
On the job, you would:
- 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.
Math and Science
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- administrative services
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems
- keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- read and understand what is written
- communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- order or arrange things
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
- Bioengineers & Biomedical Engineers
- Data Scientists
- Environmental Science Teachers, Postsecondary
- Molecular & Cellular Biologists
- Project Management Specialists
You might like a career in one of these industries: